When you type Sri Lanka into Google one of the first photos that pops up is the famous Sigiriya Rock. Although with it being one the most popular tourist destinations in the country, we were surprised we’d heard such little about Pidurangala Rock until we arrived. So here’s our guide to an amazing and way cheaper hike.
Pidurangala Rock – A View That Rocks In Sigiriya
Which Rock To Climb?
Pidurangala Vs Sigirya
If you’re heading to Sigiriya then you’ll already be pre-planning you trip to Sri Lanka’s ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, because that’s exactly what we were doing.
Although it wasn’t until we arrived in the city and started talking to other travellers that we found out there was actually another option. Other than the widely recognised Sigiriya Rock aka Lion Rock, there is in fact another large, naturally formed tourist attraction – Pidurangala Rock! This of course led us to the dreaded question – ‘Which Rock To Climb In Sigiriya?’
Pidurangala Rock – 500 Rupees entrance fee*
Sigiriya Rock – 4500 Rupees entrance fee*
*Prices as of August 2017
Now we weren’t going to come all the way to Sri Lanka and skip the main attraction just to save a couple of bucks. Although the real game changer came when upon deeper research we realised that Pidurangala not only came up a lot cheaper but gave the better views!!
Everybody we spoke to, from locals to backpackers and people that had climbed both, advised us to visit Pidurangala Rock.
They mentioned how there were no crowds, you got a way better view from the summit and the wait time on the stairway to Lion Rock could sometimes push up to 3 hours.
Our Pidurangala Rock Experience
So that was it. Decision made! And it turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve made throughout our travels!
We set off in to morning around 10am and headed in our tuk tuk towards Pidurangala Rock. We paid our entrance fee, stocked up with water and tighten up our laces ready for a hike!
Upon entry there’s a pretty little temple at the bottom, which ladies you’ll have to cover up for, but the 500 Rupee entrance fee includes head/shoulder covers if needed.
Pass the temple and about a 15 minutes climb up, there are a few other interesting points to look out for!
Rock formations, a reclining buddha and even a couple of Cobras can be spotted on the way up. It’s shaded most of the way up so it’s not too difficult of a hike. Just watch out for the monkeys!
As for the view from the top, the people we’d spoken to weren’t wrong!
Pidurangala really is a beautiful hike and well worth the climb. It gave a 360 degree span of Sigiriya and of course looked out to the famous Sigiriya Rock! As you can see from the photo’s it doesn’t really need much more explaining!!
We sat at the top for a while and just took in the fresh air/panoramic views. It’s fair to say we were quite taken back by the views. It wasn’t at all busy so we sat and chilled as we saw the queues develop on the stairway in the distance of the oh so famous Lion Rock!
Transport From Dambulla To Sigiriya
Getting from Dambulla to Sigiriya couldn’t be easier!
We grabbed a tuk tuk from Dambulla that cost only 2000 Rupees. This included the 30 minute ride to Sigiriya, the 2 hour wait whilst we explored and the return journey home.
Luxury – Water Garden Sigiriya – For a five star treatment just a stones throw from the main attraction. Water Garden is about the best you can get in Sigirya!
Mid-Budget – Royal Retreat,Sigiriya – Everything you need from A/C and a western breakfast to set you up for a hike in Sigiriya.
Backpacker – Dambulla City Hostel – Cheap backpacker accomodation. Located 20 mins out of Sigiriya but good for meeting people and convoying to the rock!
You can also check out the prices of other places to stay in Sigiriya here.
More Sri Lanka
For more things to do in Sri Lanka and which route to take, make sure to check out our break down – The Best Of Sri Lanka – A Route & Trip Guide
Pin It For Later!