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Climb Sigiriya Lion Rockin Dambulla, Sri Lanka

#1of 1 things to doin Dambulla

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Sigiriya rock used to be a king's residence in V century. Ruins of the palace and painted frescoes still reminds of exuberant royal past.
How to climb Sigiriya Lion Rock in Dambulla
Sigiriya rock is called 8 Wonder of the World, so the entry ticket price is appropriate ($30 for foreigners).

Since ancient Ceylon the Buddhist temple has been standing at the top of Sigiriya rock. After winning power in V century, King Kasyapa thought the sacred rock was the best place for his rule - Sygiriya was enforced with fortress and the king's residence was built with terraces, fountains and picture gallery.

In 1907 British explorer John Steel visited Lion Rock (English for Sigiriya rock) and told everybody about huge picture gallery on the rock - 140-meter marble hall with numbers of frescoes decorated with concubines images.

Dambulla, On Sigiriya Rock, only 18 painted frescoes have been preserved, Dambulla
Photo: Dambulla, On Sigiriya Rock, only 18 painted frescoes have been preserved, © addicted2travel

When King Kasyapa passed away they build Buddhist temple on Sigiriya, exuberant decorations were replaced with monkish simplicity. Now only Lion gates remind of king's ambitions.

How to do?

1. Distance from Dambulla to Sigiriya is 20 kilometers, you can take a bus or tuk tuk. Buy a ticket at the ticket desk.

Dambulla, A lion platform at the entrance to Sigiriya, Dambulla
Photo: Dambulla, A lion platform at the entrance to Sigiriya, © Richie Rocket

2. 1200-step metal ladder leads to the top of the rock, it'll take you 40-60 minutes if you come up slowly. On the lower terraced park, next to the stone arch, get breath and look around.

Dambulla, The climb after the Rock Gate becomes harder, Dambulla
Photo: Dambulla, The climb after the Rock Gate becomes harder, © NH53 | Flickr

Come up to the mirror gallery here you'll see frescoes decorated with concubines images.

Where to do?

#1Sigiriya Lion Rock in DambullaSigiriya Lion Rock

Former fortress of the 5th century with a Buddhist temple at the top. It is called the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Location: Sigiriya town
Open hours: 8 am - 5:30 pm

When to do?

Daily from 7.00 till 17.30. Take the adventure early in the morning to avoid heat.

How much?

Sigiriya climbing ticket costs 3900 rupees; it includes fortress ruin and archaeological museum visit.

Tips and hints

If it is possible go up to the rock light-handed, cause climbing is pretty exhausting thing. Take sunscreen, a bucket hat and water (you won't be able to buy some on Sigiriya territory).

Reviews

Guest15 September 2019
Photo credit © Nicolas Mirguet