Sigiriya, located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, is one of the top tourist spots in the country. The beautiful landscape and countryside vibes of the region has a lot more to offer than the well-known Sigiriya Rock.
Sigiriya Travel Guide
Sigiriya, is popular for its:
- UNESCO World heritage sites
- Elephant Rides
- Rock Climbing &
- Panoramic views of the surrounding hills
Sigiriya Neighbouring Areas:
- Habarana Village
- Anuradhapura & a few more..
Accommodations in Sigiriya
Sigiriya is a great place to stay, with a plethora of options ranging from lavish hotels to cottages in the forest area, you can take up an accommodation as per your convenience. There are jungle hideaways that will give a forest life feel and experience where you will find yourself to be a part of it. Rural accommodations are also there which will take you to the local culture of this place. Furthermore if you can also avail the services of luxurious resorts and villas.
How to Get Around Sigiriya
The most appropriate way to move around in Sigiriya is by bikes or scooters, which are easily available at a low price. The average hire cost of the bike lies between LKR 300 – 1500. Tuk-tuk is also available on hire, which you can use to explore the off-beat places. You can also book a rented taxi.
Sigiriya – Top Things to Do and Sights
Sigiriya is the ideal base for exploring the neighbouring cities, the various temples and national parks. Here is a list of things one can do around Sigiriya.
1. Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
This is one of the iconic destinations of Sri Lanka. The extremely famous ancient rock fortress is considered as the UNESCO World Heritage site. The rock plateau is formed from magma of an extinct volcano and is popularly known as the Eighth Wonder of the World by the locals. It is undoubtedly one of the most visited tourist spots in Sri Lanka.”
2. Sigiriya Museum
The Sigiriya Archeological Museum is in the same building as the Sigiriya Rock ticket office, and it is included in your entrance ticket. With little detour from the rock, you can add this museum to the list. It gives amazing details about the historical and geographical importance of this place. It is a good idea to visit the museum first and then the fortress as you will be filled with knowledge and information before you visit the site.
3. Pidurangala Rock
Just opposite to the Sigiriya fortress, a few kms away is the Pidurangala Rock – popular hiking tourist attraction of Sigiriya. If you are into hiking or rock-climbing you must not miss climbing this rock. Besides a thrilling experience you will be rewarded with the best views of the Sigiriya fortress from the peak.
4. Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla Cave Temple
A UNESCO world heritage situated in the heart of Sri Lanka is a must-visit cave temple. It is considered to be one of the oldest, dates back to 1st century BCE, and the largest preserved cave temple of Sri Lanka, having five sanctuaries. It is famous for its 157 statues and Buddhist mural painting. The temple represents a paramount shrine in the Buddhist religion, practiced in Sri Lanka. To reach the temple one has to go to a 160-meter-high hill, and make sure one gets his ticket before going as the ticket counter is at the bottom. It is not easy to reach the temple as the hard climbing, and the monkeys on the way are not easy to tackle. The caves are open for almost 12 hours, starting from 7 AM in the morning.
5. Habarana Village Tour & Elephant Ride
Habarana Village Elephant Ride
Habarana is located 210 km northeast from Colombo and just 17.7 km from Sigiriya. It has an amazing elephant safari experience that will surely make your trip a memorable one. The total safari is 4 hours, and it starts around 10 AM. This ride includes a journey through the pathways, villages, jungles, swamp, and river. Post this you can also enjoy the local village life and culture. After this you can hop on the boat and reach the river bank from there you can get transferred to the village house by a jeep for a delicious local village lunch. Your activity will end at 2 PM, and you will undoubtedly take a lot of memories home after the trip.
6. Minneriya Safari
Minneriya is a small area located in Sri Lanka. It is popular for its lake and national park. Minneriya national park is known for its large number and a wide variety of elephants. The other attraction of this park is its safari. It is a jeep safari, which gives a wonderful experience to be in the middle of wild animals with great freedom. May to October is considered the best time period to visit and enjoy the safari as many wild elephant herds gather. Safari starts at 6 AM in the morning, and the last one is at 3 in the afternoon. It takes you through the park to get you to enjoy and experience nature like never before. Many local companies like “Minneriya safari tours,” “Minneriya Jeep Safari,” provide safari service along with pick-up and drop service.
7. The Rice Terraces
Sigiriya is a beautiful location not only to experience a picturesque view of the rock but also the countryside. You can explore the place by bicycle, and it would take half a day to enjoy it here. If not bicycles the local transport is also available. The rice terraces and lakes in the countryside can make your morning sights a memorable one. Try not to ride in the dark as elephants roam in the area.
8. The Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa was the capital city hundreds of years ago, and it consists of few historical ruins. Currently, there are no residents to this place, but it has temples and carvings all around. It is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Sigiriya that should not be missed. From Sigiriya, it’s about one hour’s drive, and a driver can be hired for a day.
Days Required to Explore Sigiriya:
Minimum 3 Days
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka is one of the most enthralling destinations to visit in the country. Regardless of whether you are visiting with your family, partner or friends, this place is the perfect pick for you. Get your bags packing and book your trip to Sigiriya today!