The best view of the Sigiriya sunrise is from Pidurangala Rock. Here’s why.
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress in central Sri Lanka. It rises from the green jungle, a defiant bastion in a sea of trees. As the sun emerges, the rock wall shifts from a dull grey to a pink and violent orange. Meanwhile, peacock calls sound from the jungle’s depths, as the mist fades from the indigo hills.
However, you can’t appreciate this spectacle while standing inside Sigiriya. To see it, you must travel one kilometre north, to Pidurangala Rock. It’s easy to reach from town, by either walking or a short tuk-tuk ride. The atmospheric path takes twenty minutes to climb and passes a temple and a reclining Buddha statue. Be prepared to clamber over a few rocks on the way up. Anyone with reasonable fitness can handle it.
The view from the summit is spectacular. Sigiriya appears within touching distance. If you are a budget traveller, then the news gets better. While Sigiriya costs an extortionate 4500 rupees to enter, the cost for Pidurangala Rock is 500 rupees. At sunrise there was nobody collecting the fee, so I went for free. There was also no crowd. I had virtually the entire place to myself.
For these reasons, Pidurangala Rock is easily the best place to watch the Sigiriya sunrise. Even better than Sigiriya itself. Don’t miss out.