Pidurangala – A Fantastic Climb in Dambulla

Pidurangala is an ancient rock temple standing next to famous Sigiriya rock. yes, you can call it as Sigiriya’s brother. Since we had enough time before coming back to Colombo after some office work at Dambulla, we decided to climb Pidurangala Rock.

History of Pidurangala

Its believed that it was a monastery used by Buddhist monks during the 3rd century. When King Kashyapa building the Sigiriya fortress, he has built this massive monastery to relocate monks from Sigiriya. It has several caves and some ruins on the site. Its widespread in a massive land of 13 acres. Some of the caves have Buddha statues made of bricks.

Location

It’s very close to the Sigiriya rock fortress. We were in Dambulla town, so we took the bus to Sigiriya which stops in front of the Sigiriya. Once you get down from Sigiriya bus stop, you will see the shady road on your left side along the tank. It will cost around 350LKR for a tuk-tuk ride to the base of Pidurangala. But instead of that, we decided to walk along that road exploring the wilderness. It was a 3km walk until we meet the signboard to the Pidurangala to the left side.

After walking one kilometer on the dusty road to the left, we finally reached to the temple of Pidurangala. It has a newly built Buddhist temple and a Bo tree at the base. For locals entrance is free, while foreign tourists pay 30$ for the ticket.  And also you have to cover yourself totally before entering the temple, at least until you reach the summit.

The climb

The climb looked very easy for us in the beginning. It’s just a series of steps starting next to a Bo tree in the ground level of the temple. But after that few meters it was an uneven ground with different levels of rocks. Since all of the team was fit in to a serious climb, within one hour we reached the top of Pidurangala. It was all worth the effort of climbing Pidurangala under the hot sun! View from the summit was amazing with the sighting of Sigiriya in front of your eyes.

It was too hot on the surface of the rock at the time we reached the top of the Pidurangala. But we couldn’t get a break from exploring the summit with the excitement! Some believed that Pidurangala has a connection with aliens from a long time with the flat surface from a side. It has very steep edges at some points , so that should be concerned while walk around the summit. Its better if you can climb up to the rock during early morning or in the evening to enjoy the sun set and sunrise.

But still its worth a visit to this giant rock to enjoy the best panoramic view of the area because it also has Sigiriya in it.

Image courtesy :Vimukthi Embuldeniya

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