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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 7 tips for visiting Sigiriya Rock Fortress- The 8th wonder of the world
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 tips for visiting Sigiriya Rock Fortress- The 8th wonder of the world

Sigiriya Rock is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it can get very crowded. Here are tips to ensure you get the maximum out of your visit.


Time your visit

It is crucial that you time your visit to ensure you avoid the crowded queues and the hot sun that is bound to leave you sweltering in the heat. Sigiriya is situated in Matale district towards the central province. By road, it is about a 4-hour drive away from Colombo, the main city of Sri Lanka. The best time to visit the rock would be early morning to ensure you get a head start. Therefore, to arrive on time you'll have to either leave Colombo in wee hours of dawn or go the previous night. However, there is one more exciting, less time-consuming option- hailing an air taxi in Sri Lanka! Not only will you spend much less time travelling, but you will also be treated to the beautiful eagle-eye view of the Sigiriya citadel and the luscious greenery that spreads below. This is a view that is certainly breath-taking and unique. If this is something you want to experience, check out Cinnamon Air, a trusted local air taxi service.


The entrance fee

The entrance fee for tourists is about 4500 LKR which is equivalent to US$30. Though it may seem as slightly over-priced, consider it as nothing compared to your airfare to Sri Lanka. Not only that, it's just a little more to pay for an experience that you will remember forever and that is far more than a mere price tag.


Use a guidebook

There are guides available at the site. However, you are better off with a guidebook as you have the freedom to take your own time to appreciate the art, read on it and fully soak up the experience at your own pace. There are many recommended guidebooks that you can purchase locally or online.


Do not rush

Of course, the main goal is to climb the rock and reach the peak, however, do not let this rush you and miss the many tiny details along the way. Most of the time, tourists rush up and stall while going down. Therefore, doing the opposite will save you from being stalled amidst others. Pay attention to the walls where many frescoes, that were painted during the reign of King Kashyapa in 477 CE still remain well preserved. The 140 metres of the graffiti wall is filled with about 500 frescoes and beautiful ladies that represent the Sri Lankan culture and tradition. If you are an art enthusiast, you will be able to appreciate the paintings much better as they possess a unique style of application and brush strokes.
There is also a mirror wall, which is, in fact, a rock, that is so well polished, that it reflects! The wall at present, however, is covered with verses that date back to as early as the 8th century.


Respect the rules

It doesn't apply to just Sigiriya, but to be a responsible and considerate tourist, always respect the rules of the country or site you visit. In Sigiriya, photography isn't allowed past a certain point to ensure the paintings are conserved. Failing to heed would result in your camera being confiscated. If you are unsure of the rules, always ask a guard.


Spend some time in the gardens

The fortress is enveloped by an extensive network of gardens, ponds, canals and water fountains. There is also a museum on-site, for which access is granted using the same entrance ticket. It is said that the fortress itself and the gardens are designed in such a unique way that it exceeds the technological advancement of that era. Therefore, it is mimicked as an engineering marvel up to date. Knowing these little facts only helps you better understand and appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Visit the Pidurangala Rock

While visiting the Sigiriya fortress gives you an insight of what's within the citadel, unfortunately, the actual view of the rock itself is hard. But if you must, climb the Pidurangala rock situated only a couple of kilometres away from the rock and faces the fortress. The climb is fairly an easy one, with the last bits being a little tough but not impossible. Once you reach the top, you are rewarded with an unhindered view of the majestic fortress standing proud amidst the greenery around. It truly is a picture worth to be on a postcard. The best time to climb the rock would just before sunrise when the mists aren't fogging the view.

  • 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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