Pidurangala Rock: An Early Morning Hike in Sigiriya
Imagine a place where sun shines over the mountains painting skies in soft palettes and bright oranges. A place where a monastery is home to ten and a few more pooches. A place where monkeys greet you only to be chased after a friendly pooch. Imagine a place where mountains far behind draw galleries of art in front of your eyes, and only to your eyes. A place where the beauty can only be captured by the naked eye. Pidurangala was one. And we fell in love with it a little too much so, now, we call it Pidu.
The hike to Pidurangala was one of our favorite climbs ever. Five something in one Sigiriya morning, we woke up only to snuggle up in the cozy duets a few more minutes. Lazing around in cozy mornings with a cup of hot chai is our favorite thing ever. Isn’t it yours, too?
At 6 something, we started our walk to Pidurangala with two BoB guests and their friendly manager. The Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya is only a five minute walk from Back of Beyond Pidurangala – one of our two homes for the weekend.
And then we started. It’s absolutely zero rupees if you’re Lankan. If you are a foreigner, expect to pay Rs.500 at the entrance.
The climb up is guarded by caves. Caves with letters your and our ancestors threaded on granite with a technique which is still known to none. We climbed. Counting each and every step, we climbed. Zin became breathless. Has she ever told you that she’s short of breath? Yes, that’s one horrific illness. Something that can be so tragic and disastrous. But sugar plums, she loves mountains. She grew up in mountains. Went to school climbing up and down the mountains. The hills. The beautiful gorgeous hills greeted with lush green and mist, with cozy, soothing climate before global warming actually hit you. And here she is, not climbing a mountain but a rock. Trying to catch her breath.
But then for her, always, there’s Nathan. Zin wouldn’t have climbed to the top if it wasn’t for him. N gave his hand, and took her to the top and fed her water so she becomes the happy little sushi roll Nathan always loves!
On our way, we met our fellow BoB guests, the little Peruvian sugar plum whom Zin met the previous day at the resort. And we stopped halfway at the look out point, to greet to the morning sun and click photos of water lilies and learn about ancient ruins.
On top, we made friends with a little pooch who decided to climb down with us but only after us. It was as if he was lost in the jungle. Lost among the rocks which seemed a home to him and chased monkeys who came to greet the hikers.
Pidu is beautiful. It as beautiful as anything #darlingescapes on Instagram. If you’ve got limited time in Sigiriya (a day or two), ditch the everyone’s go-to Lion’s Rock and say hi to Pidurangala instead. Even in one day, you can climb both but we suppose it’d be a bit tiring – specially if you’re short of breath or suffer from any other illness.
What’s the most memorable hike in your life? Comment below and let us know!
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