So you are planning your Sri Lanka holiday package and wondering what sites are worth a visit. You can never say you experienced a killer Sri Lanka tour package if you didn’t visit this one place. I’m going to unravel all the important titbits so that you, my friend, will know everything you need before visiting this world-famous historical city in Sri Lanka: Sigiriya.
You will know why you MUST include Sigiriya in your Sri Lanka Holiday Package, its history in brief, how to get there, and the best things to do in Sigiriya while on a Sri Lanka tour- all in one quick read.
The dramatic history of Sigiriya
About 2500 years ago, when Sri Lanka was a land of Kings, two royal brothers fought for the throne. Prince Kasyapa illegally took the throne from his half-brother Prince Moggallana, who was the rightful heir to the throne.
As Prince Moggallana fled to India, King Kasyapa moved the then capital city Anuradhapura to Sigiriya. To keep safe from an invasion from Prince Moggallana, King Kasyapa built a fortress in Sigiriya on a humungous rock that used to be a monastery for monks.
Later, Prince Moggallana defeated King Kasyapa in war and made Anuradhapura the capital city again. The royal palace in Sigiriya became a Buddhist monastery again but later was abandoned. Decades later, the Sigiriya rock fortress became a known secret among Sri Lankans until Europeans discovered it in 1831.
Why Sigiriya rock fortress should be in your Sri Lanka tour package
It proudly rests in the middle of the Central forest of Sri Lanka. What was once a powerful fortress in Sri Lanka, today is a UNESCO world heritage worthy of your Sri Lanka holiday packages. Did you know that it is literally a shame for a local to say they have never visited this aesthetic historical site?
Sigiriya (Sinhagiri) which is translated as ‘lion’s paw’ has the carving of a rock in the shape of a lion’s paw as its entrance in its mid-terrace which includes the famous mirror wall and the frescoes of the King’s damsels. Its upper terrace is where you would discover the upper palace.
You are extremely lucky if you include this site in your Sri Lanka Holiday Package. Why? Ever seen a 5th-century pleasure garden with water-retaining structures that still work? Exactly. It’s the sophisticated first-millennium technology for me! You will also have a romantic walk along through the many royal gardens in Sigiriya.
How to get to Sigiriya
Colombo to Sigiriya
The ancient city of Sigiriya is located near Dambulla town in the Central province of Sri Lanka. The distance from Colombo to Sigiriya is 150km. I guarantee that your Sri Lanka holiday package will be exceptional if you go on a train ride to Sigiriya passing picturesque views. – Oooo that insta-worthy photo you’d take!
Dambulla to Sigiriya
You might also be in an awesome Sri Lanka holiday tour package traveling from Dambulla to Sigiriya. For you, it will only be around 17km to reach Sigiriya. You guessed it right; there is a scenic route to arrive Sigiriya from Dambulla too.
Pass golden paddy fields, the breezy village, and even stop by at a local kiosk to have an evening cup of tea. This option will be quite expensive for your Sri Lanka holiday package if you are traveling alone. With a local travel agency, this route is a free add-on.
To reach the Sigiriya rock fortress, you will climb about 1200 steps starting from the base: the lion’s paw. This is where you will thank yourself for following your heart and adding this historical site to your Sri Lanka holiday package. Along the way to the top, you will encounter the ancient royal gardens and pools to stop by and admire.
Once you get to the top of the Sigiriya rock fortress, you will be rewarded with a mind-blowing view of the emerald greenery and a 360-degree view of the entire royal terrace around you! It’s unbelievable how ancient architecture and technology were so sophisticated!
From your Sri Lanka holiday package, you might get to see the breathtaking view of the Sigiriya ruins and the surrounding from Sigiriya, and what’s similarly awesome? Sightseeing Sigiriya from an incredible viewpoint!
An extra flavor for your Sri Lanka holiday package is a hike to the Pidurangala rock. This is possible if you allow your Sri Lanka Tour Package to be open for another exciting hike!
As your Sri Lanka holiday package unravels you to this amazing hike, you will sightsee its own cave complex. Be sure to climb in the sunrise or the sunset because the views are too unearthly to miss!
For those who are on a tight budget, adding a hike at Pidurangala rock for your Sri Lanka tour package would give similar awe-striking views of the forest as one who would experience at the top of Sigiriya.
Sigiriya archeological museum
There’s so much more than what meets the eye in the ancient ruins of the Sigiriya rock fortress. If you are visiting Sigiriya, you must include the Sigiriya museum in your Sri Lanka holiday package. Enter into the world of Sri Lanka’s archeological treasures. Jewels, sculptures, ancient art, photographs, tools used by ancestors, and even skeletons found from excavations are preserved for you to explore!
Visiting Sigiriya itself would take about two days from your Sri Lanka holiday package and I tell you; follow your heart.
If you ever visit Sri Lanka, you should know that to discover the whole of this enchanting pearl of an island, you need the perfect Sri Lanka itinerary of at least 8 days.
You still can experience an amazing vacation from a Sri Lanka Holiday Package of less than a week. But I’m talking to the daring adventurers, nature lovers, soul searchers, and all the travelholics who have the habit of exploring with a passion! While you are on the hunt for picturesque views and the rustic ancient ambiance from your Sri Lanka holiday package, don’t miss Sigiriya!