Sigiriya: The Climb

Visiting Sigiriya aka Lion Rock was the most adventurous part of my Sri Lankan trip. A moderate-hard trekking is required to reach the Summit of Sigiriya rocks. The climb is steep. The sight of the huge rock from a distance itself brings elation and the fact that it is not just a rock formation but a fortified palace in ruins will make our heart skip a beat or two.

In order to avoid the heat and the crowd during the climb, I started early from the hotel which was a short walk away from the site. While I was walking beside the outer water moat towards the ticket counter, this board caught my attention.

I didn’t see any crocodiles there but the relief was short-lived. Just when I realized that there were no crocodiles in the neighborhood, a bunch of stray dogs started charging towards me!!! Being an ailurophile, I have no experience in dog psychology. I wondered whether they were excited to see a human early in the morning. Were they in attack mode or were they desperate for some affection? Fight or flight was not feasible in this situation. So I decided to walk forward without making eye contact with them. And I started swinging my DLSR by holding the neck strap in my hand so that they couldn’t get dangerously close to me.  This continued for a good 10-15 minutes and I noticed that they were getting confused and bored. Lol. I was able to film the final few minutes of this encounter. In the end, after a colorless follow, they left me and started chasing another stray dog which was not in this group.


I was surprised to see a handful of tourists at the ticket counter so early in the morning. The guide who came along with them was pursuing the staff to open the ticket counter.  If you are from the Indian Subcontinent make sure you ask for the “half ticket” which is half the price of “full ticket.  I thought half ticket was for kids and ended up paying for full ticket.

Sigiriya (3)


I passed through the water gardens and then the boulder gardens of the erstwhile capital of King Kassapa I (477–95 CE). After the King’s death, this place was used as a Buddhist monastery.

I’ll be posting about the climb towards frescoes and lion paws in the 3rd installment of the Sigiriya series.  Here are the pictures.

Part 1: Dambulla to Sigiriya, Sri Lanka