Private Day Tour to Sigiriya & Dambulla Cave Temples

08:00: you will be picked up from the from the Hotel you are staying in Kandy. Proceed to Sigiriya and enroute visit the Spice Garden where all the herbs have detailed descriptions.

After, visiting Dambulla Cave Temple which was constructed during the years of 89-77 BC under the reign of King Vattagamni Abhaya also known as King Valagamba. This is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Then climb the famous Sigiriya rock, built by King Seegiri Kasyapa in the 5th century. Sigiriya or Lion Rock is a great achievement in old times. It was assigned as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

Sigiriya is Asia's best protected city with a complex arrangement around the base of the stone, consolidated with modern design and watering systems. In the evening discover Sigiriya Village tour in an Ox-cart, and have a traditional Sri Lankan dinner in a tree house. After these activities you will be transferred back to the Hotel you are staying in Kandy

Called by many names including “The Lion Rock” for its initial name of “Sinhagiri”, Sigiriya is near the town of Dambulla and is a colossal column of rock nearly 200m high. It was a royal citadel for 18 years (477-495) when it was fortified by King Kasyapa. The architectural and irrigational technologies of Sigiriya, such as the Water Gardens, still baffle engineers. The climb up steep steps of metal with railings passes a wall decorated with frescoes of bare-breasted women. Art experts consider them unique.

The summit of the rock is a hectare in area and the outer wall of the palace was constructed on the brink of the rock with gardens and ponds softening the harshness of the eerie. Since it was constructed over 1,500 years ago, it is claimed by enthusiast as the Eighth Wonder of the World and is anyway a World Heritage Site.

King Kasyapa selected the rock as the capital for his kingdom due to its strategic point when fending off invaders. A gateway in the form of an enormous lion was built and thus gave it the name Lion’s Rock. However after the death of the king the capital and kingdom were abandoned by its people and it served as a Buddhist monastary until the 14th century.

The frescoes are probably Sigiriya’s most popular attraction. The whole face of the wall has been used as a picture gallery which to this day have been preserved. The paintings are said to have been of the Anuradhapura period. However the style of painting is unique to that of any found in Anuradhapura during its golden years

  • Site Entrance Fees
    Ancient City of Sigiriya – approx USD 30

Dating back to the first century B.C.E., the Dambulla Cave Temple represents the most impressive cave temple in Sri Lanka. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock,carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. In 1938 craftsman embellished the architecture with arched colonnades and gabled entrances. Inside the caves, the ceilings had been painted with intricate images of the Lord Buddha and Bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses following the contours of the rock.

The Dambulla cave still operates as a monastery and remains the best-preserved ancient edifice in Sri Lanka. The complex dates from the third and second centuries B.C.E., serving as one of the largest and most important monasteries. King Valagambahu has been traditionally believed to have converted the caves into a temple in the first century B.C.E. The caves in the city provided refuge to King Valagamba (also called Vattagamini Abhaya) in his fourteen year long exile from the Anuradapura kingdom. Buddhist monks meditating in the caves of Dambulla at that time provided the exiled king protection from his enemies. When King Valagamba returned to the throne at Anuradapura kingdom in the first century B.C.E., he had a magnificent rock temple built at Dambulla as a gratitude to the monks in Dambulla.

Many other kings added to it later and by the eleventh century, the caves had become a major religious center. King Nissanka Malla gilded the caves and added about seventy Buddha statues in 1190 C.E. During the eighteenth century, the Kandyan Kings restored and painted the caves.

  • Site Entrance Fees
    Ancient City of Sigiriya – approx USD 10