Sri Lanka has a proud history of about 2500 years. Places that reflect the glory of Sri Lanka for thousands of years are scattered all over Sri Lanka. Matale District is a heritage area of some of them. Sigiriya, located on the northern border of the Matale District, is a world-famous tourist destination. Also known as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, it is one of the most visited destinations by foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Pidurangala has been associated with Sigiriya since ancient times. Although it is sometimes obscured by the sheer popularity of Sigiriya, it is by no means second to Sigiriya in terms of historical significance.
View from Sigiriya
The Road to Pidurangala
Pidurangala is located about 180 km from Colombo. On the Inamaluwa-Sigiriya road, after passing the entrance to the Sigiriya rock, you will reach Pidurangala about another mile. It is located approximately 3 km from Inamaluwa Junction. Sigiriya is located at an altitude of 349 meters above sea level, while it is considered to be less than one meter higher. When you climb to the top of Pidurangala you can see the beautiful scenery all around and also the breathtaking view of Sigiriya.
History related to Pidurangala
Pidurangala has a history that goes back thousands of years. Its history goes back even further than Sigiriya and has been active as an ancient Buddhist center since the second and first centuries BC. The book states that King Kasyapa, who ruled Sigiriya as his administrative center between 477 – 495 AD, built a large monastery and a center for Buddhist education here and dedicated it to Arahants.
Things to see in This Rock
In addition to the breathtaking views from the top of Pidurangala, visitors can also find many places of historical and religious value from its base. To the left of the starting point of the Pidurangala ascent is the ruins of a dilapidated stupa called the Kashyapa Stupa. This is considered to be the place where King Kasyapa’s cremation was held after his death. Before long you will find the Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya at the foot of this amazing rock. This is a cave temple and you can see ancient paintings as well as at Sigiriya. The present temple was built about a hundred years ago but it is built on the remains of a centuries old temple.
In addition to the places mentioned above, other historical ruins have been found in the Pidurangala rock and the surrounding area. Among these are ancient dagobas, a Bodhi tree, the ruins of monasteries, and the ruins of an ancient wall.
Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya
After worshiping it, you can start climbing the rock. This climb is a bit more difficult than Sigiriya. This usually takes about an hour to climb, so it is best to plan a trip to avoid the midday hours with intense sunshine. The first part of the journey is built of stone steps and handrails and the last part is a fairly steep one with a slight awkward climb. Another ancient cave temple of historical value is found along the way, but today only a few ruins remain. There is a 12.5 meter long Selmuwa reclining Buddha statue here and some of its dilapidated areas have been restored in recent times. The skull was destroyed about 50 years ago by treasure hunters, and it has been restored to its original state. It is a 5-10 minute drive from this historic cave temple to the top.
The sleeping statue
Once you reach the top of the rock you start to see a breathtaking view all around. Especially from here, Sigiriya looks very beautiful. At the highest point here are the ruins of an ancient dagoba. It is said that Pidurangala was worshiped from the palace of King Kasyapa during the reign of King Kasyapa.
It is believed that the children in the Sigiriya paintings are said to go to Pidurangala to worship with flowers.
The nature of the top of Pidurangala
Like Sigiriya, Pidurangala is flat at the top and has a few acres of space. However, since this is located at a certain angle, you have to walk carefully. Sigiriya as well as Ritigala can be seen on Pidurangala. If you reach here in the morning or in the evening, you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
Things to Consider While Going to Rock
Pidurangala was not a popular tourist destination until recently, but it has been attracting more and more tourists recently due to its sudden popularity on social media. However, there are a few things to consider when traveling to Pidurangala.
As there are two shrines at the foot of Pidurangala and in the middle of it, its guards are concerned about the dress of the tourists. It is advisable to wear a dress that is longer than the knee and fly there. In addition, you will need to carry a water bottle or a flashlight with you to watch the sunrise or sunset. It is also the duty of the tourists not to harm its environment and its historical value.