48 Hours Around Sigiriya.

Be you a traveller, a history buff, or a lover of sweeping vistas and great views, Sigiriya and its surrounding area has a lot to offer. The ruins of Sri Lanka's first and second kingdoms (Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa) each are about 1.5 hours away; but in this article, we'll be highlighting four other non-mainstream places to visit.

We're taking Sigiriya as our base.

Day One

AM: Ritigala
1 hour 18 minutes away

About one and a half hours away from the Sigiriya town, Ritigala is an ancient forest monastery swathed by myths dating back to the third century. Legend involves Hanuman, Rama, and a mystical man-bear demon, while the forest itself teems with endemic wildlife. There are a few monastic ruins, and the Ritigala mountain range is peppered with hundreds of caves. The mountain is off-limits though, unless you have a permit.

Directions: Take Sigiriya Road to the Maradankadawala-Habarana-Thirukkondaiadimadu Highway in Moragaswewa, and turn right off the highway into the Ganewalpola Road. Keep an eye out for the signboards and follow them to your destination.

PM: Pidurangala
5-15 minutes away 

You'd need to squish yourself between boulders and hoist yourself up in places, but the view from the top is definitely worth it. A huge rock/ small mountain a stone's throw and directly across from Sigiriya, Pidurangala offers stunning views: not only of the rolling plains and lakes stretched out below you, but also the best possible view of the rock fortress itself.

Directions: It's a long walk or a short tuk-tuk ride from Sigiriya to Pidurangala. Go down the road to the North of Sigiriya until you reach a temple. The entrance to the rock monastery is through that.

Day Two

AM: Namal Uyana
45 minutes away

A massive forest filled with ironwood trees (aka Sri Lanka's national tree),  Namal Uyana — the ironwood garden — leads to the island's only rose-quartz mountain range. It's a small range, so you can traipse over most of it quite easily. Climb as high as you can for winds strong enough to knock you off and for an unexpected view of treetops and the zone's quintessential lakes.

Directions: Go to the Ulpathgama Junction and drive along the B5596 road. Google Maps and residents of the area are your friends.

PM: Yapahuwa
2 hours 5 minutes away

Reminiscent of Sigiriya, Yapahuwa comes complete with ruined castle walls, a moat, and a defensive fortification. The most striking feature here is the 70-degree staircase where you'd find two familiar stone lions somewhere near the top. Familiar, because they're featured on our (no longer printed) 10-rupee notes. Climb right to the top for rock pools, ruined stupas, and the casual views you have now come to expect from this area.

Directions: If you're heading to Anuradhapura on the Padeniya – Anuradhapura (A28) road, Yapahuwa is a short 8km detour away. You turn at Daladagama towards Maho and follow the signs to Yapahuwa historical site. If you're taking the train, get down at Maho junction and take a tuk. The historical site is contained within a Buddhist temple with ample parking.

Food and Transport

You can easily find buses and tuks to get around, if you don't have a private transport. Buses off the main road are a bit more infrequent, so be aware of the time and route — just ask around, people are more than willing to help out.

There are plenty of small eateries as well, especially down the Inamaluwa-Sigiriya Road. Stock up on snacks for the longer rides, and on a couple of bottles of water as well.


Plenty of holidays coming up over the next few months, so make good use of them. Happy tripping!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

Full’R Burgers is Flipping into Maharagama

by Vimasha Vishvadari If you're on the lookout for the ideal burger spot in the

Kamu

Yi Jing Unveiled: Sri Lanka’s Top Chinese Dining at ITC Ratnadipa Blends Tradition with Modern Flair

By Poornima Bandara Yi Jing Unveiled: Sri Lanka’s Premier Chinese Dining Experience at ITC Ratnadipa

Highlights Kamu

Seafood Watti Rice: A Flavorful Feast from Fathi’s Spice Attic

Watti Rice is a delightful Sri Lankan dish that combines various meats, such as seafood

Highlights Kamu

Shahi Mughal Dastarkhwan — An aromatic journey to the Mughal Era 

By Shamrina Carim From the Royal Kitchens of the Mughal Empire Chef Asif Qureshi, a

Highlights Kamu

Full’R Burgers Crowns Champion in Epic Gojira vs. Kong Burger Challenge

https://www.tiktok.com/@yamusrilanka/video/7371362033113107728 One of Sri Lanka's favorite burger joint, Full'R Burgers, recently concluded its highly anticipated

Kamu

Indulge in the North Indian themed ‘Delhi Bound’ at Harbour Court, The Kingsbury.

Ambience This restaurant offers a sophisticated yet warm ambience, with soft lighting. The bright colored

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

Yaki Maki & Bento at Tenku, Colombo’s Premier Japanese Restaurant

Embark on a celebration of Japanese culinary tradition at Tenku, renowned for its meticulous craftsmanship

Trending

DINIDU: Revolutionising Luxury Jewellery with a New Digital Experience 

DINIDU stands at the forefront of the luxury jewellery space, captivating audiences worldwide through dynamic

Highlights Trending

Stand-Up Music: A Fresh Entertainment Experience Coming to The Traveling Bruncher

In a city renowned for its vibrant arts and culture scene, a new show is

Trending

MAC Cosmetics Debuts Flagship Store In Sri Lanka With Exclusive Lines

MAC lovers rejoice as Exclusive Lines proudly announces the arrival of the world's leading professional

Trending

Mount Lavinia Hotel Celebrates Wellness and Wellbeing with Sunset Yoga Event

In the spirit of wellness and wellbeing, Mount Lavinia Hotel is thrilled to announce a

Trending

Yamu Guide.

10 Places To Celebrate Father’s Day 2024

By Fathima Rukaiya, Father’s Day is a special occasion dedicated to honoring fathers and celebrating

Highlights Yamu Guide

Top 10 Places to Work or Study in Colombo in 2024

By Fathima Rukaiya Hey there! Feeling the walls closing in at home while you work

Highlights Yamu Guide

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Shirohana

by Fathima Rukaiya, Mother's Day, a special occasion to honor mothers and motherhood, is celebrated

Highlights Yamu Guide

Steak Bar: A Grand Sunday Brunch at Kingsbury, Colombo

Written by Shamrina C Welcome to the ultimate brunch experience! Nestled in the heart of

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

9 Special Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

By Fathima Rukaiya Are you trying to find the perfect way to show your special

Highlights Yamu Guide

9 Special Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

Written by Fathima Rukaiya The season of love is upon us once more, and opinions

Highlights Yamu Guide