Sigiriya Jungles offers travellers a luxurious getaway in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. The infusion of local sights, sounds and flavours into the overall experience at the hotel, ensures that each and every guest experiences the epitome of Sri Lankan traditions and hospitality. The hotel is located in close proximity to several significant cultural and historical attractions and hotspots, and serves as the ideal base for guests who are eager to explore the country’s rich heritage.
The Sigiriya Rock Fortress: The legendary sky citadel of Sigiriya is located a short 15-minute drive away from the hotel. The majestic rock with its series of moats, ramparts and water gardens rises 200m above sea level and a pair of giant stone lion’s paws still remain at the entrance of the stairway, which leads to the rock’s summit. The history of the rock is intertwined with a chilling story; the King at the time was walled-up alive by his son, Kashyapa who then fled in fear that his exiled brother would return and unleash his vengeance on him. Kashyapa built Sigiriya into a magnificent fortress to protect himself and it stands a reminder of the impressive urban planning skills and sophisticated knowledge of engineering, construction and irrigation that were prevalent in ancient Sri Lanka. The rock is also famous for the frescoes of the Sigiriya maidens that adorn one of the old palace’s walls. The frescoes can be seen on the climb to the summit, which offers breath-taking views of the surrounding plains as well as many intricate bathing pools and reservoirs.
Discover the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa: After an early breakfast at the hotel, you can opt to embark on an excursion to explore the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Located half an hour away from the hotel, the city of Anuradhapura remains a sacred place with eight veneration sites that are known as “Atamasthana”. The city once served as a monastic centre and several ruins can still be found there today. The nearby ancient city of Polonnaruwa also features large granite sculptures, massive tanks and irrigation systems that date back to the 11th and 13th century.
A quick stop in Mihintale: After lunch you can opt to drive a short distance to Mihintale, where King Mahadatika Mahanaga built the Ambastala Dagaba, where an important sermon was once delivered to King Devanampiya Tissa by a great Buddhist sage. After climbing up to the stupas and exploring the site at leisure, you can opt to return to the hotel and visit the Aukana Buddha statue on your way back. The magnificent statue stands 12m high and is believed to have been built in the 5th century A.D.
Discover nature at its best in Habarana: Located 20 minutes away from the hotel near the town of Habarana, Minneriya National Park offers travellers the chance to experience one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic wildlife events – The Gathering. During the dry season of July – September, when water sources start to dry up, elephants in herds of hundreds gather at the Minneriya reservoir. The spectacular sight has gained interest from around the world, and each year wildlife enthusiasts and tourists travel to Minneriya to witness it. The park is also filled with an abundance of other flora and fauna and a jeep safari is the best way to explore this unique area.
Experience traditional life: Located a short distance away from the hotel, the village of Audangawa provides an authentic and memorable village trek that will offer you a window in to the heart of rural village life. The trek includes a bullock cart ride that enables one to observe an amazing variety of birds and butterflies in their natural habitat. The trek concludes with a delicious lunch that is prepared in the village using traditional recipes and natural ingredients cooked in clay pots. Prior reservations are to be made with the hotel.
Discover Kandy and its many attractions: The city of Kandy is located approximately two hours away from the hotel, and after a scenic journey and early departure, you can arrive in Kandy in the early morning, leaving a full day to explore the city at leisure. En-route you can make a quick stop in Matale and explore the town’s spice garden. Sri Lanka is world renowned for its cultivation of spices and since ancient times, the island has supplied the world with cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom, vanilla and other spices. You can take a stroll through the garden and see how the different spices are grown and you can learn more about the role that spices play in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and the art of Ayurveda.
Thereafter you can visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which comprise 150 acres of trees, lawns, flowering shrubs and a further 50 acres of more than 10,000 trees. Once you get to Kandy, you can visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth (also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa). The temple is one of the most venerated places of worship for Buddhist pilgrims and it was built in the 16th century to house the sacred Tooth Relic that was brought to Sri Lanka from India.
The Dambulla Cave Temple: As you drive back to the hotel from Kandy, you can opt to stop by the Dambulla Cave Temple, which was built by King Walagamba in the 1st century B.C. Today, the complex of five caves, which spans across 200 sq. metres is considered a World Heritage Site. It contains over 150 images of the Lord Buddha, the largest of which is carved out of a rock that rises 14 metres high.
Sigiriya Jungles continuously offers guests indulgent getaways and remains committed to delivering memorable holidays and exceptional standards of service and hospitality. The hotel features 60 elegantly designed rooms, a swimming pool, vibrant outdoor spaces, locally inspired dining and a 100ft bridge that offers breath-taking vistas of the Sigirya Rock Fortress.
Article by Leoburnet