Dambulla in One Day

Located in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, the town of Dambulla is an ideal destination to visit or be based at. If you have just one day here, these are some of the things you can do.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Get off to an early start by heading to the top of the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within easy reach of Aliya Resort & Spa. You will pass rock frescoes, the Mirror Wall and the remains of huge lion paws leading up to the summit where palace ruins and inspiring vistas await.

Golden Temple of Dambulla

With a history that dates to the 1st century BC, another key local attraction is the Golden Temple of Dambulla. Hotels that are close by are ideal since you can plan a visit to this site where you will find Buddha statues and historical paintings within a stunning cave temple complex.

Minneriya National Park

In the second half of the day, you can plan a wildlife safari to the Minneriya National Park home to diverse animal and bird life; if you visit between June to September you are in for a treat since you can witness “The Gathering” where hundreds of elephants can be seen.

Ayurvedic Spa Bliss

Look to stay at a hotel that has an Ayurveda spa so you can enjoy some relaxing and rejuvenating treatments after all your adventures. Such spas offer traditional and holistic rituals with everything from herbal oil body therapies to herbal steam baths and more.



Dambulla in One Day

Located close to many Sigiriya hotels the likes of Aliya Resort& Spa, Dambulla is a significant city of the Central Province in Sri Lanka. Due to its central location, Dambulla is also used as a major vegetable distribution point in the country.

Visit Dambulla Cave Temple – Morning

Dambulla Cave Temple or the Golden Temple of Dambulla is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. It is one of the mostextensive and best-preserved cave complexes of the country.

Explore Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric Burial Site – Afternoon

Within a three-kilometre radius of the Dambulla Cave Temple lies an ancient burial site of the country called the Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs. Many ancient tools and goods along with cremated remains have been found during excavations.

Hike the Rose Quartz Mountain Range – Evening

Not many know that there is a Rose Quartz Mountain Range in Sri Lanka, which is the largest of its kind in Asia. At the very top of this mountain, one may come across a gleaming white statue of Lord Buddha. The legends say that Emperor Shah Jahan used rose quartz from this place to build his masterpiece, the iconic Taj Mahal.

Relax in NamalUyana – Late Evening

Spread over 260 acres of land is a forest of Ironwood trees in Dambulla. It also houses the Rose Quartz Mountain Range and contributes to an ecosystem of various birds and mammals.



Pidurangala Rock Hike in Sigiriya

It is deemed that the Pidurangala hike offers a far more memorable experience than climbing Sigiriya as the former lets you engulf in the warmth of nature.

The Hike

The hike begins with a long flight of stairs that doesn’t take much time to climb. Halfway through the journey, you’d be greeted by Pidurangala Temple, which has a rich history of its own. You can reach the summit of Pidurangala within 20 minutes despite some off the beaten tracks you’d come across during the hike.

Pidurangala Temple

At present, one can only see the remnants of this temple in which a reclining Buddha can be observed. The foundation of the rock temple remains intact although it has been restructured with bricks.

Reaching the Summit

Once you pass the temple, you can expect to reach the summit within 5 to 10 minutes. However, one might have to cross large boulders along the way, which would prove relatively easy to experienced hikers. Fret not! Even the less experienced can boulder with the help of others.

The View

While you’re enjoying a fabulous vacation at some of the Sigiriya hotels the likes of Aliya Resort and Spa, head over to the Pidurangala trail to access the most stunningly beautiful sunrise you’d ever witness in a lifetime.



Sigiriya Water Gardens

The story of Sigiriya is a captivating one dating back to the fifth century. It begins with a prince who killed his father in a fit of rage and fled to Sigiriya. The prince, who went on to become King Kassapa, chose the top of a giant boulder as the location for his palace. The ‘palace in the sky’ was built in the form of a crouching lion. The fortress expanded into the lands surrounding the rock. Within its bounds, beautiful gardens were created. The king enjoyed a luxurious existence until the day his brother arrived with an army seeking vengeance for the murder of their father. King Kassapa took his own life after his army abandoned him and much of the magnificent palace was destroyed by the attackers.

The Sigiriya story is as much of a landmark in Sri Lankan history as the actual rock itself. The ruins of what was arguably one of the most impressive palaces ever built can still be seen today. The rock fortress is a historic attraction that continues to draw thousands of visitors from all over the world. Sigiriya hotel properties have been built in most part, simply to provide accommodation for visitors who come to admire this architectural marvel; Aliya Resort & Spa even offers views of the towering rock in the distance.

The palace on the rock is not the only feature worthy of mention, the gardens that are spread out at the foot of the rock are also fascinating. The lawns have been meticulously laid out with geometric precision. The water garden, located on the lowest level, is surrounded by walls; it boasts ponds and dancing fountains, complete with flowering water plants and birds. The fountains were designed to work on a highly complex hydraulic system. With heavy rainfall, the fountains gurgle to life even today. However, their sophisticated mechanism has not been completely unraveled by engineers of the present day. A more recent discovery, the miniature water garden, has intricately designed waterways that feed shallow reflecting pools.