Hike to Pidurangala rock to view the sunset
While the massive ancient rock of Sigiriya is steeped in history and is the main draw for tourists to the area of Dambulla, hiking to Pidurangala Rock to view the plains at sunset is a magical experience with a much more natural feel. The place was first used as a Buddhist monastery worshipped by King Kasyapa with many temples dating back to the third century BC, and now it offers a great adventure for all travelers. Located adjacent to Sigiriya Rock with the nearly same height, Pidurangala affords the best views of not only the valleys but also the famous historic fortress. The hike may take around 30 minutes to an hour to complete, with a well maintained up path and some parts of large rocks and boulders. At the beginning of the trail, you will find a white Buddhist temple, Pidurangala Sigiri Rajamaha Viharaya, where you must cover your shoulders, knees and remove your shoes. This is strictly enforced so you might want to prepare in advance. On the way, you will reach the Pidurangala Cave Temple, the remains of the ancient monastery with a quite well-preserved reclining Buddha statue laying inside. At the top of the rock, you can walk around and enjoy the rural Sri Lankan countryside as well as the inspiring Sigiriya Rock.