The rock lying adjacent to Sigiriya is called Pidurangala. It is a few kilometres north of Sigiriya. King Kasyapa built his palace on Sigiriya, but he worshipped the Buddha on the Royal Cave Temple on Pidurangala. The monastery dates back to the third century BC, but it was under King Kasyapa that it was expanded. It’s said the monastery was home to 500 monks and occupied an area of 14 acres during his reign.
The temple still stands to date, and open to visitors. But Pidurangala is not only famous for the temple. It is way more famous for being situated right next to Sigiriya thus offering a stunning view of the momentous rock – Sigiriya. Both rocks have nearly the same height: Sigiriya rises 200m above the surrounding jungle and Pidurangala is said to be only 1 meter shorter.
While Sigiriya is world famous for its frescoes, hardly anybody knows that there are similar frescoes inside the temple of Pidurangala. Pidurangala is particularly beautiful at sunrise. That includes climbing up in the dark, but being rewarded with a stunning view of a golden land at sunrise, with an epic view of Sigiriya and the surrounding.