- Pidurangala Rock
Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. It has an interesting history closely related to that of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climbing to the top of Pidurangala Rock is more strenuous than climbing Sigiriya. If you are fit and adventurous it is a climb worth making. It will take you about two hours.
Sigiriya Rock is rich in history and has some pretty dramatic features such as the lion’s paw and the mirror wall, Pidurangala Rock has a much more natural feel, despite also housing a temple. Pidurangala Rock is adjacent to Sigiriya Rock and is the best viewing spot of Sigiriya Rock as it is only slightly lower. Pidurangala is a popular spot for sunrise as you can enjoy 360-degree views of not only the valleys but also Sigiriya Rock.
Many travelers wake up for the sunrise at Pidurangala and then head to sunset on top of Sigiriya Rock. A mile north of the Sigiriya Citadel is Pidurangala which served as the royal monastery. A despoiled dagaba at the foot of the hill could well have been the cremation site of King Kashyapa who founded the Citadel. Carbon dating at the site coincides with the traditional date of the demise of the King.
Above the modern temple are the old image houses. A flight of steps leads to the summit, where a long cave has a large recumbent image of the Buddha in brick and stucco. It has been dated to the late Anuradhapura period around the 10th century.
- Pidurangala Viharaya
Pidurangala Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Pidurangala village of Matale District, Sri Lanka. The temple was constructed on a massive rock called Pidurangala, which is located a few kilometers north of the historical fort Sigiriya. The temple was said to be ‘panchavasa’, consisting of five main ritual buildings. Among the buildings are Ancient stupa, Chapter House, Image House, Bodhighara, Preaching hall, Sangharama (Bikku Residence Building) and inscriptions with drip ledged caves can be seen.
The Royal Cave Temple is survived only by a few remains. A rock wall still stands to show the foundation of what was once a rock temple. We missed it on the way up in the dark but stopped to check it out on the way down. A huge reclining Buddha lays inside the temple and we also didn’t stop to take it in on the hike up but it was unmissable on the way down. It has been reconstructed with bricks but much of the original structure remains intact.
- About history in pidurangala Viharaya
It is believed that the history of Pidurangala Vihara goes back beyond to the first and second century BC.From those days Pidurangala was used as a Buddhist monastery and but became a prominent place during the reign of King Dhatusena (473 – 495 AC).
According to ancient chronicles, Prince Kashyapa had killed his father King Dhatusena and fled to Sigiriya to find out a more secure place to prevent retaliation attacks from his half-brother Mugalan, with the arrival of King Kashyapa, the Bhikkus who were medidated there were requested move to the nearby Pidurangala. In a sort of compensation, King Kashyapa refurbished the temple and made it a prominent place.