Travel Around Sigiriya -There’s Much More to See Here Than That Famous Fortress

Located in the central highlands of the paradise nation called Sri Lanka, is a town that gained quite an international reputation. Sigiriya, as it is named, is a wanderer’s delight. Why? Let’s find out!

The Eighth Wonder of the World

Eighth Wonder of the World | Image Credit - Wikimedia Commons, CC By SA 3.0

Eighth Wonder of the World | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons, CC By SA 3.0

A sight of pure magnificence. Built during the 5th Century, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an impressive creation by the wayward King Kasyapa who committed patricide to gain the throne for himself. The fortress has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to being “one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning”. Its international fame has resulted in throngs of crowds visiting the little town every year as well as the rise of many boutique hotels in Sri Lanka such as the Water Garden Sigiriya. Such hotels are also offering special tours that will take you through the highlights of the Sigiriya Fortress such as the Mirror Wall, the gorgeous frescoes, the water gardens and the gigantic lion’s paws which give the fortress its name.

An ancient Buddhist Monastery

The Pidurangala Monastery is located on the Pidurangala Rock which stands just a few kilometres away from Sigiriya. According to the ancient scriptures, when King Kasyapa was looking for a spot to build his fortress he found Sigiriya which was at that time occupied by Buddhist monks in meditation. He moved the monks to the nearby Pidurangala Rock and as a form of compensation for taking their former home, built a monastery there.

A Jumbo Spectacle!

Love elephants? Then this is your chance to see them in all their glory in the wild! The Minneriya National Park is located just 20-30 minutes away from the rock fortress. Why visit? Not only is the wildlife reservation placed among the top important bird areas in the country; but it’s also the venue for one of the most renowned of natural phenomena- the spectacular Minneriya Elephant Gathering!

Take A Glimpse Into The Past

Take a step back in time and find out the amazing history of the ancient citadel and the country at the amazing Sigiriya Museum. It features an excellent diorama of the Sigiriya fortress and offers a thorough overview while explaining its cultural importance.

Filled with wanderlust that seeks to explore distant shores and captivated by the colors and vibrancy of exotic cultures, Kanya Mae writes on the beautiful, exciting, and enchanting wonders of the world. She is a writer who not only has a passion for travel, but also has a background in fashion, art and media.


Bird Watching in Sigiriya – Another charm of this paradise!

Of many things to do in Sigiriya, bird watching is a must do. As any bird watching enthusiast knows, one should always get an early start to see these feathered-folks at their best. The area surrounding the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a forest reserve and a great place to observe birds in their natural habitat. Many hotels in the area such as Water Garden Sigiriya offer their guests the chance to go on excursions to this UNESCO World Heritage Site accompanied by bird watching experts. Starting as early as 6 am, a walk to the sanctuary will allow visitors to spot a wide range of birds varying from kingfishers, eagles, hornbills, herons, cuckoo birds and much more. Bird watching in Sigiriya like in any other area should be done in smaller groups of like-minded people.

The key to a good bird watching experience lies on how patient you are, the skills of your local guide and your ability to stay still, without making any noise- as the slightest noise may spook the birds away and depriving you of a good opportunity to click a few pictures. Bird watching trek in Sigiriya allows one plenty of chances to photograph these vibrantly hued shy yet active species of birds. Both endemic and migrant bird species can be spotted in Sigiriya. Some of the birds that can be seen in Sigiriya include, Barred Buttonquail, Peregrine Falcon, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Drongo Cuckoo, Jerdon’s Nightjar, Crested Treeswift, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Rufos Woodpecker, and Golden fronted Leaf bird.

It can be a very interesting and a peaceful way to spend your morning hours in Sigiriya, observing the routines of these lovely bird species’ in their natural habitats.


Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+