"Fortress in the Middle of Nowhere" Sigiriya by akikonomu

Sigiriya Travel Guide: 109 reviews and 300 photos

Journey into Wilderness

We came down to Dambulla from Kandy, and the trip wasn't too long or uncomfortable. The only drawback is that we had to pay the full fare for the service to Anaradhapura though alighting at Dambulla.

From Dambulla, we caught one of the local buses to Sigiriya. The journey brought us into rural wilderness where houses were sparsely situated and there were often stretches of roads with only wild grass and plants on both sides.

Yet, it is through this wilderness that our first glimpse of the rock fortress seemed even more elusive and magnificent.

Sigiriya Village

Not to be confused with the hotel by the same name.

Upon arrival at Sigiriya sometime mid afternoon, we decided to walk around the village rather than climb the rock in the searing sun. Worse still, it rained around 4 to 6.

We were offered a flower by one of the children when we passed by their house, whilst another beckoned us to visit his house. Whilst the innocence of the former was endearing, the latter had expected a pen or two in return for his hospitality. I suppose over- exposure to tourists had somewhat robbed the latter of the innocence that was meant to be.

There isn't much to do or see in the village except perhaps pay for overpriced water and souvenirs.

The Rock

Somewhat as dramatic as the movie starring Sean Connery, only this time round we get into the action.

I'd definitely recommend starting the climb before 8am. We arrived at the summit around 930am and the sun was beginning to roast and blind us.

Also saw the hordes of tourist coming in. The problem with the crowd is that you cannot get decent photos without someone running into your view and certain parts of the climb involved manoeuvering around very, very narrow pathways and stairways.

At the summit, enjoy the strong, strong wind that blasts into your face and ears, and the satisfaction of reaching the top.

If you rushed all the way to the top without distracting yourself with trying to get the perfect picture of the frescoes, aerial view of the gardens or anything else of interest, expect a 1 1/2 hour climb.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wow yourself at the top
  • Cons:An otherwise sleepy village without much sights
  • In a nutshell:For archaelogical enthusiasts with relatively strong lungs and legs
  • Last visit to Sigiriya: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated Oct 9, 2003
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Reviews (5)

Comments (2)

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2004 at 2:56 AM

    Great tips. I guess the frogs enjoyed the drip?

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2004 at 6:59 AM

    I did not know a Sean Connery film had been made here, do you know which one? I remember the Duran Duran Video "Rio" on the top! Nice page, well done (~_~)


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