Pidurangala is an enormous rock located a few kilometres north of Sigiriya. While Sigiriya Rock is rich in history and has some pretty dramatic features such as the lion’s paw and the mirror wall, Pidurangala Rock has a much more natural feel, despite also housing a temple. This massive rock formation almost directly opposite Sigiriya, Pidurangala has an equally majestic view as the former of rolling lake-and-land vistas. The summit of Pidurangala is also the best possible place to get an eyeful the rock fortress itself. It’s recommended for you to
It's not merely all about stunning views though: Pidu isn't just another nameless rock, it has its own little history and backstories. Whilst King Kashyapa was building Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the 5th century, he moved monks living around Sigiriya to a new monastery on Pidurangala Rock. An ancient cave temple still houses objects from various vintages that reflect Buddhist, Hindu and western beliefs, and the stupa to the left of the temple entrance is believed to mark the spot where King Kashyapa was cremated.
The hike doesn’t ease you in. first portion of the hike is a fairly steady ascent, walking next to a steep rock wall. Afterwards, you will reach to a huge row of stairs at the base where you have to step-in. The hike only took us 20 minutes and was relatively easy despite the incline and some parts of the path being a little bit ‘off-road’. Halfway through the hike, you will reach the Pidurangala Temple, which takes you back in time although not quite rivalling the history of Sigiriya Rock.
The Royal Cave Temple - Sigiri Rajamaha Viharaya is survived only by a few remains. A rock wall still stands to show the foundation of what was once a rock temple. A huge reclining Buddha, lays inside the temple which has been reconstructed with bricks but much of the original structure remains intact.
There are only 5-10 minutes of trekking remaining from the temple. However, this part of the trail involves some bouldering. While it may seem easy to many it might be a bit challenging for some. There are no dangerous sections just a few boulders, which require a big step up.
Once you reach the top you will have the best seat in the house (the whole of Sigiriya) for not only the sunrise but also of Sigiriya Rock. Pidurangala is a popular spot for sunrise as you can enjoy 360-degree views of not only the valleys but also Sigiriya Rock. The sun doesn’t rise directly over the Sigiriya Rock but it was still a beautiful way to start the morning watching the sun light up the valley. Typical photographers running by the motto, ‘It’s better to be early than late.’ However, it was nice to just sit and chill, enjoying the isolation and peace up top. You’ll see far into the distance across the vast countryside and jungles of Sri Lanka. Nothing blocks the scenery from one side to the other and you could enjoy a true panoramic view. The strong winds were very refreshing after a strenuous and sweaty trek.
Sunset at Pidurangala Rock would also be spectacular as it was over at Sigiriya Rock!
Note: You must wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for visiting sacred or holy places.
Tip: If you are on a tight budget, definitely you can do the Pidurangala Hike as you will still get to enjoy Sigiriya Rock but on a less budget.