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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 27, 2019
Headline for 7 Incredible things to do in Sigiriya – Things you can do beside marvelling at the rock fortress
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Joanna James Joanna James
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7 Incredible things to do in Sigiriya – Things you can do beside marvelling at the rock fortress

Apart from climbing up the rock to witness one of the greatest man-made wonders, if you have got some extra time on your hands, there are a few other things you could do while in the area.

1

Visit the ancient ruins in Anuradhapura

A part that forms the cultural triangle in Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura is one of the ancient cities that has always been inhabited despite the changing times. A day trip from Sigiriya to Anuradhapura could take up to about 1.5 hours of your time – something you won't come to regret given the experience you are going to have.

2

Pidurangala Rock

Considerably cheaper compared to the Lion Rock hike but as much popular, Pidurangala Rock is a stunning site surrounded by stunning views. If you wake up early in the morning and make your way there, you are in for a beautiful hour of glorious sun rising. The entrance is through a temple, so make sure you are dressed moderately. After getting through the temple, you have to climb the stairs for about 15 minutes, and again there are another 15 minutes of climbing the boulders – this is always a lot of fun, but it could be pretty tiring too, but the reward that awaits you at the top is worth it.

3

Minneriya National Park

One of the fun things to do in Sri Lanka is visiting this elephant sanctuary – moreover, you could do this while visiting Sigiriya, so it's killing two birds with one stone. Though not as famous or massive as Yala National Park, it is a nice feeding ground for many elephants. You can hire a jeep and go on a full day safari or a half day safari – it's up to your preference, and the cost is calculated according to the number of hours.

4

Dambulla Cave Temple

Said to be one of the best cave temple complexes – to be exact, there are five complexes – Dambulla Cave Temple is one of the most charming, archaeologically important sites you will find in Sri Lanka. There is a wide stretch that is adorned with intricate murals covering thousands of square meters. You are supposed to leave your footwear at the counter before entering the temple. The cheapest way of getting to the temple is by bus, which is about a 10-minute ride from Sigiriya.

5

The City of Polonnaruwa

An ancient imperial city, Polonnaruwa is the second oldest kingdom in Sri Lanka. The status of the city as a tourist destination is such that the city is flanked by hotels like Cinnamon Lodge Habarana. The drive is about 15 minutes from Sigiriya –you can hire a driver, and it will cost you about $40.

6

Kaudulla National Park

To see herds of elephants, visit Kaudulla National Park. Not many know about this park but charming nevertheless. August is the best time to visit if you want to witness the large gatherings of elephants.

7

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The whole point of visiting Sigiriya is to see this man-made rock fortress. At the top of the rock, you get the most stunning views you can see in Sri Lanka. The entrance fee is USD 30, and the crowds start to gather from around 6 am onwards. So, get there as early as possible if you want to avoid all that commotion and the heat!