Sigiriya and Dambulla in one day

Sri Lanka is a country blessed with the best of cultural and historical aspects. Sigiriya and Dambulla are two main attractions located very close to each other that should be visited while you are there.

Image credit- Unsplash,
Dylan Shaw,CC0


This is an architectural marvel done by King Kasyapa over 1500 years ago. But, believe it or not, the irrigational networks and engineering skills still amaze the world! It’s a rock fortress that has everything including swimming pools, audience halls, and gardens.


Dambulla is one of the most ancient cave temples in Sri Lanka. Inside these caves, you find many historical paintings and Buddha Statues that date back several centuries. It’s a temple in the country that has a mind-relaxing vibe.

What else to be covered?

If you have some more time left, you can also try out the Pidurangala Cave Temple. Since all these attractions are located closer to each other, you have the chance to cover all of them in one go.

Holidaying in Sigiriya

Cover both Sigiriya and Dambulla in one day and choose to spend the night at one of the Sigiriya hotels. There are many great options including Aliya Resort.

Journey to the Lion Rock, Sigiriya -A cornucopia of natural beauty

sigiriya rock fortress
Sigiriya rock fortress |  Photo by Poswiecie via Pixabay , CC0 Public Domain


Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking to conquer great heights or an artist, inspired by the enigmas of time, the Lion Rock in Sigiriya will compel you to plan your next trip here. The Lion Rock is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic places. The lush greenery and wildlife add to the revelry of what is rumoured to have been the country’s capital during the reign of King Kashyapa. And with the likes of Jetwing Vil Uyana just 5km away, one can expect but the best in luxury from a Sigiriya hotel.

The story of Sigiriya is one of political mastery. This story starts with a misguided prince Kashyapa killing his father, King Datusena for the throne. Anticipating retaliation from his brother’s camp, the young king built the capital of his kingdom nearly 200 metres above the ground. The top of the rock provides an uninhibited view from every direction. An approaching army would have had to use extreme stealth to avoid detection by the king’s guards.

Among other defensive measures were a moat around the rock and narrow flights of steps that restricted movement in groups. If one were to tackle all the hurdles, he/she would get to the main entrance of the castle; the majestic Lion structure, of which only the paws remain today. This was, of course, never achieved by the king’s enemies. It is said that the king realized the gravity of his mistakes and turned to Buddhism for salvation. He lived a long pious life and died a natural death, according to the Chulawamsa.

The Lion Rock was hence abandoned as a palace. Until the 14th century, the rock and the adjoining caves served as a Buddhist monastery. After around 1500, only the foundation of the large structure atop the rock remains. The ponds that supposed to have supplied water to the top of the rock still work their unimaginable feats of engineering. The world famous frescoes and the lesser known poem wall mesmerize many a visitor. The unrestricted view births poets from its bosom, on top of the Lion rock.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Pleasures of Exploration

It has been often said that cycling is one of the best ways to see and experience a country. Getting to know the natives, come in close contact with its culture and the landscape are the reason oft cited. The deeply rural area and forests around the Sigiriya fortress are great places to explore and to get acquainted with rural life in the dry zone, an area with its own particular characteristics.

There is plenty of excellent accommodation in and around Sigiriya that can be used as bases for explorations. Traversing the unpaved back roads of Sigiriya fortress by bike is the best way to experience the sights and sounds of the area. The Pidurangala archaeological site dated to the 1st and 2nd century BC just 2 km away from Sigiriya fortress is easily accessed on a bicycle. The archaeological remains and the cave temple atop the rock are noteworthy but what make the visit truly worthwhile are the gorgeous views of Sigiriya rock and the surrounding forests.

While bikers will find that the area immediately adjacent to the rock fortress is a forest reserve with endemic flora and fauna, further away they will encounter a mix of green paddy fields, irrigation canals, small reservoirs, patches of thorny scrub jungle, an occasional ‘chena’ where the forest has been burned to facilitate temporary agriculture and cattle grazing on grassy slopes. Taking a break by a canal to cool off is a lovely way to experience the rural surroundings of Sigiriya. The terrain is flat and is not too difficult to navigate on a bicycle. Bikers are also bound to come upon wildlife such as macaques, monitor lizards, small mammals, snakes, peacocks and water birds that are common on the forest tracks around Sigiriya fortress.

An early start will not only allow a greater area to be covered but it will also help to avoid the hottest time of day. Bicycles can be hired from almost all the hotels and guest houses in the area. As no travelling on the highway is involved a bike will be the ideal mode of transport to negotiate the narrow and unpaved rural tracts. Traveling by bicycle will definitely allow a deeper appreciation of the considerable natural beauty of the area. Proper safety procedures should be observed to avoid getting into uncomfortable situations.

Within easy reach of the archaeological and natural attractions of the area, Hotel Sigiriya offers well appointed accommodation and a range of services and facilities that make stays in this hotel in Sigiriya comfortable. One of prominent hotels Sigiriya it is the ideal place to relax in after a days’ sightseeing or traveling the back roads.

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park, which is in the catchment of the Minneriya reservoir built in the 3rd century CE, is synonymous with the Sri Lanka elephant ever since it was observed that a large number of them congregate here to graze during the dry season. This event has been identified as the largest seasonally recurring wildlife phenomenon in the country. The importance of the area around the Minneriya reservoir to wildlife was recognized as far back as 1938 when it was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary. In 1997 it was upgraded to a Wildlife Park.

Other than the elephants the park is home to a diverse range of wildlife including the Sri Lanka leopard, the Sri Lanka sloth bear, the purple faced langur, the toque macaque, two species of deer and the gray slender loris that are among the 26 species of mammals, both large and small that are found here. The park has also been identified as an important bird area in Sri Lanka with 160 species of birds being spotted around the reservoir. They range from large populations of water birds to migrants and residents and include flocks of pelicans, jungle fowl, cormorants, grey herons, babblers, parrots and bulbuls among others.

