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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Incredible Things to Do in Sigiriya - Adventure awaits a keen traveller
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Incredible Things to Do in Sigiriya - Adventure awaits a keen traveller

The massive rock fortress known as Sigiriya on the island of Sri Lanka is an unsung ancient wonder. Built by an ancient race with incredible technology, Sigiriya alone is an essential place to visit.


Pidurangala Rock

Before we get to the grand finale, there is another ancient monument with a similar history and significance. That is the temple located on Pidurangala rock. If you're seeking on embarking on an international visit, there are many hotels near the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and around the area such as Aliya Resort & Spa where you can easily check out these incredible locales. The monastery came into existence when King Kasyapa, who reigned sometime during the fifth century, moved monks from Sigiriya to a far better place which was built and located here.


Minneriya National Park

Located just over forty kilometres away from Sigiriya, the park itself is rich with wildlife as well as history. Contained within the park is the Minneriya Tank, an ancient reservoir which was built by King Mahaesena sometime during the third century in order to provide irrigation for the surrounding land. Following the downfall of the civilisation, the forest eventually took over the land. During the dry season, from July to September, masses of elephants assemble at the reservoir in a phenomenon known as The Gathering. In addition to elephants, the park contains a wide range of animals including 24 species of mammals, 74 species of butterflies and 160 species of birds.


Dambulla Temple

If you're in the Sigiriya area, then paying a visit to this temple is definitely mandatory. The Dambulla Temple is the most expansive cave temple in Sri Lanka. Ever since it was built, about two thousand years ago, the temple has always been in operation. The story of the temple begins around 103 B.C when Indian marauders began a long battle with King Valagama, the ruler at the time. The monks granted him sanctuary during the 14-yearlong battle and once the King regained power, he built the massive cave temple as a show of gratitude.


Sigiriya Elephant Ride

Near the lake commonly referred to as the 'Sigiriya Wewa', lies an opportunity to embark on a thrilling elephant ride across the nearby countryside. What is most exciting is that the ride generally involves the Elephant travelling across the lake itself. Easily one of the most exciting activities to embark on around Sigiriya.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The most notable attraction in the area is definitely the incredible Sigiriya citadel, whose architectural magnificence baffles archaeologists and architects to this very day. It's incredible to think that an ancient civilisation transformed a titanic rock, more than 600 feet in height into a fortress resembling a cloud, surrounded by stunning gardens, massive rock pools and even a few palaces. The massive rock fortress is adorned with iconic pieces of art collectively referred to as the Sigiriya frescoes. These paintings depict the beautiful women that were part of the king's harem. If you ever find yourself in Sri Lanka, be sure to visit the breath-taking monument that is the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.