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Updated by Caleb Falcon on Jul 16, 2015
Headline for Top Things to Enjoy in Sigiriya - Must-Experience Highlights
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Top Things to Enjoy in Sigiriya - Must-Experience Highlights

As one of the country's cultural hotspots, Sigiriya is home to some of Sri Lanka's most popular attractions. From iconic temples to monolithic fortresses Sigiriya's must enjoy highlights are as follows.


Explore the Illustrious Sigiriya Museum

As the single most reliable authority on the country's most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site, a tour of the Sigiriya Museum is another enjoyable activity visitors can experience on a trip to Sigiriya. Using state-of-the-art audio visual equipment the venue explores the value and beauty of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and its cultural significance over the centuries. Interactive and engaging exhibits litter the galleries of this recently opened museum space which celebrates an ancient architectural and engineering marvel that has truly stood the test of time.


Go on a Wildlife Safari

Visitors exploring Sigiriya also have the good fortune to be within close proximity to not just one but three prominent wildlife reserves in the island. The Kaudulla National Park, the Wasgamuwa National Park and Minneriya National Park are all within easy reach of Sigiriya and visitors can discover the flora and fauna of these verdant nature sanctuaries on wildlife safaris available at the venues.


Visit the Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya

Occupying pride of place close to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress the Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya is another point of interest visitors touring Sigiriya will enjoy discovering. Believed to have been constructed during the same era as the rock fortress the temple was also commissioned to be built by King Kashyapa and houses five exquisite statues of Lord Buddha. Contained within a cave the sculptures are not the only attractions at the Pidurangala monastery which still serves as an active place of worship for Buddhist devotees.


Explore the Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple

Located within an easy distance of the rock fortress, the Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple is another landmark religious and cultural site intrinsically linked with Sri Lanka's Buddhist heritage. Tipped to be the most expansive cave compound in Asia, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a functioning Buddhist temple that is reached via a series of steps. Believed to date back nearly 2,500 years, the Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple is home to a whopping 152 Buddha sculptures as well as over 2100m2 covered in ancient murals depicting scenes from the Jathaka stories. Attributed to King Valagambhahu the massive cave temple is unlike any other religious institution in the country.


Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a must-visit hotspot for all visitors touring its namesake town. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site this famed "palace in the skies" on which British pop icons Duran Duran filmed their "Save a Prayer" music video is also one of the country's most visited cultural highlights. Soaring above the surrounding landscape at an awe-inspiring height of 2,100 feet, the climb up to the summit of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is as intriguing as witnessing the breathtaking sight at its highest point. Built by exiled King Kashyapa during the 5th century A.D, the this cloud piercing palace cum fortress contains a wealth of ancient remnants and relics including exquisite murals, a mirror wall as well as a bathing pond and a stone throne which occupies its summit. It is often regarded among the most rewarding things to do in Sigiriya and visitors can look to find accommodation at nearby properties such as Hotel Sigiriya.