Sigiriya Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by JubileeB
  • Sitting on the Granite Throne as an Ancient King..
    Sitting on the Granite Throne as an...
    by vladimir_klp
  • Sigiriya - is it a Garden of Eden?
    Sigiriya - is it a Garden of Eden?
    by vladimir_klp

Sigiriya Highlights

  • Pro
    stevezero profile photo

    stevezero says…

     Great history and views 

  • Con
    mightywease profile photo

    mightywease says…

     A long. long climb! 

  • In a nutshell
    mightywease profile photo

    mightywease says…

     Give your legs some exercise and get climbing! 

Sigiriya Things to Do

  • Exploring Sigiriya Lion's Rock.

    Sigiriya - what is it? A 'Garden of Eden' or The Fountains of Paradise? Thoughts and Impressions of My Visit. I want to outline my impressions, based on facts and observations – including observations of some things that are unexplained in terms of what we are familiar with in the 21st Century. As these are simply my impressions, I would...

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  • Sigiriya viewpoint.

    Outside the site there is a viewpoint in which we can enjoy a magnificent view of the city and stone. A good place to imagine the magnificence of the complex.

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  • The Royal Compound.

    And finally on top after an arduous climb, the royal compound, the ruins of the palace with all it´s rooms and halls, it´s terraces and gardens, an awesome place. The place offers a spectacular panorama of the surrounding valley.

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  • The Lion Claws main gate.

    After the corridor is located a terrace with the impressive main entrance, an old construction built in the form of a lion (only the Claws remain) . This is a good place to take a break and enjoy the magnificent views before continuing the climb.

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  • The Mirror Wall.

    This corridor running through the rock, was built of a material that reflects the figures of people who passes through it, so it is known as the mirror wall. They say it was crafted from so that the king could see the reflection of the girls walking. At the end of the corridor there´s a great viewpoint.

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  • The Maidens Chamber.

    After climbing a little, there´s a spiral staircase to the fabulous cave of the Maidens, beautiful frescoes of thousands of years old. It is said that the entire wall was filled with these paintings. Some of them are in perfect condition.

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  • Water Gardens.

    Located in the central section of the fortress, after passing the western gate there are several deep pools wich were connected to the moat, these were the water gardens built symmetrically with fountains, pools, ponds and gateways.

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  • Cobra Hood Cave.

    Named because of it´s shape, this cave used to had frescoes and it´s believed that Buddhist monks used this cave as eraly as the 3rd century Bc.

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  • Boulders Garden. Audience Hall.

    The Royal Audience Hall was located atop this large boulder split in half, this carved stone served as the throne for the King Kasyapa.

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  • Boulders Garden.

    After the Water Gardens south of the entrance, is located the Boulders Garden. This second garden contains several large boulders linked with pathways, and are asymmetrical, as they were built around the existing rock formation, it´s salid that each boulder had a pavillion on the top. The main staircase pass through two big boulders, just before...

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  • Boulders Garden. Granite throne.

    Also in the Boulders Garden area, next to where the Audience Hall was located, there is a big five metre long granite throne, carved from the bouder itself. It was used as a resting place for the king during audiences.

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  • Sigiriya Moat.

    The site is considered one of the most developed urban planning sites of the first millenium, with complicated designs of symmetry and asymmetry. It has five gates (with the western gate reserved for the royals). All the complex is surrounded by a huge moat built for it´s protection.

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  • The summit

    The rock summit covers 1.6 hectares. Where once stood Kassapa's palace, only the foundations remain today. There is a 27m by 21m pond here which was probably used for water storage.The palace would have occupied the summits highest point, the lower areas would have been the living quarters of the servants and soldiers. At the lowest end of the...

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  • Audience Hall Rock

    This is the fallen half of a split boulder. The pillars & roof which would have stood on it are long gone. The polished stone floor remains along with a five metre carved throne. This is where legends say that Kassapa sometimes held court.

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  • Cobra Hood Cave

    The cave gets its name from the boulder above it that resembles a fully opened cobra's hood. The cave was used by Buddhist monks as early as the 3rd century BC. Paintings in the cave though date back to the reign of Kassapa.

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Sigiriya Hotels

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Sigiriya Restaurants

  • Great Sri Lankan Curries

    This establishment is a small guest house and restaurant. The restaurant is quite good if you go for the local Sri Lankan curry and rice set. We got two plates of rice, various bowls of veggies and curry. I loved the beet curry.

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  • beautiful food

    The food at the restaurant of the Sigiriya Village Hotel is very beautiful... it's actually more than beautiful, it's spectacular. It's a buffet, of course, but the chefs have taken their time in carving and decorating some pumkins and squashes. Very eye (and photo) catching. Despite its beauty the food looked like all the other buffets that we...

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  • Sigiriya Hotels

    5 Hotels in Sigiriya

    755 Reviews and Opinions

Sigiriya Transportation

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    Our Driver, at Dambulla

    by freya_heaven Written Apr 13, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We hired a car & driver for a few days, who sorted out all our accommodation & entrances. We gave a list of the places we wanted to visit. He wittled that list down to a realistic size & off we went.

    I would definately recommend doing this rather than hiring a car. the driving is crazy here.

    The main Columbo to Galle road was built to be a normal 2 way road. It is not unusual to see at least 4 lanes of traffic on it!.

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Sigiriya Local Customs

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    iron steps towards the summit

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 17, 2004

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    If you want to reach the top of Sigiriya rock you'll have to cover soem ground - or better some steps. About 1200 of them, to be precise - some cut in limestone, others built in iron. Some advice, then: bring plenty of water (trust me, you'll be sweating a lot) and try to climb it early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it's not so hot, anymore. Use sun screen, too... and wear a hat. If you think you won't make it, don't despair.. it's full of people willing to give you a hand, or drag you up to the summit - as long as you're willing to pay.

