In June I visited the birth place of my father, Sri Lanka. We did a whole tour around the island and couldn't skip Sigiriya. I am taking you on my adventure climbing the Rock in this article.
What to expect in this article:
Basic information about Sigiriya Rock
Sigiriya, often referred to as the “Lion Rock,” is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Sri Lanka. It is a massive rock fortress rising nearly 200 meters above the surrounding landscape. It is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous landmarks, because of its architecture and history.
Originally it was built in the 5th century as a monastery, but it later became a royal palace and citadel. The rock is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
On top of the rock, you will have breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The rock is famous for its massive lion’s paws, which once marked the entrance to the palace.
So how difficult is it to climb the Sigiriya Rock?
The difficulty of climbing Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka can vary depending on an individual’s fitness level and personal experience with hiking or trekking.
The hike involves ascending steep staircases (if you are afraid of heights it can be challenging!) and sometimes uneven terrain, and it can be physically demanding.
However, it’s mostly manageable for most visitors.
The key is to take your time, stay hydrated, don’t carry large bags, and wear appropriate footwear.
The reward for your efforts is the stunning panoramic view from the top, along with the chance to explore the historical and artistic wonders of Sigiriya.
My parents didn’t dare to climb, because of their age and health.
Overall, while it requires some physical effort, it’s a climb that many find both enjoyable and achievable.
Afterward, we drank a lot of Coca-Cola and had a big meal. I would suggest you to do the same 😉
Some of my tips to climb Sigiriya Rock
- Go as early (or late) as you can! We were in Sri Lanka in June and went up around 8 a.m. But if you can go earlier, please go!
It was really hot on top of the rock, and there was no shade. Maybe in other months, it will be cooler and more bearable.
Also, buying a ticket takes time & walking towards the rock as well.
- Make sure to have dollars with you, as the currency keeps fluctuating. They do accept American dollars in many places. A ticket right now (June 2023) is around 30 dollars. The price has gone up since the economic crisis in 2022.
- You can climb Sigiriya Rock, but you can also climb Pidungarala Rock. This one is a little less famous, but much cheaper – 3 dollars only. I have heard the climb is a bit harder. The view from there is nice, as you can also see Sigiriya Rock.
But… because of the history of Sigirya and its remains, we choose this one, this time. Next time I would definitely want to climb Pidungaral Rock, for its view of Sigiriya Rock. That must be gorgeous!
- It takes around an hour to climb up (if you walk slowly).
The achitecture of Sigiriya Rock
Do you see the picture below? Those are some of the stairs. It is also believed that the rock used to look like the picture, but nature created the way it is right now
The original entrance had the form of a large lion, with its front paws, head, and shoulders. That is also why it is called ‘Lion Rock’.
The Cobra Hood Cave: This is a smaller entrance, often referred to as the Cobra Hood Cave, due to its shape. It’s located higher up the rock face and is accessible via a steep climb.
Do you know that there is a special part of the Rock where you can find the art of the ‘Sigiriya Damsels.” These paintings provide a glimpse into the artistic sophistication of the 5th-century Sri Lankan civilization. It is a series of ancient paintings and renowned for their remarkable beauty and artistry.
Where to stay in Sigiriya?
If you want to have nice accommodation, I can really recommend The Otunna Guest House.
I am honest when I say this was one of my favorite stays in Sri Lanka. It has a beautiful garden and is only located 1.2 miles from Sigiriya Rock.
The owners, including Dinesh, are hospitable and friendly and the food is delicious (passionfruit juice!).
Dinesh helped us out quite some times and I loved to chat with him, about the situation of elephants in Sri Lanka, for example. It has more than 200 reviews on Booking.com and the average grade is 9.5, that says something!
Are you going to climb the Sigiriya Rock? I would love to hear more about your experiences and adventures. So make sure to message on my social media.
*Some of the links in the article are affiliate links, so I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
Website and socials: