It is believed that the history of Pidurangala Vihara goes back beyond to the first and second century BC. From those days Pidurangala was used as a Buddhist monastery and but became a prominent place during the reign of King Kashyapa (473 ~ 495 AC).

According to ancient chronicles, Prince Kashyapa had killed his father King Dhatusena and fled to Sigiriya to find out a more secure place to prevent retaliation attacks from his half-brother, Mugalan. With the arrival of King Kashyapa, the Bhikkus who were meditated there were requested move to the nearby Pidurangala. In a sort of compensation, King Kashyapa refurbished the temple and made it a prominent place.

Introduction to Pidurangala Rock

Pidurangala Rock is a towering rock popular as a hiking spot which is situated a few kilometers north of Sigiriya. It is a suitable destination for moderate hikes and climbs to the top of the rock and popular for panoramic views, especially of Sigiriya along with the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. There is a giant reclining Buddha statue about halfway up the rock, which is partially reconstructed out of brick. At the base of the rock is the Pidurangala Sigiri Rajamaha Viharaya which is a white temple by the road.

Hiking Pidurangala Rock

The hike to Pidurangala rock should take approximately 30 to 40 minutes in total. The rock opens at 5 am and is best hiked in time to catch the sunrise or sunset. Pidurangala Rock stands at a height of approximately 200m. Care should be taken on the way up the rock due to the existence of many loose rocks and snakes.

Few things to know about hiking up Pidurangala Rock!

  • About a 30 to 40-minute hike.
  • 500 LKR entrance fee.
  • You MUST cover up shoulders, knees and remove shoes at the temple at the start of the trail.
  • Cover-ups are sometimes available but bring your own for busy periods.
  • Best for sunrise and sunset.
  • Pidurangala Rock opens at 5 am and close at 6 pm (this is the ticket office, you can stay up at the rock until dark).
  • Snakes are in the area so be careful.
  • Medium difficulty hike.
  • No plastic allowed (not strictly enforced).
  • No toilets at Pidurangala Rock or on the trail.

About Central Provincce

The Central Province of Sri Lanka consists primarily of mountainous terrain. The province has an area of 5,674 km², and a population of 2,421,148. Some major towns include Kandy, Gampola (24,730), Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela. The population is a mixture of Sinhalese, Tamil and the Moors.

Both the hill capital Kandy and the city of Nuwara Eliya are located within the Central Province as well as Sri Pada. The province produces much of the famous Ceylon tea, planted by the British in the 1860s after a devastating disease killed all the coffee plantations in the province. Central Province attracts many tourists, with hill station towns such as Kandy, Gampola, Hatton and Nuwara Eliya. Temple tooth or Dalada maligawa is the main sacred place in Centrel province.

The climate is cool, and many areas about 1500 meters often have chilly nights. The western slopes are very wet, some places having almost 7000 mm of rain per year. The eastern slopes are parts of the mid-dry zone as it is receiving rain only from North-Eastern monsoon. The Temperatures range from 24°C at Kandy to just 16°C in Nuwara Eliya, which is located 1,889 m above sea level. The highest mountains in Sri Lanka are located in the Central Province. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with deep valleys cutting into it. The two main mountain regions are the central massif and the Knuckles range to the east of Kandy.