The Lone Rock Fort – Sigiriya & The Rock Temple – Dambulla
A weekend to enjoy and not too many things to do in the guest house, I decided to do what I love most, backpack n travel. I took the bus that went towards Anuradhapura, getting down at Dambulla and proceeding to Sigiriya. I reached close to the fort and saw this huge single kind of rock in the middle of nowhere. Walked up to the ticket counter and was suprised that they gave a discount to the people visiting from the SAARC countries. The climb to rock fort began very steadily with steps that were there. There were huge ponds or water catchment areas on both sides. Then there is a spiral step installed where we get to the Rock Paintings that date back a few centuries behind, if not more.
Then you get to a place called the The Lion Paw. That is from where the steep climb to the fort begins. Though now we have metal steps placed, it is indeed a crazy steep climb to the top. One too many people were huffing and panting in the effort to get to the top. Once you get to the top, all there is are ruins of the fort that kind of controlled the island country. The guides there were explaining everything the knew about the place to all the tourists.
It was very nice. I finished looking around and then descended down and walked out of the fort t the main road, as it was evening, i wanted to find a nice decent place to crash for the night. I was lucky enough to find a place very close to the fort at about LKR 1000 for the night. I stayed there, the guy even allowed me to watch EPL in his house and then I had Rice n Curry for dinner and munched Lays apart from the Plain Tea I kept having.
I left early in the morning towards Dambulla, to see the Rock Temples there.
Once I got to Dambulla bus stand, I asked the locals for guidance to reach the temple. One man guided me and also asked the bus driver to drop me just outside the temple, which he promptly did. There was a huge Buddha Statue to welcome me. They say, this statue of Buddha in this position is the biggest in the world. We then have to walk around the statue to get over the hill where the Buddhist Monks used to meditate in the meditation halls they had created in the hills by cutting the rocks. These places were absolutely awesome. The huge statues, the carvings on the walls, the paintings all around. Everything was simply mesmerizing. The view, the pleasant wind blowing up there, the cute lil lotus pond, the little cats playing around there.
Everything was a sight. Once I was done with the temple, i went back to the town and then took the bus back to Colombo. After having spent the weekend happily getting to know the history of the island country.