When you are searching to go for a visit, Matale district will be a pointed area. In the district, Sigiriya will be your first choice. But as you know Sigiriya is always crowded and if you are waiting to visit somewhere calm, your next choice will be the Pidurangala rock.
Both Sigiriya and Pidurangala seems to be in the same 660 feets height, but Pidurangala rock height is only one meter less. It is about 500 meters.
We can find some evidence to say that this rock was used as a temple for monks in four hundred BC.
The prince Kashyapa who killed his father ran to hide from his brother and other people who were searching him to get the revenge. He found Sigiriya, the best place to hide. But there were monks in there who were doing meditation. Living with a prince is not a good thing for monks. It is prohibited and also very disturbing. Therefore they said to the prince that they were moving to the nearest calm place, Pidurangala. The prince arranged everything in there and invited the monks to move.
From that period of time Pidurangala was a hermitage and now it has become a large temple. It was called “Panchawasa” in those days because there were five buildings in the area of the temple. These days we can see some pieces of evidence of a Bodhigara (a house to the sacred tree), a stupa, a chapter house, an image house, a preaching house and also a building for monks used as a residence.
Also, this name has come from pidu + ran + goda, or the gold which offered. We can think that the gold was offered to the Buddhist monks.
Reaching to the rock
You can reach there in many ways. This place is near the village. Sigiriya. If you stay nearby, the best way to go there is by riding a bicycle. Or else, if you stay near Dambulla area, you can use a trishaw. On the other hand; if you are coming from Colombo or from a further place, you can use the bus to Matale. This way is very cheap, but the buses are crowded. Also, you can use the train too, but you have to use a trishaw again from the station to Pidurangala. Therefore the best way is to ride your own vehicle or a hired one. It will be easy, safe and relaxing.
If you need more help, the geographic coordinates of the Pidurangala location are 07°57’57.5’N and 80°45’44.7’E.
It is as hot as Sigiriya. Therefore you must be careful to choose Pidurangala rock climb time. Mornings and the evenings are ok but the afternoons are really unbearable. Also, the weather can be changed at any time. You may see raindrops in anytime during the sun rays.
Therefore it is better to wear cotton dresses for Pidurangala rock climb. Ladies, try not to wear short or long skirts because the top is windy. It is better to wear shoes.
It is ok to visit there in January, February or in March. It is very delightful and really rocking to go on a hike in there. Pidurangala rock hike sunset is also very nice to see.
It is lovely to see Pidurangala rock sunset. You will get the chance to see it if you visit there in the evening.
You have to schedule your Pidurangala hike time in the early morning or in the late evening. Otherwise, it will be very hard.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Pidurangala rock sunrise is very unbearable. It is better to cover up your head.
- Bring a bottle of water. It is a must.
- Look after your children. There are fences, but remember this is a rock and they can fall down.
- Do not run or play in there. It is dangerous.
- Do not shout. Please remember that there is a temple.
- Do not wear dresses which can see your body very much. Buddhist people are very keen about the dresses in their temples.
How to find Pidurangala?
You can always use the Pidurangala map to find the correct place.
Can we bring children?
Yes, but be careful. It is better not to bring the new walkers.
What is the best? Pidurangala or Sigiriya?
Sigiriya is good if you are looking for ancient cities. Pidurangala is better for hikes.
How much will it charge for a foreigner?
It will be 500 LKR
How long will it take to climb?
About thirty minutes.
Pidurangala rock is a very interesting place if you are looking forward to having not only a worshiping and ancient experience but also an exercising one. It is easy to go there too if you are planning to go to Sigiriya. No doubt that this is a very beautiful place.