The UNESCO World site of Sigiriya (Lion Rock) in Sri Lanka has quite the view and is justifiably one of the most visited sites in Sri Lanka but there’s a view to rival this just across the road from here and I’d like to show you why!
First things first though, after that hike up and back down Sigirya, all we could collectively think about was getting a drink… and finding a cool spot to cool down.
In retrospect, I don’t think the climb is that hard (its not as scary now as it was just before I did it) but the heat, without a doubt, definitely adds to that challenge!
Refreshments sorted, in the form of the sugariest drinks on offer with absolutely #noregratz, we set about the important task of hunting for souvenirs but, seeing as we were after wood work, our Evaneos Travel guide told us to skip most of the vendors at the base of the mountain and took us directly to the carpenter’s workshop where the wood work is made.
Apparently, you need to pay attention to the kind of wood you get here (this was the first time I heard about this before we were in Cancun where the same message was re-inforced).
The souvenirs are all fine but certain wood types don’t do well in cold weather and start to crack very quickly. It’s not a quality things – its just a ’nature’ thing (it’s also a price thing as the wood that doesn’t fare well in colder countries is a lot cheaper).
This being said – I found out a bit too late about this and had bought a mask from the base of the mountain, turns out, our host was very right as I jumped out of bed startled by a loud bang coming from the living room where the mask had come apart and crashed onto the floor.
Thankfully though, I got a couple more masks at the carpenters and almost like they were trying to prove their point, those masks were still right up on the wall, almost looking down in disdain at my cheaper mask. Gotta say — thanks Evaneos… Seriously, little gems of knowledge like this (which spread much further than just souvenir choices) are some of the reasons I am so glad we booked with them rather than do it all ourselves (that and the fact that we would have been charged soooo much more money at attractions if we didn’t have our Evaneos guide with us).
Souvenirs done with, we headed off to a site that is very rarely visited by tourists here. The phrase ‘going off the beaten track’ couldn’t have been more apt here. That place is called Pidurangala Rock.
While Sigiriya was packed with tourist like all, all heaving and ho-ing their way to the top, panting in the heat and looking as sweaty (as we all were),over at Pidurangala, there was no one else in sight when we arrived.
Even on the climb up, we bumped into just a handful of tourists (one of whom told us to look our for a snake in a pond near the top).
The top of Pidurangala is lower than Sigiriya but the climb is harder as the path isn’t quite as clear our as Sigiriya.
Don’t get me wrong – you won’t get lost on the path here but there are bits here where you do have to scale some boulders to get to the view-point.
Oh and make no mistake about it, you will be equally as sweaty by the time you scale this mountain!
What makes this view even more special is being able to see the beauty that is Sigiriya as part of this dramatic vista!
When you get back down, you’ll find you have a welcome party waiting for you!
*Word of caution though – rabies is very real in Sri Lanka so playing with the local dogs is not advised.