Sigiriya Village Tour
Wondering about what to do in Sigiriya Sri Lanka? Sigiriya village tour would give you an amazing experience!. After climbing Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya early morning, we planned to experience the Village Tour Sigiriya with my colleagues. From our Hotel where we stayed in Sigiriya to Starting Point, it took approx.:20-30 minutes drive.
When we proceeded to that place, one person detailed our Sigiriya village tour program in nicely & he told that tour will take approximate 02 hours time. It included a bullock cart ride, a catamaran ride, a walk to poor village house through paddy fields, cookery demonstration of Sri Lankan Authentic food and a tuk-tuk ride from village to starting point.
We started our village tour by getting in bullock cart That was our first experience in our life as these days we didn’t have any chance to do bullock cart ride in the commercialized areas. In the past, bullock cart is commonly used as the primary mode of transport in rural Sri Lankan villages .
Brief Hostory of Sigiriya
Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka.
Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka.
The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles.
Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between nature and human imagination. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains.
The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years. Since 3rd century BC, the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th-century king, Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here.
The Best Things to Do in Sigiriya
1. Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Arguably the most iconic views in all of Sri Lanka, hike to the top of the famous Lion Rock and see the impressive ancient ruins. The park opens at 7 am and long lines start forming shortly after. Try to arrive right when they open to avoid the crowds and beat the heat!. To be honest, I actually skipped paying the entrance fee in the name of budget and hiked Pidurangala instead. I wasn’t too fussed to see the top, but many people say Sigiriya is worth it!
2. Pidurangala Rock
A popular hike with stunning views of Sigiriya, it’s a cheaper alternative to the Lion Rock hike. Wake up early to see the sunrise on top of Pidurangala (in January the sun rises around 6:15 am) and pay only 500 rupees / $3.25 USD. The entrance to the hike is through a temple so you’ll need to rent a sarong if your shoulders and knees are exposed.
After the short walk through the temple, you’ll climb rock stairs for about 10-20 minutes before reaching a reclining Buddha statue and a view-point. After that, the trail essentially turns into about 10-15 minutes of clambering over boulders to get to the top. It’s a lot of fun, but be sure to wear some good shoes!
You can walk to Pidurangala from the entrance of Sigiriya and it’s about a 30-40 minute walk. Otherwise, there are many tuk-tuks in the area that will take you.
3. Minnieriya National Park
A favorite national park in the north-central region of Sri Lanka, Minnieriya is a feeding ground for elephants in the Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee regions during the dry season and offers great opportunities to see these majestic herds. It’s not as large or popular as Yala National Park or Udawalawe but is a smaller alternative for those in the area interested in a safari.
You’ll need to hire a jeep for your half or full-day safari. Price is typically per hour for the jeep, so the more people you have on your safari, the cheaper the price per person. I’m not sure the cost of jeep hire for Minnieriya, but for Udawalawe it was about 4,000 rupees / $25 USD for the half-day (3 hours) safari and I imagine it can’t be more than that!