Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Why you should climb Pidurangala Rock instead of Sigiriya Rock

You’ve come to the right place for a completely honest guide to seeing Sigiriya Rock in all its glory. You can do 1 of 2 things to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Climb Pidurangala Rock

The views from here are outstanding and the perfect place to watch Sigiriya Rock light up in the morning hue.

Price: 500LKR per person ($2.47USD/€2.18EUR/£1.88GBP)


Climb Sigiriya Rock/Lion Rock

The views of the surrounding landscapes are again amazing but no better than Pidurangala Rock. But of course, you will have climbed a World Heritage Site, and experienced Sigiriya Rock up close.

Price: 30USD per person (€26.44EUR/£22.13GBP)

Sigiriya Rock from the sky

Here’s our recommendation

If you have traveled to witness the beauty of Sigiriya Rock then your first decision should be to climb Pidurangala Rock. This is where you will be able to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site standing proud, emerging out of the Sri Lankan jungle plains. This is an honest view of Sigiriya Rock from Pidurangala.

There is a glorious sunrise and this is when you should climb! The colours are amazing and it gets too hot and humid to climb at a later time. We were absolutely dripping because of the humidity even before sunrise.
If you’re not an early bird like us then you can always skip sunrise and start the climb around an hour after. There will be less people at the top of Pidurangala Rock as the crowd will be descending. But be warned, it will be hotter!

Why Pidurangala over Sigiriya Rock?

Here’s where we get honest. There’s a huge price difference for a fairly similar experience. If you climb Sigiriya then yes it may be more fascinating up close, walking in a moment of history. But if you’re travellers like us having to make decisions determined by the piggy bank then we think you can skip Sigiriya Rock. For 12 times cheaper you can climb Pidurangala Rock and experience the same surreal views and landscapes. And also witness Sigiriya Rock itself! Here’s us walking along a small section of the edge on Pidurangala to give you an idea of what it looks like.

If you have more time or more funds then 100% go for it and climb Sigiriya Rock. It’s a shame that money runs out, otherwise we would have climbed both!

Difficulty Level of Pidurangala

At the start of the climb just after the ticket desk the steps up are fairly steep. If you have done or seen Adam’s Peak’s steps then you’ll understand why we say “fairly” steep. The climb up is not easy but not particularly tough. Our main obstacle was the humidity. Honestly, at points it felt like we were walking in a sauna. Okay, maybe we’re being too dramatic but oh my, we were roasting.

When you reach the temple aspect of the climb with the large reclining Buddha, get ready for some bouldering style climbing. This is where you might get lost like us. When you get to a point where it looks like there’s nowhere to go, you must carry on through or over the boulders. For a popular tourist destination site we found it slightly odd that the only aid in directions were two painted arrows hidden behind rocks and hard to see in darkness.

The final ascent is the most difficult and this is where you need to be careful. This photo shows you honestly what you will face.

Once you’ve reached the top you can wipe the sweat off your brow and enjoy the glorious sunrise and views that are simply breathtaking.

Let’s talk about drones around Sigiriya Rock

If you have a drone like us you need to be careful. You have to apply for a permit to record with your drone which is a pretty lengthy and pricey process. You have to register your drone with the aviation authority and receive written permission to fly here. We were approached and asked for papers proving just this. Truth be told, you don’t need a drone to get some lovely photographs!

We’re not saying you should but if you have a drone and want to chance it, the morning is the best time to do so. Get your shots from the sky and put the drone away. Take the card out of the drone and put it somewhere safe. If you are then pulled by the police there is no evidence that you ever flew. There are some heavy fines in place if you’re caught by the police or security so be careful! On a side note, be weary of other flyers, unfortunately with more and more hobby flyers it’s becoming less safe to fly your drone in more public places. We were accompanied by three other drone flyers at sunrise!

We captured some amazing footage and photographs and are so happy we have that. Check out our footage below!

If this blog has stoked a fire in you to travel more through Sri Lanka, then check out where we’ve been and what we loved!

Travelling Translated

Travelling Translated

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.