Pythons, water monitors and crocodiles are among the 25 species of reptiles that inhabit the park. The park’s other denizen’s include nine species of amphibians, 26 species of fish and 75 species of butterflies.

However the other wildlife pales in comparison to the elephants that can be easily spotted and are in a large group. The ‘Gathering’ as the congregation of elephants here is now called, are elephant herds from Matale, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa districts that come to graze on the succulent grasses and enjoy the water of the reservoir from mid July till end October. The elephants usually come out of the surrounding jungle in the cool of the evening and it is indeed one of the most amazing sights to see them trickle out until they form into quite a large herd said to number 400 sometimes. This is a rare opportunity to observe them in the wild and in endearing family groups.

Whether it is viewing elephants or any other wild life, the natural beauty of the park is part of the amazing experience at Minneriya National Park.

Stay at Hotel Sigiriya in the shadow of one of Sri Lanka’s famous cultural sites and in the heart of the dry zone, home to many of the country’s wildlife. This prominent hotel in Sigiriya provides guests with spacious, comfortable accommodation and a host of modern facilities and amenities including relaxing Ayurveda spa treatments that make a stay here enjoyable. Stay at such conveniently located hotels Sigiriya to have unforgettable cultural and nature experiences.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Adventure Hiking in Sigiriya

Everyone visiting Sri Lanka would have heard of the legendary Sigiriya. It is the name that promotes this nation for it holds evidence of some of the greatest minds that belonged to the forefathers of this nation. Sigiriya is the city of the Lions Rock. It is a fortress for the kings of that era; a fortress with the most breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset; a fortress that portrays spectacular engineering, far advanced for the people of the time. Sigiriya is one location where you can bask in everything beautiful about Sri Lanka; the breathtaking scenery and the deep rooted history.

In addition to the lion’s rock, Sigiriya is haven for the adventure lover. Of late it has become a popular destination for those interested in trekking and hiking. Sigiriya is very raw and authentic. It has a collection of amazing flora and fauna untouched by urban development. Most of the Sigiriya hiking tours takes roughly 2 days. Some packages even afford a place to stay and part of the hiking is all about getting to that location. A popular tour team has put together a tree house at Thalkote Wewa. The Sigiriya hike starts adjoining the mighty rock and leads to the tree house. The trek takes roughly 3 hours and is a pathway adorned with bliss all the way. Get kissed by the sun and pampered by natures finest all the way to your destination. Along the way you will meet jungle patches, Chaina cultivations, paddy fields and finally the exotic Thalkota Wewa, all excellent places to enjoy nature. The tour goes on to the tree house where you can taste a typical Lankan lunch and enjoy village performances etc. By evening you can take a dip into the lake or enjoy a leisure walk at the vicinity. Conclude your package with a BBQ dinner, stay overnight at the tree house along with nature and depart after breakfast. All in all you would have enjoyed an excellent day out with nature.

For many staying at a hotel in Sigiriya is also an excellent option. There are many excellent hotels Sigiriya proudly boasts of. The view and the location makes the hotel Sigiriya has the finest in the country.

Explore The Sigiriya Gardens- The ravishing beauty of one of the world’s oldest landscaped garden

continues to attract tourists with its rugged imposing exterior, the contrasting softness of surrounding greenery, the head turning beauty of its maidens and the galleries and murals that combine to give a sensational aesthetic experience.

The gardens of Sigiriya indeed are a fine tribute to the architects of the olden days. While the construction of the fortress itself on so high a rocky climb is indeed a matter of applause, the gardens constitute a more detailed insight into how far exactly the techniques of that era were developed. As one of the world’s oldest landscaped garden in the world, it is a scholar’s adventure trip and a photographer’s paradise. Even for the average tourist, the fine boundaries and neat contours of the ponds and pools and water drainage systems gives a sense of harmony without an oppressive feeling of being in a technical workshop. The serpentine waterways and reclining pools blend so well into the spacious of the garden as the unchartered winds ruffle through the plantation to roam in the green wilderness beyond and the birds that chirp among the clusters of bushes relieve the impeccable neatness with an unruly charm of their of their own.

The gardens indeed are three in type although they are clearly interlinked. While the water garden takes the centre of attention as the most intricately designed one, the other two, boulder garden as well as Terrace garden do not fall far behind. The largest garden is surrounded by water connected with causeways and is an island with a walled enclosure. In the fountain garden, marbled serpentine streams drain into the two large deep pools. The fountains in Sigiriya are indeed another cause for wonder as they operate even this day, and are fed by underground water channels and arise through the perforations in the limestone circular plates. The miniature water gardens adds to the picturesque beauty of the garden while the cooling palaces or water pavilions reminds a visitor of warm days spent here in reverie.

Sigiriya accommodation can be exotic as Sigiriya itself. Jetwing Vil Uyana takes you back in time to the olden days when Sigiriya was a kingdom and life in a village was simple and charming. The exotic clusters of villas appear like an ancient village with their coconut fringed roofs interconnected by foot paths and lanterns setting up their illuminations at night like scattered fire flies in the darkness. The villas are surrounded by lakes brimming with water lilies or marshy lands amongst where the lotuses bring out their fine petals or forrests that shrouds you in dark and unfathomable mysteriousness.

The wooden villas with their polished timber walls and floors with coconut shells on their tops appear rugged and primitive externally while their interior resemble a king’s abode. This famous Sigiriya hotel is more than a hotel. It offers a chance to live another life, in another day, with the primitive charms of an uncomplicated lifestyle closely mingling with nature while still enjoying the comforts of a modern hotel that you simply cannot do without.