When it comes to exploring the beauty of Sri Lanka, the Pidurangala Rock is an absolute must-visit destination. Located just a short distance from the famous Sigiriya Rock, Pidurangala offers a unique blend of history, natural wonder, and spirituality. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive journey through Pidurangala, from its historical significance to the breathtaking views from the top.
History Of Pidurangala Rock
Pidurangala has a history that stretches back thousands of years. The history here goes back even further than Sigiriya and It has functioned as an ancient Buddhist center since the second and first centuries. It is said that King Kasyapa, who ruled with Sigiriya as his administrative center between 477 – 495 AD, built a large monastery and a Buddhist education center here and offered them to Arhat monks.
Considering the way this place got its name, it is said that this place got the name “Pidu Ran Gala”( Pidu means offering and ran means gold and gala means rock in Sinhala ) because the Moggallana king has offered gold for the development of this temple before going to war with King Kashyapa.
Pidurangala and Sigiriya Rock share an intertwined history. While Sigiriya was the royal palace of King Kasyapa, Pidurangala was likely used for meditation and religious activities. These two landmarks complement each other beautifully.
Why Choose Pidurangala Over Sigiriya?
Sigiriya Rock may be the more renowned of the two, but Pidurangala has its distinct charm. It offers a quieter, less crowded experience while providing stunning views of Sigiriya Rock, especially during sunrise and sunset.
Things To Do In Pidurangala
The Hike: An Adventure Awaits
Now, let’s talk about the heart-pounding adventure that awaits you when you decide to hike Pidurangala Rock. The hike to Pidurangala is moderately challenging. It involves a steep climb, uneven terrain, and some narrow pathways. While it may not be suitable for everyone, those who embark on this journey are rewarded with an experience like no other.
Sunrise Hike: A Surreal Experience
One of the best ways to conquer Pidurangala is by embarking on a sunrise hike. Imagine witnessing the first rays of the sun illuminating the landscape, creating a breathtaking canvas of colors. It’s a surreal experience that you’ll cherish forever.
Sunset Hike: Nature’s Canvas
If early mornings aren’t your cup of tea, consider a sunset hike. As the sun bids adieu to the day, Pidurangala transforms into a captivating scene. The warm hues of the setting sun paint a picture that’s both mesmerizing and serene.
While climbing the Rock, you can enter the Buddha chamber of the Temple and explore while passing through the main Temple. Although it is not a problem for you to wear comfortable clothing for mountain climbing, you should cover your hands and feet while visiting the Pidurangala temple grounds.
You can also see an ancient stone inscription, a water pond, and a reclining Buddha statue during the journey. After reaching the top, you can see a 360-degree view, of Sigiriya Rock and several lakes. Also, a beautiful view of the Buddha statues and the hotels around Sigiriya can be seen from here.
At the summit of Pidurangala Rock, your senses will be overwhelmed by the stunning vistas that surround you.
Reaching the summit of Pidurangala is an exhilarating experience. The panoramic views of the surrounding landscape are nothing short of spectacular. You can see miles of lush greenery, and forests, and even catch a glimpse of Sigiriya Rock in the distance.
Sigiriya from Above
Perhaps the most remarkable sight is Sigiriya Rock itself, seen from a vantage point few have experienced. You’ll marvel at the ingenuity of ancient engineers and the sheer audacity of King Kasyapa’s vision.
Suggested Read: Things To Do In Sigiriya
Practical Tips for Your Visit
Before you embark on your journey to Pidurangala, here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Difficulty Level and Duration
The hike up Pidurangala is moderately challenging. It takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to reach the summit. The reward for your efforts is the breathtaking view that awaits you at the top.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Pidurangala Rock is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to September. During this period, you’ll have a higher chance of clear skies and favorable weather conditions for hiking.
What to Wear and Carry
Wear comfortable and full-covering clothing and sturdy hiking shoes. Don’t forget to bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s crucial to be prepared for the conditions you’ll encounter on the trail.
Respect for the Environment
As a responsible traveler, it’s vital to respect the environment. Stick to designated trails, avoid littering, and refrain from touching or disturbing the wildlife you may encounter such as monkeys.
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While Pidurangala temple is a highlight in itself, there are other attractions in the vicinity worth exploring. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Dambulla Cave Temple, and Minneriya National Park are just a short drive away, making it easy to plan a comprehensive itinerary.
Conclusion: A Journey to Remember
As your adventure at Pidurangala Rock comes to an end, you’ll carry with you memories of an unforgettable experience. The quietude of the rock, the beauty of the landscape, and the historical resonance of the place will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
- Is Pidurangala a difficult hike?
The hike is moderately challenging, with steep sections and uneven terrain. It’s suitable for those with reasonable fitness levels.
- What is the best time of day to visit Pidurangala?
Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times due to the stunning views. Choose the time that suits your preferences and schedule.
- Can I visit Pidurangala and Sigiriya Rocks on the same day?
While it’s possible to visit both in a day, it can be physically demanding. Consider your fitness level and the time you have available.
- Are there any entrance fees to Pidurangala?
Yes, there is an entrance fee to access Pidurangala. the fee was approximately 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees for foreigners.
- Is it safe to hike Pidurangala Rock?
Safety measures are in place, but it’s essential to exercise caution and follow guidelines. Be mindful of your surroundings, especially on steep sections of the trail, and wear appropriate footwear.