PIDURANGALA in the shadow of Sigiriya Text & pictures Ganga PRADEEPA
A tour of Sigiriya is incomplete without visiting Pidurangala. Sigiriya and Dambulla are famous among all Sri Lankans and foreigners too. But Pidurangala? It is not a well known place as they are. Overshadowed by the magnificence of the Sigiriya rock fortress, the equally ancient Pidurangala cave temple is somewhat neglected by visitors. But a tour of Sigiriya is incomplete without visiting Pidurangala, I felt.
Sigiri Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya is just a short distance (10 minutes'drive) from the Sigiriya Rock fortress. And it was built by King Kashyapa in the 5th Century A.D. So there is a strong connection between them. When Kashyapa discovered Sigiriya, there was a monastery where monks lived and meditated in the lower levels of the rock. Kashyapa decided to build a new shrine for these monks at the Pidurangala site nearby, before he started work on the Sigiriya fortress. He built caves for them and the monks went there. History has it that the king worshipped the Pidurangala Buddha statue twice a day, standing by the Lion's Paws on Sigiriya.
Top of Pidurangala
Photo source and slide show -www.flickr.com/photos/susiestaustell/show/with/3776903011