One of the best viewpoints in Sri Lanka! Pidurangala Mountain or simply the Pidurangala Rock is a massive rock formation with a stunning hiking trail that shall reward you with fantastic views from the top of the mountain over the Sri Lankan countrysides replenished with thick vegetation. The beauty of the Pidurangala rock is multiplied with the existence of Sigiriya rock in the close vicinity. Certainly, this rock formation suspended in the air shall give you some unforgettable experience of reigning over the topography. Your Sigiriya tour itinerary gets consummate with the inclusion of this mountain.
Pidurangala Mountain is a 200 meters tall rocky hill with a free-standing rock on the top. The vertical ascension at the top and that slanted ledge on the summit with a 360-degree view of surroundings add charm to the elegance of the rock. In addition to its hiking and views, there is yet another must-visit attraction in here, a sacred Buddhist temple at the base, Pidurangala Viharaya. The Pidurangala rock was an important site for the Buddhist faith in the past. The hill is furnished with caves and little cells in many places, which were supposedly used by them.
The Pidurangala Complex at the base has different rooms inside but some of them are not accessible to visitors. The temple has a giant Buddha statue in a reclining position that reaches 12.5 meters in height. Hopefully you would mind the religious codes in here by not wearing shoes and not exposing your legs and shoulders. Plus the vegetation present up the trial is home to enjoyable wildlife as well - birds, colored lizard, and snakes.
Pidurangala Rock translates to "offered pile of Gold" and it was first occupied by Buddhists who worshipped there. Its history is believed to date as old as the first century, during the reign of King Kasyapa. When King Kasyapa built the Sigiriya rock fortress, he had to dispose of the Buddhist monks residing there. King Kashyapa was feeling to here in order to escape retaliation from his half brother for killing his father, King Dhatusena. He took the initiative to relocate them to Pidurangala. Subsequentially, he put up a small monastery there for them and later expanded the complex under his patronage. The temple was intended for the meditation purpose for the monks.
Pidurangala Vihara or Pidurangala Rock is situated in Pidurangala village of Matale District, Sri Lanka. It is located a few kilometers north of the historical fort Sigiriya. The rock is just a short tuk-tuk ride away from the village of Pidurangala. Or it shall require a brisk walk of approximately three Kilometers. Coming from Dambulla on A6 highway, it is 12 Kilometers away and you need to take the B162 route. Heading from Habrana, take the B294 route from the A11 highway.
Climbing up this hill shall be typical adventurous hiking. The hiking trail shall seem a bit difficult but that only adds to your thrilling moments. But we suggest the aged, children and people with knee pain and phobia for heights not try this ascending. There two parts to go up the Pidurangala Rock. The first is quite straight forward with a proper staircase up until the Buddha statue at the cave. The second part, which starts after the Buddha statue, is more tricky with unclear paths. You might have to maneuver between rocks to reach the summit. But the sideways are filled with trees giving you shades. Since there are some misleading paths, you need to consider not going alone.
Plus, take extreme care to exclude the tiniest chance of happening any chances of falling off the boulders. The last portion of the ascension is dangerously steep that you need to use you both hands and feet like an animal. The top of the rock makes your effort all the worthwhile with the stunning 360-degree panoramic view across the valleys and canyons. The best suggestion for your itinerary is that go for Pidurangala first at sunrise then Sigirya. Don't wear flip flops since it can be slippery when sweaty. It shall take you nearly 30 minutes to get atop.
The best time for hiking Pidurangala Rock is before the sunrise or the sunset. Both are stunning vibes up there. Since only the top view matters and the sideways are coolingly shaded, taking your trip any time of the day is appreciated. But most travelers have both Pidurangala and Sigiriya on one single itinerary. So the best way to approach your day is to start from Pidurangala. Since you have much more to see at Sigiriya. Wasting time away right in the beginning is not recommended. Plus the hiking trial of Pidurangala can be dark and harder on your climbing down in the evening. You might need a torch.