Pidurangala Rock Temple


Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. It has an interesting history closely related to that of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Being less grand and far more difficult to climb it is often overlooked by tourists

Pidurangala is a massive rock formation created by volcanic activity. No less important historically than Sigiriya but, yet, often overlooked by travelers. It has been occupied on and off for the past 2500 years by monks who lived in surrounding caves. Nearing the end of the 5th century A.D., King Kasyapa moved the monks from Sigiriya offering them a much larger and newer temple and monastery. Their presence is made evident by a small temple at the entrance, an amazing reclining Buddha built with ochre bricks (the first I had seen of its kind) and prayer cubicles about halfway up.

Unlike Sigiriya, which you climb using a spiral of stairs, Pidurangala is a much more strenuous climb starting with roughly-built stone steps (prettily covered in moss) leading to unidentified dirt paths to make your way through the forest. The paths stop about halfway up (where the Buddha is) and then the climb becomes considerably more difficult. At different intervals, you need to hoist yourself up (sometimes with the help of someone), around and in between huge boulders to get to the top of Pidurangala Rock.

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