Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Climbing the Lion Mountain, Sigiriya

After a breakfast of plantain, pineapple, papaya juice and tea we hit la route for the World Heritage Site of Sigiriya (1.5 hour drive from Anuradhapura).

We're heading for the rock fortress - the Lion Mountain. A 200m golden hued granite rock where King Kassapa built a palace in the 5th century AD.  Photos don't prepare you for the sight of the rock sprouting from the jungle. 

Deep breaths. I'm a scardey cat when it comes to heights but I didn't travel more than 7,000 miles just to look at it. 10am and 30 degrees. I psych myself up, Eye of The Tiger plays in my head (rising up!). 

An hour of climbing later and I've melted, but oh. What. A. View. Worth every moment of my terror. Tickets cost 3, 900 rupees (approximately €23).

After clambering up brick and spiral stairs you see a beautiful mural on the rock face, the Sigiriya Damsels:

Continue on for another steep climb. Here's where I nearly made it to the top, stopped and went back down again:

The ascent wasn't helped by the kind man telling me it was harder on the way down. Then my pride got the better of me. Eventually I made it. Promise. Here's a misty photo to prove it:

A bucket of water, fresh juice and we collapsed back into the car. One hour drive to our next destination; the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa.


  1. Wow! Amazing! My tip to you: stretch your calves a lot this evening or tomorrow morning is going to be epic...
    Same feeling in Uluru in Australia, pictures don't prepare you for what you are going to see (I didn't climb it though as I respected the Aboriginal people's sacred rock; anyway, it looks impossible to climb it...).
    Looking forward to reading the rest of the adventure!

    1. Just looked up photos of Uluru! Fantastic! I'm not feeling too stiff today....not sure how I escaped too much pain :-) Thanks for the stretching tips. More updates to come :-)

  2. Ah why must you torture us so! It looks amazing there, hope you're having a fab time

    1. Aw sorry Tash! I just want to share the beauty of Sri Lanka ;-) It's unbelievable here. So much to see, do and take in!