Do not for a moment think that things to do in Sigiriya is limited to climbing the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. There is another beautiful cave temple awaiting to awe you, the Dambulla Rock. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, this is only a hop, skip, and jump away from Sigiriya itself, and is a must visit if you are looking to explore and understand the history of Sri Lanka.
The Golden Temple in Dambulla comprises of two parts: the Golden temple and the cave temple. If you wish to climb the front stairs and explore the golden temple, you need not buy a ticket. However, if you wish to climb to the cave temple – and you must, if you have no physical injury preventing you – you need to purchase a ticket at the entrance counter. The first thing that will greet you as you enter the premises is an imposing statue of Buddha, towering over the golden temple. A line of disciples robed in saffron stand along the rock as if ascending towards the enlightenment that is symbolized by the Buddha. Walking through the temple, you come to a stretch of stone steps that is lined by a forest. After a climb of about 15 to 30 minutes, you will arrive at the cave temple. Climbing the rock to the cave temple is not difficult, and the view along the way will help with your fatigue. However, be wary of the macaques that inhabit the area. They are quite friendly with humans and will not hesitate to grab your bags if you happen to have food in them.
Once you reach the top, there are five caves in total to explore, each with a rich history. It would help if you come with a guide or have a good guide book with you, to truly appreciate what you see. The view from the top is amazing, and the climb down, while not as tedious, is a task. Make sure that you have lodgings at a resort close by like Water Garden Sigiriya to make sure you don’t overexert yourself.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.