Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya (පිදුරංගල රජමහා විහාරය)

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There are several old monasteries at Pidurangala, Enderagala, Ramkele, Manikdena, and Kaludiya Pokuna, which were not only important as religious foci; but also as major centres of socio-political and economic origination.

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 the King Kasyapa who founded the Citadel. Carbon datings at the site coincide with the traditional date of the demise of the King. Its interesting to note that the maidens of Sigiriya Frescos are all moving in the direction of the Pidurangala Temple to the north of the hill, as if about to make offerings at that shrine.

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. Unfortunately treasure hunters have destroyed most of its head and the chest in search of treasures. These damaged areas have been rebuilt in recent times by the department of archaeology. This statue has been dated to the late Anuradhapura period around the 10th century.

During an excavation in 1952, professor Paranavithana discovered parts of 3 beautifully crafted reliefs caved on hard marble. When Paranavitana began the excavation, the stūpa had already been illicitly excavated by treasure hunters. These three reliefs would have been inside the relic chamber of the stūpa deposited as offerings by pious worshipers during its construction.

Pidurangala rock is almost the same height as the Sigiriya Rock. The climb to this rock is more challenging than the Sigiriya as the path is not well built as in Sigiriya. Passing the temple at the base of the rock, you enter an enchanting forest over which the foot path lies. However this forest holds an dark secret. Number of Wasp nests lies on this forest and it is important to have absolute silence when pasting this section.

The first half of this climb is not difficult. But as you reach the top, be prepared to do some boulder surfing and stretching your body little more as there is no hand railings and need to find your footing among the boulders and trees. However once you reach the top the view of amazing. You will have a parallel and undisturbed view of Sigiriya Rock and this place and has become a popular place for photography.


  • Bopearachchi, O. (2020) Roots of Sri Lankan Art. Colombo: Department of Archaeology.

Also See

Map of Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya Route from Sigiriya to Pidurangala Rajamaha Viharaya
Through : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance : 177 km
Travel time : 4 hours.
Time to Spend : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Distance : 2.5 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map


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