Day 4 – Trekking @ Sigiriya
We intended to start the trek by 8 a.m but, well, as expected, it was almost 9.30 a.m by the time we left our stay , let alone start the trek. After a delicious breakfast , our first job was to withdraw cash since barely had enough for previous night’s dinner, let alone the tickets for the trek. Thankfully managed to locate a functioning ATM and shaheed withdrew 20K LKR. The sigriya rock entrance was 1900 LKR was citizens of SAARC countries which also includes the museum visit. Its a bit expensive, but sigriya rock is a UNESCO World heritage site ; so the money is going to good use.
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning
The start of the trek takes one through old ruins of water ways, ponds etc with the sigriya rock right in front.
Flight of stairs leads one up and the journey up should take atleast 1 hour at an average pace. One the way up, one can also see old paintings on the wall, a mirror wall which was very shiny once upon a time and of course, a constantly improving view of the surrounding. You will be accompanied by people of many nationalities on the way up.We reached the Lion’s paw in about an hour or so and large part of the trek is covered. However the steepest part of th trek is next wherein the incline of the flight of stairs going up is nearly 60 degrees atleast I think. On the way up, Pidurangala rock is clearly visible and ironically enough to take the best shot of sigiriya, one should be on Pidurangala. Another 20 mins of trek up and we were at the top.
The top will not seem too impressive to the lay person; best to read up on it before hand or have a guide with you. Its mostly ruins of the old palace and the different parts of the palace are “marked” accordingly.
An hour or so can be spent at the top if the weather is pleasant, which it luckily was on that day. The trek down took hardly half an hour and we ended up purchasing souvenirs along the way. Sigiriya town is 20 mins walk from sigiriya rock and we were famished by the time we reached the town. Fernando restaurent served up some reasonably delicious lunch; the sri lankan lunch platter is decent and worth a try if you are in the mood for some local cuisine. We were probably done for the day by 3 p.m or so and had nothing planned for the rest of the day.
Back to our room it was. The next many hours were spend in exhausting the host’s bandwidth in watching clips from friends, big bang theory etc. Of course we also recalled our reasonably awesome college days and the fun that we had.
7.30 p.m or so, tired from staring at the phone, we decided to finish up with dinner and get some early shut eye for the next day. Pradeep restaurent was ranked quite highly we found; nothing special about the restaurant as such though but food was good enough. The Veg rotti, egg & veg noodles was gulped down with a glass of coke. The walk back was awesome though; why you ask: It was completely dark, not a soul visibly and the sky was shining with stars.
Step count of the day ..25K ! Nice !