Sigiriya & Dambulla Cave Temple / The Golden Temple, Sri Lanka

The goal for today was to climb two hills: The Sigiriya & the Dambulla Cave Temple hill. We decided to go climb Sigiriya in the morning first, come back to the hotel and freshen up & checkout, eat something light, then go climb the temple hills. Seemed like a good idea, and it was…just a little tiring.

The first thing we had to do was buy entry tickets, and being an Indian meant I get the tickets at half rate, which was pretty cool. For those wondering, what exactly is Sigiriya? For starters, its this rock below.


The rock is surrounded by ancient ruins of a city, and the top of the rock used to be a fort. Much of the architecture is in ruins today, but the foundation is still well maintained. The walk to the rock was through this “city”.

The foundation is fairly clear and you can get a rough idea of how the city was structured. Lots of gardens, ponds, fountains, fortification, and what one would presume houses at the base of the rock. To see higher quality pictures, clicking on them will load the original picture uploaded (still compressed though).

Did you know: Considering the uniqueness of Sigiriya UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1982.

The top really has some of the most amazing views. The rock was designed to look like a lion, with the only remaining bits being the paws at the main entrance. This, in turn, gave the name Sigiriya.

The climb down was fairly easy, compared to the 2-hour climb up. However, since we wanted to leave by a certain time, we hurried back to the hotel, freshened up, and it wasn’t long before we were ready to climb Dambulla hill. The entrance we took was known as the Golden Temple…since everything was covered in gold.


Sadly the ticket counter was on the other end and that was a 15min walk on its own one-way. The stairs by the entrance are a lot steeper, so we decided to just take the rickshaw, buy the tickets, and take come back to the temple entrance.

This climb was a lot easier, and the view of the surrounding hills isn’t bad either.


Once we reach the top, a quick pass through security and there was a temple built right under in the hill. Pretty cool. You can read up all about this temple in detail here.

The inside of the temple was lots of statues of Buddha. There were also paintings on the ceiling in the different rooms. I did leave my shutter open for a bit, so don’t let the brightness fool you. It’s not too dark, but it’s definitely not this bright.

After climbing back down we head back to Colombo to rest up for the night before heading to Galle & the beach of Hikkaduwa for the last segment of my Sri Lanka trip! But before we get there, here are a few pictures of lots and lots of monkeys we saw in the two places. Note, a pic might be NSFW…depending.

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