Sri Lanka, Cultural Triangle
Info : Pidarungula Rock
Set near to the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Pidarungula Rock and Temple is a destination all of its own. With the temple dating back to the 6th Century AD – the same as Sigiriya – it is suggested that the forested hillside was used as a place of worship and a hideout for King Kassapa, who was under threat from his ambitious brothers, who eventually killed him.
The small temple at the base of Pidarungula Rock is nice and worth a peek, but the experience certainly does not end there. Moving up from the temple are a series of steps, moving through the jungle and around the rock-side, climbing higher as you go. After around 10 minutes of climbing you come to a reclining Buddha, more modern than the original temple and made of brick and stucco, that looks out through a clearing in the trees to the lowland below. There is also an ancient inscription here, carved into the rock.
As you head up the rock further, the walking does get more difficult, with the need to clamber over large boulders at times. But the effort is well worth it when reaching a ledge just below the top of the rock, you are exposed to a fantastic view across the surrounding countryside to the nearby Sigiriya Rock and its lion paws. It is possible to keep climbing further up the rock side to the top where one is greeted with even more astounding views, however this is not recommended for those with vertigo!
Please note that this is an adventurous climb, and whilst the portion to the reclining Buddha is over rock steps, the walk past this point to the view over Sigiriya Rock can be difficult and require the utmost caution. Those with mobility issues or particularly young children may not find this experience suitable.
‘Other people we met on our travels were asking us who we had booked with as they were not happy with their own tour operator’