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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 7 Incredible Things To Do In Sigiriya - Exploring the wonders of Nothern Sri Lanka
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7 Incredible Things To Do In Sigiriya - Exploring the wonders of Nothern Sri Lanka

Sigiriya is a town in Dambulla. It is a culturally rich area that boasts of many natural and man-made wonders. Here are some of the things to do when you visit this iconic town in beautiful Sri Lanka.

1

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the best places to visit when you travel to Sri Lanka. Sigiriya rock is a large rock which was later converted into a kingdom by King Kaashyapa. He built an entire kingdom on top of the rock with proper drainage systems that have amazed the whole world. There was a large statue of a lion made at the base of the rock which gave the rock its name, Sigiriya, which is a combination of both words, sinha, and giri. (Sinha means Lion and Giri means Rock in Sinhalese and together they make the Lion Rock). It is quite a long climb to get to the top but the view from there is completely worth it. This is an obvious stop in all Sri Lanka tour packages, and tour agencies the likes of Connaissance de Ceylan wouldn't dream of missing this iconic cultural monument.

2

Pidurangala Rock

The Pidurangala rock is an easier alternative to the Lion Rock (Sigiriya). You can complete the climb with 30-40 minutes. After climbing for 20 minutes you will find a reclining Buddha statue. Afterwards, you will have to walk another 15 minutes to the top. It is a fun walk especially because you can see Sigiriya from the top of Pidurangala.

3

Kaudulla National Park

This is another National Park that the major elephant gathering can be witnessed. Much like Minneriya, the Kaudulla National Park too is famous for its bird population. If you're interested in bird photography, this is the place to be. Both Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks are basically elephant safaris so don't miss out!

4

Dambulla Cave Temple

The Dambulla Cave Temple is a complex of five temples. There is very intricate artwork on the inside walls of the caves. Inside the caves, you can find ancient statues of Lord Buddha. This is one of the best-preserved cave temples in the country and definitely worth a visit.

5

The ancient city of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is the first kingdom of Sri Lanka. The city is one of the best places to visit if you're an enthusiast of culture and history. You can easily spend three days exploring the remnants and ruins of the ancient city. There are many ruined temples and large chethyas. Once you witness the magnitude of the structures, you will question if they are really made by ancient man. Anuradhapura is around 1 hour and 45 mins from Sigiriya.

6

The city of Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa is the second kingdom of the island. This ancient city too has some of the most impressive religious and cultural ruins that would take at least two days to explore. Galviharaya and other ancient stupa are found here. Ruins of the palace complex of King Parakramabahu, who is considered as one of the greatest kings in Sri Lanka, can be found here. One thing you must remember when visiting both Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa is that they are very religious cities and you shouldn't wear revealing clothing such as shorts to the historic sites.

7

Minneriya National Park

The Minneriya National Park is only 1 hour away from Sigiriya. What is special about this National Park from the others is that during the month of August, you can see a large number of elephants gathering here. This is truly a wonder of nature which no one who visits Sri Lanka should miss. You can see almost 350 wild elephants in the park during this season. Another reason to visit the park in the bird population. If you are a fan of birds, you should definitely visit Minneriya National Park.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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