Pidurangala and beyond
Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka is with many delights and much to explore. Sigiriya, the world famous heritage lion’s rock undoubtedly becomes the giant and a must visit in traveler’s list. You must have visited Sigiriya more than once may be! But, have you ever wondered about the massive rock formation few miles away which is called Pidurangala. After hearing the interesting stories woven around this beautiful mountain of Pidurangala, we who are looking for climbing experiences, got the impulse in taking the climb and we knew that it would definitely add some mesmerizing memories to our climbing journal.
A journey with exceptional climbing experience with hidden historic mysteries!
History records that the Pidurangala area has been occupied on and off for over two thousand five hundred years by monks who lived in the caves around the site. It has became a monastery when King Kashyapa requested the resident meditating monks who were at Sigiriya to shift there, having built the temple and donating the rock to the monks. Some of the caves at a higher elevation have been built up with bricks with monks meditating there even now.
The name itself Pidu-Ran-Gala” really means, donated gold rock to Buddhist priests.
Once we drive around 2 km passing the main entrance to Sigiriya rock, we took a well carpeted road which runs to a road through wild and greenery and we stopped near the white temple building and we could see the giant mountain of Pidurangala standing string and steady. In close examination of this temple, we could see objects from various vintages juxtaposed within it reflecting Buddhist, Hindu and even western influences which made me even more excited to see what should be on the top.
Climbing Pidurangal was challenging than it looked like. It was a steep climb but not so difficult as steps were there up to the point where we found a large resting Buddha statue. This statue was at one time the largest brick statue of Buddha in the world over there was a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area.
From that point onward, the path to the top of Pidurangala rock was not clear so we had to search and finally reached a place where we could see the top of the rock.
We could see many abandoned pairs on your way up and understood that wearing sandals is not all advisable at all and wearing good pair of shoes is very important.
After a considerable effort we managed to climb to the top of it.
On top was one of the greatest views we had ever seen and were so impressed about it. The magnificent vista around was so breath taking and cold breezes was so refreshing taking all our tiredness away and filling us with soothing comforts. We spent some time on the top enjoying the sights running for miles, off to the ethereal-looking mountains covered in mist and clouds, to the majestic Sigiriya Rock, plus smaller temples, a large buddha, and the lush greenery. From almost anywhere and any angle Sigiriya looms majestically that we could even see people climbing the stairs to the top of Sigiriya.
The monastery at the base of the mountain has a lot of stray dogs, one of which came with us all the way to the top, and were really cute and I should say that it was not dangerous or threatening and was a friendly climbing partner. After some time we could see the doggy having a nice sound sleep on the flat mountain floor.
It took around 30 minutes for us to reach to the top. Although there is a little bit of scrambling up some rocks towards the top, the incredible view from the top and the climbing experience of a unique style will surely be amazing and worthwhile one.