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Stop At: Pidurangala Rock, Pidurangala,Sigiriya, Sigiriya 21120 Sri Lanka
The rock next to Sigiriya is called Pidurangala. King Kashyapa built his King’s Palace on Sigiriya, but he worshipped Buddha on Pidurangala. The monastery dates back to the third century BC, but it was under Kashyapa that it became huge. It’s said the monastery was home to 500 monks and occupied an area of 14 acres during his reign. The temple is still there today, and open to visitors. But Pidurangala is not only a temple. It is way more famous for being right next to Sigiriya and offering a stunning view of Sigiriya. Both rocks have nearly the same height: Sigiriya rises 200m above the surrounding jungle and Pidurangala is said to be only 1m shorter.
Duration: 3 hours
Stop At: Dambulla Cave Temple, Jaffna Hwy, Habarana 50150 Sri Lanka
The Dambulla cave temple (also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla) is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka. The Dambulla cave monastery is still functional and remains the best-preserved ancient edifice in Sri Lanka. This complex dates from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, when it was already established as one of the largest and most important monasteries. King Valagambahu sought refuge here from South Indian usurpers for 15 years during his exile from Anuradhapura. After reclaiming his capital, the king converted the caves into a temple in the 1st century BC. Many other kings added to it later and by the 11th century, the caves had become a major religious centre and still are.
Duration: 30 minutes