Deep in the middle of Sri Lanka this massive archeological column of granite rock rises starkly above a dense tropical forest. It is situated 15 Km away from Dambulla city and no lesser than an other-worldly rocky heaven featuring blood-stained history of power, frescoes, graffiti and landscaped garden.
Ready to climb 1200 stairs to reach the top of the Sigiriya rock? Well, don’t blame me – I told you to get good rest yesterday night! You will need all the energy you have today – so start with a carb heavy breakfast, before you start the climb. And brace yourselves to fight with some serious human traffic if your Day 2 happens to be on a weekend or a holiday. The trick here is to start as early as possible. Hating me already? Well don’t yet. I will give you enough reasons throughout the rest of the day JIf my estimations are right, you should be back from the rock by lunch time. Feel free to grab a small bite, because guess what, I am making you climb another 200 stairs to go checkout the Dambulla cave temple! Remember I told you I will give you enough reasons to hate me? This was a unique experience, to see so many idols of Gautam Buddha lined up within these small caves. On your way down from here, you might want to help yourself to some coconut water or some raw mangoes – it can get really hot during this time of the day in Sri Lanka.I will leave the rest of the day to you to roam around and enjoy the small town vibe in Sri Lanka. But wait! Would strongly recommend you check out the sunset from the Habarana lake. I am still perplexed why this lake is NOT as commercialized, but that is what makes it really peaceful out here – the mud brick roads, some tourists taking an Elephant ride, the solitary boats parked somewhere on the shore – the serenity of this place is overpowering, and a welcome change from the crowded touristy places of Dambulla and Sigiriya Rock.If you have a spare day after this, would be great to spend the day checking out the ruins of Pollonaruwa or Anuradhapura. We did not have that extra day, so we moved on to our nextdestination – Kandy!
Next morning, we were set to ascend 1200 stairs to reach the ruins of the palace of King Kasyapa, mounted on a Lion’s Paw! It took us one and half hour to reach the top. Whirling winds, unobstructed sight of trees and lone hills around gave us company on our way up! We sat amidst the palace ruins mesmerised by the views down below.
Lazy as I am, I woke up at 9 am. I quickly packed my bagpack and left for Sigriya. Sigriya has an entry charges but discounted for SAARC nationalities. It wasn't too hot there. The climb was not too difficult and worth the view after reaching the top.The another hill is free of charge but I was not having much energy to do that track as well. I got back to hostel and again slept without dinner.
To reach Sigiriya Rock, we've to change the bus from Dambulla and get on the one heading towards Pidurangala. The bus dropped me at this deserted place with a sign board stating Pidurangala leading to the woods. I followed my instincts and started walking towards the forest.