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Sigiriya Warnings and Dangers

  • Hornets and Kids :))

    Climbing the Sigirya Rock was not an easy task as it initially apeared to my punny interlect. The steep rocky steps proved that I needed to work out more often as I gathered all my streangth climbing the steep stairs.A Word of Caution: There are Hornets at the half way point and should not be disturbed. If you find yourself amongst the crowd of...

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  • "Helpers"

    Beware of guys "helping" you up the steps - whether you want them to or not. I was with a Kuoni guide in a group of 7 and, being fairly fit anyway, was able to shake my "helper" off most of the time but he was doggedly persistent, trailed me the whole time repeating the information given by our guide and then blatantly asked me for money! My friend...

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  • watch out for hornets

    When you are walking up Lion Rock, you will pass through some large rock structures. In some areas, you will see signs warning of hornets. It's important to be quiet while passing by or under these structures. You can see the hornet nests. They don't seem to come near the path, so it's something you don't have to worry too much about. Just be...

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Sigiriya Tourist Traps

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    the ayurvedic garden of the massage centre

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 17, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Sigiriya Hotel is noted for its ayurvedic massages. There's even a resident ayurvedic phisician there who will ask you lots of questions before deciding what treatment and massage to give you. The point is that it's really all a joke, as both my husband and i were given the same treatment by some really useless masseur and masseuse. As for the herbal bath... where were the herbs?

    Fun Alternatives: Save your ayuervedic money for some better places... the ayurvedic centre at the sudu araliya hotel in polonnaruwa, for example... or even better, the ayiurvedic clinic near the hotel suisse in kandy. They are two addresses where your money will be well-spent

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Sigiriya What to Pack

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    Warsps Nests

    by shawnbrito Updated Mar 10, 2009

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    Luggage and bags: If your heading to the Sigiriya Rock, I suggest you keep your backpack at the hotel as the climb is steep taking about 2 hours. A large water bottle, sun cream and a sandwitch would be ideal :)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Wear light colored clothing. Temperatures can reach 35'c on the Rock during mid day..
    Good Ruber shoes/boots, and sports pants should be ok.. The rock surface is lined with stairs making it easier to climb, however be prepared to climb for 2hours.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There's aren't any Toilets up there.. So make sure you do everything down at the hotel. Bring a few plasters just incase you scrape yourself against the rocks. During certain times of the year, warsps gather in numbers! Therefore BE QUIET!

    Photo Equipment: Camera+wide angle lens,
    A very light tripod if you plan on taking HDRs (Remember! you have to haul it all the way up there)

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: None!

    Miscellaneous: When heading up the rock, put some distance between other travellers (especially young enthusiastic kids)... Warsps are attracted to noise!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • National/State Park

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Sigiriya Favorites

  • Cimbing the rock

    The climb up the rock can be quite exhausting. It's best to do it early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat. Bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen & a hat to protect you from the sun. The climb to the top involves climbing a large number of steps. These range from wide stone steps to steep metal steps, these are fixed to the side of the...

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  • Cultural Triangle Ticket

    Sigiriya is included in the Cultural triangle Ticket which is a good value to get rather than paying each site separately.This cost around 40$ (!!) and covers six sights (Anuradhapura, Sigirirya, Polonnaruwa, Nalanda, Medirigiriya, Ritigala BUT NOT Dambulla caves and certainly NOT the temple of the tooth in Kandy. The ticket is valid for 14 days...

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  • the lion mountain

    Sigiriya is the Lion Moutain: it's a 200 metre high rock which once hosted a city and a royal palace. The mind behind all this was King Kashyapa who, in the 5th century, decided to create this 'Palace in the Sky'. The palace, of course, would have been on top of this rock. Not the remains of the palace, nor the breathtaking way up on the rock's...

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Explore Deeper into Sigiriya
Water Gardens
Things to Do
Elephant ride through the lake by Lion Rock
Things to Do
Sigiriya (Lions Rock)
Things to Do
Hornets!
Things to Do
The Summit of Rock Fortess
Things to Do
Mirror Wall with Graffiti
Things to Do
Frescoes – The Sigiriya Damsel
Things to Do
Sigiriya Rock Fortress - 'World Heritage Site'
Things to Do
Sigiriya frescoes and Mirror Wall
Things to Do
Sigiriya Gardens
Things to Do
Lions Rock Summit
Things to Do
Rock Cut Steps
Things to Do
The Lions Claw
Things to Do
The Cobra Head
Things to Do
Sigiriya Frescoe - Maiden Holding Flower Tray
Things to Do
Sigiriya Frescoe - Maidens in the Clouds
Things to Do
Sigiriya Frescoe
Things to Do
Lion Rock - The Mirror Wall
Things to Do
Watch out for monkeys
Warnings and Dangers
At the top of Lion Rock
Things to Do
Lion's Paws
Things to Do
Climb Lion Rock
Things to Do
Cave murals
Things to Do
Water gardens
Things to Do
the damsels' frescoes
Things to Do
the lion staircase
Things to Do
Kat Bitha - The Mirror Wall
Things to Do
the palace garden
Things to Do
the boulder garden
Things to Do
the water garden
Things to Do
hornet attacks...
Warnings and Dangers
Frescoes
Things to Do
I Helped You?
Warnings and Dangers
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Things to Do
Water Garden
Things to Do
Boulder Garden
Things to Do
Sigiriya Frescoes
Things to Do
Lion's Mouth
Things to Do
Falling Rock
Warnings and Dangers
Sigiriya Views
Things to Do
Map of Sigiriya

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