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How To Reach Sigiriya
Right in the midst of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle lies Sigiriya, also known as Sinhagiri. Recognized for its ancient rock fortress, located in Matale Northern District near Dambulla. Labeled a world heritage site by UNESCO, Sigiriya is referred to as one of the 8 wonders of the world by its inhabitants, thanks to its archeological significance and incoming tourist traffic. One of the leading examples of ancient urban planning that’s been maintained well.
With traditional artifacts to boast of in the North, plush green moorlands in the Center and some amazing beaches along its Southern and Western coastlines, Sri Lanka is quite rich in exploring its natural beauty and historic monuments. To travel anywhere from Colombo, it will easily take you about 3-4 hours, with Colombo to Sigiriya being the most preferred journey. Here's a guide on how to reach Sigiriya.
There are no direct flights from India to Sigiriya. You can take a flight from India to Colombo International Airport with nearly 19 flights operating from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai & New Delhi. Once you land at the Colombo International Airport, to reach Sigiriya you can take a flight, catch a bus, or book a rental car or a cab.
The distance between Colombo and Sigiriya is 150 km. It is roughly an hour and 33 mins travel to Sigiriya, inclusive of transfers. If you’d like to fly, it’ll cost you anything between LKR 16,000-40,000 for a flight. Cinnamon Air, a reputable domestic airline in Sri Lanka has an air taxi operating daily from Colombo airport’s domestic terminal to Sigiriya. Although it is the fastest way to reach Sigiriya (30 mins), flying is a bit too steep in terms of budget!
Further, the air taxi is small in comparison to other flights and can only accommodate about 8 people at a time. The flight schedule is as listed below –
- Monday-Sunday: Colombo- Sigiriya: 10am
- Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday: Colombo- Sigiriya: 2.15pm
The best way to reach Sigiriya from Colombo is by train and will cost you between LKR 800-1,200. It is an hour and 33 minutes from Colombo. However, there are no direct trains to Sigiriya. The best option is to board the train from Colombo Fort to Habrana, which is 15 km away. If you reserve a 3rd class ticket, the fare would be LKR 480, while a confirmed seat in the 2nd class is LKR 600. The train leaves at 6.10 am every day from Colombo Fort to Habrana and takes about 4 hours 50 minutes.
From Habrana, Sigiriya is approx. 17 km and costs LKR 750-900 by Taxi.
If you love driving, you can always rent a private car and take either of the two routes recommended to reach Sigiriya. The usual route is the A01 route from Kandy Road to Ambepuss, via Kurunegala on A06. Depending on the traffic you can hope to reach Sigiriya in 3 hours max. The second option is to drive on the Katunayake Expressway.
Traveling to Sigiriya can be quite tiring, considering the direct options to reach there are limited to none. If you’d like to travel by bus, it may take longer than driving in a cab or a rental car. From Colombo, the number 15 bus to Anuradhapura or number 48 to Kaduruwela are the best options; alternatively, you’d board number 49 to Trinco and get down either at Dambulla or Habrana. From Habrana, you’d take a 3-wheeler to Sigiriya, which will cost you LKR 300, although the journey may nearly exhaust you from the long travel!
The best way to getting around in Sigiriya is by bikes or scooters which cost anywhere between LKR 300-1500 on hire. You can also hire a tuk-tuk, considering their cost-effectiveness and the fact that you can explore a lot of places that may be off the track.