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Pictoral travels through Sigiriya and Dambulla

February 17, 2015

We made a two day trip up to two places designated as UNESCO world heritage sites.

 

Our 2 day path

Our 2 day path

The two places we wanted to visit were in Sigiriya and Dambulla. Both are high on people’s must see list for Sri Lanka and I certainly, with our limited chance to see the sites, that they are both well worth the effort.

 

Sigiriya is a stunning example of early landscape architecture and the scale is mind-boggling and the water features complex and extensive.

After passing through the gateway entrance one crosses a moat that once encircled the site

After passing through the gateway entrance one crosses a moat that once encircled the site

Entrance to the site is different for foreigners.  We paid 3,900Rps/person or Cdn$33/person – a hefty price when a day’s wage for a tour drive is  Cdn$10! What it does encourage is Sri Lankans to visit the site as it’s quite cheap, 30rps ($1), by Sri Lankan standards.

Main approach to the rock outcrop

Main approach to the rock outcrop

The approach to the rock outcrop, the centre of the attraction, is about 300 metres and on either side are water features with underground plumbing feeding each of the ponds and pools.

From the gardens that surround the rock

From the gardens that surround the rock

Even Sigiriya has its wardens

Even Sigiriya has its wardens

Reaching the end of the gardens and approaching the climb to the top of the rock one first enters between the two rocks seen below

The entranceway to the lower portion of the rock face takes you through two giant rocks leaning against each other

The entranceway to the lower portion of the rock face takes you through two giant rocks leaning against each other

Climbing up the wall took a little nerve as the stairways clung to the rock face for part of the way

Climbing up the wall took a little nerve as the stairways  (1,200 steps) clung to the rock face for part of the way

But the reward soon comes upon reaching the top of the rock

Looking down on the main approach

Looking down on the main approach

Stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside

Looking north from the top of the rock outcrop

Looking north from the top of the rock outcrop

But most stunning is the complex once build on top of the rock combining pools, stairways , thrones, terraced walls etc

On the top of the rock outcropping they build this amazing pleasure garden with stunning views out over the countryside

On the top of the rock outcropping they build this amazing pleasure garden with stunning views out over the countryside

Climbing in 30C heat and humidity takes it out of us and so after this site we headed to a hotel for the night.  Accommodation can be cheap. Ours wasn’t although it should have been! No more to be said on that one.

 

So, next day it was on to Dambulla.

One has to be ready to view more buddhas.  It’s kind of like travelling in Europe where one has to get used to the cathedrals.

Wait a minute I'm not just a chimney sweep

Wait a minute I’m not just a chimney sweep

Dambulla is another climb.  Not quite as strenuous as Sigiriya but a little uphill slog.

Yes, more buddhas

Yes, more buddhas

It’s uphill till one reaches the caves and carvings.

Cave upon cave built under the protection of the rock houses hundreds of Buddhas

Cave upon cave built under the protection of the rock houses hundreds of Buddhas

Another buddha cave

Another buddha cave

Small stupa inside one of the caves

Small stupa inside one of the caves

Sleeping or just contemplating

Sleeping or just contemplating

Hennaed feet for anyone

Hennaed feet for anyone

One of hundreds of Buddhas carved inside the caves of Dambulla

One of hundreds of Buddhas carved inside the caves of Dambulla

And that’s it as we trek back to Trincomalee

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2015 22:46

    Gobsmacked! Wow! Fred

  2. February 17, 2015 22:55

    Gorgeous photos!

    • February 17, 2015 23:11

      Thanks

      Tony Gibb/Connie McCann Onboard SY Sage http://www.sageonsail.wordpress.com +94(0)768316596Sage

      • February 17, 2015 23:33

        Hey guys…thanks for making the climb at Sigiriya for us…we did the same trip, but in one day…in an air conditioned car! lol That climb looked too daunting for The Lone DeRanger, and our driver didn’t want to have to carry me up. TLD is a little intimidated by your photography…those shots are spectacular! How soon before you are back on the boredom/terror schedule?

      • February 18, 2015 06:28

        In Sri Lanka boredom and terror are something that happens every day, usually at the dinner table!

        Tony Gibb/Connie McCann Onboard SY Sage http://www.sageonsail.wordpress.com +94(0)768316596Sage

  3. February 18, 2015 17:42

    Wow, great photos. Reminds me of climbing the Mayan pyramids in Central America, but they do not have the swimming pool at the top. TTFN Barrie

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