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.

Pidurangala rock hike in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Pidurangala Rock is one of the best-hiking destinations that Sri Lanka has to offer. The trek up is full of amazing sights to see and you get treated to an amazing view of the surrounding landscape once you reach the top – here’s a closer look at what this hike is like.

Image credit- Unsplash, Damien Cornu,CC0

The History

Pidurangala was first established by King Kashyapa – the same king who commissioned the famous Sigiriya Fortress found close by – and was to serve as a Buddhist monastery and holy site. Pilgrims from all across the kingdoms would make the trek up the mountains to offer tribute and receive blessings.

The Way Up

There are plenty of Sigiriya hotels in the vicinity – for example, the Aliya Resort Resort and Spa – that will include a hike up Pidurangala in their itinerary. Do keep in mind that the hike can be a bit challenging – granted the reward is well worth it.

The Pidurangala Temple

Before you reach the top of the rock, you’ll first come across the Pidurangala Temple. While most of the temple has now unfortunately fallen into ruin, the massive Reclining Buddha Statue still remains and makes for an impressive sight.

The View

The view from the top of Pidurangala is simply amazing – from up here, you’ll get a great look at the nearby Sigiriya Fortress and well the endless expanse of forests and distant mountains that spread around in all directions.

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.