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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 6 Incredible Things to do in Sigiriya - The Rock Fortress in the Cultural Triangle
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Incredible Things to do in Sigiriya - The Rock Fortress in the Cultural Triangle

Sigiriya usually refers to the ancient citadel that has captured many engineer’s eyes for its sheer, advanced architecture from its time. Here are some things to do in the area.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress

This is the topmost attraction around the area and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage SIte. Situated in the town of Dambulla, which is about 4hours away from Colombo by road. It was built by King Kasyapa during 477 CE. The 200 metres rock was chosen as the ideal spot due to the fact it gave a good vantage point for the King and his soldiers. Its architecture to date is considered to be a great example of an imaginative and elaborate plan; an engineering marvel.

A unique way to travel here would be to take an Air Taxi. Sri Lanka is a paradise island, and the birds-eye view that you will be exposed to on your way to the Cultural Triangle will leave you mesmerised. Cinnamon Air is well-known to have daily flights to this site.

Entrance Fee: $30


Pidurangala Rock

Located just a little further away from Sigiriya Rock, this is a popular hiking spot which provides a spectacular view of the Sigiriya Rock. The best time to climb is just before sunrise. It takes an experienced hiker no longer than 10-15 minutes while an average person should be able to reach the summit in half an hour. The sun rises from the horizon, it’s rays lighting up the magnificent fortress in all its glory, along with the lush jungles surrounding it- such a Lion King moment.

Entrance: $3.25


Dambulla Cave Temple

This is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great example of the best-preserved and largest cave temple complex in the country. It dates back to the 1st century BCE! There are about 80 documented caves in the area, out of which only 5 caves are the centre of attraction as they consist of some beautiful, ancient paintings and more than a hundred statues of Lord Buddha. The monastery is still functional.


Minneriya National Park

If you fancy a day trip, head over to Minneriya, about an hour away from Sigiriya. The national park here is very well-known to spot hundreds of elephants during a special event called “The Gathering”. This happens during the dry season, around August, when many elephants head to the park to congregate at the reservoir. You will be able to spot at least a hundred elephants in one glance!

Entrance: $15


Sigiriya Museum

Situated at the same compound of the fortress itself, is a museum which can be accessed using the already purchased entrance ticket. It is recommended that you visit this before the climb so that you are more aware of its history and are able to appreciate its beauty much more.


Ancient City of Anuradhapura

Another great idea for a day trip is to visit this city which is one of the most historically significant cities of the country. There are many historical sites and temples to be seen. It would only cost $25 to access all the sites, provided you have your own transport.