Rockin’ Sigiriya

We arrived at the Sigiriya Hotel around 10-ish. It was too late to climb and the heat of the equatorial sun will sear us to ash by the time we reach the top of the rock. So we asked the tuktuk driver to fetch us at three past noon. That means we have enough time to lounge by the pool and get into proper business–Lion Lager time!

The first time I saw the Rock of Sigiriya was when I was in high school. It was an old hard bound book in the library possibly published in the 70’s. A picture of a solitary rock formation in the middle of the vast plains of Matale stimulated my imagination and actually convinced myself that it used to be a landing site of ancient alien space crafts.

What the hell a huge solid rock doing in the middle of nowhere with no other similar rock material within the 50 kilometer radius? Might have been an installed facility by the pre-historic galactic visitors who made the same landing sites like the Carnac stones of France, Stonehenge of UK and the Nasca Plateau in Peru. I know, that’s me with too much of Erich von Daniken shit.

But geologically speaking, it is nothing but a volcanic plug, a landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. To illustrate: A volcano is to a pimple and a volcanic plug is to a blackhead. Get the picture? (Disgusting!)

The rock is surrounded with lush forest and sporadic commercial hotels and resorts. But no establishment is higher than the trees so they are pretty hidden from the …(ahem) aliens!

a familiar looking imagery at the boulder garden

At the gate of the site we had to slice-off LKR 3,300 for the entrance fee. Then there was this local tour guide who literally barricaded the way to offer his service, we haggled and eventually ended up saying yes and we were compelled to hire him in the tune of LRK 1500, he started blabbering about the rock’s history even before we knocked back into our senses that we are not fans of package holidays let alone guided tours. Good Job!

The money that we were allocating for another elephant ride flew into the air and gone with the wind. Oh well, we got spared from regrets though, thanks to our guide who smells like one adorable pachyderm tusker, it was almost like a real elephant encounter. The guided walk (climb) turned out to be the best idea because we weren’t really able to do some hard core research about the rock’s history and what not, plus our guide was really good to be fair.

The moat, the ancient masonry and the unbelievably still functioning water works reminded us of Angkor. The place silenced us down to dumbness, and it was not just because of the scare of tetanus coated rickety scaffoldings and impeding attacks of killer bees, but of the site’s strong presence.

Now take a look at these:

The 1930’s vintage wrought iron staircase…

… 8th century mirror and graffiti wall …

… some sinful private pool …

… an iconic entrance gate …

… an amazing view from the top ….

…and the pictures of half naked women up the walls!

Now let me ask you–How sure are we that this is not one of Hugh Hefner playboy mansions?!

The royal bastard Kasyapa, or whoever made this fortress must have some major grandiosity issues to pull it off. We climbed up and spent a surreal moment on top of the world famous rock deep in to the heart of Sri Lanka, right smack in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

And we couldn’t think of a better and more flawless way to close the summer season 2011.

We are so ROCKIN’ this!


  • Victor

    wow!and all this time i thought it was just another huge rock!another must-read :-)

  • http://www.balintataw.org Supertikoy

    wow! now I’m convinced that I need that flight to Sri Lanka asap hahaha… I remember reading one of Erich von Daniken books back in college, at first, he may sound weird pero eventually parang naniniwala na ako sa kany minsan lol

    ang ganda nung temple/rock parang gusto ko na nga talag bumisita dyan at yung hotel na pinagstayan nyo parang masarap tumambay.

  • http://www.novacationrequired.com Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    How cool. Those wall paintings are beautiful and the stone work is amazing.

  • http://vagabond3.com jade

    That 1930s staircase is awesome. And I really love the kissing rocks!

  • http://struxtravel.com Michael Figueiredo

    Wow–this place is incredible! Beautiful photos. Those giant claws are kind of scary though…

  • http://www.juanderfulpinoy.com chinchan

    entrance gate is marvelous. Ang ganda!

  • http://www.chyngreyes.com chyng

    impressive and informative.
    question: do all private pools ay sinful? ^_^

  • http://framelessworld.com/ Bino / Frameless World

    WOW! This place is so exotic and looks like in the middle of nowhere.. I really love the photo of the iconic entrance gate and the whole fortress from afar. Tumulo laway ko on this post. I hope to visit it too.. :)

  • http://migrationology.com/ Mark Wiens

    Wow, this is a fantastic article packed with great shots. I am on my way to Sri Lanka next month so this is getting me really excited!

  • http://www.baconismagic.ca ayngelina

    Is it just me or does the half naked woman in the wall painting look like she’s got fake boobs…

  • http://www.thetravelchica.com Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    Gorgeous photos! And good plan to avoid being seared to ash.

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @stephanie… true, apparently a lot of tourist never thought of that and went down dehydrated!
    @ayngelina… hahahaha very good observation! those might be silicone implanted human beings in the future who decided to travel back in time
    @mark… WOW Mark, we’re excited for you. shoot us an email and we’ll give you details on who to contact when you get there
    @Bino… one must see destination, you should go straight there when u visit south india
    @chyng … ay hindi ba? e bakit pag ako… LOL
    @chinchan & michael… centuries ago, the entrance with the giant claws used to have a lion’s face and u have to enter through its mouth.
    @jade… the staircase was amazing, though a bit scary, not for people with acrophobia
    @caanan… true, this is the main reason why we visited sri lanka in the first place
    @supertikoy… go attack na sa sigiriya, it’s a different world out there

  • http://www.nomadicexperiences.com/ Marky

    People from way before knows how to commit sins the fun way…hehe kidding love the private pool, imagine it filled with water with the kick ass view…would’ve put Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion pool to shame, frolicking there surrounded by beautiful women.

    andaming forenjer komenters ah…

  • http://technosyncratic.com Technosyncratic Travel Blog

    Wow. I always thought rock gardens were silly… but I could get behind a boulder garden! The photo of stairs going between the two boulders is so surreal – I would love to visit this place.

  • http://devourtheworld.com jenjenk

    that climb up looks crazy!!! i’m not even sure that i could make it! :)

  • ems

    hi ron! gusto ko pumunta dito! akyatan na naman! haha.
    mga ilang oras na akyatan itech? ka-shokot ba sa sri lanka or safe naman to travel solo?

  • http://flipntravels.wordpress.com flipntravels

    saglit lang yan medyo nakaka lula lang! Ok naman sa sri lanka, just be ready for curious locals who can’t speak english, and other dudes offering MJ. lol. Seriously I was poked several times by old ladies, I dont know why, either they were poking me out of curiosity or checking the meat if I will be good for stew. Hahahaha etchos lang!

  • Pingback: Sigiriya, Sri Lanka: Lion’s Rock | Confessions of a Pinay Travel Junkie()