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Pidurangala - Facts in Brief
Pidurangala - Accommodation
Pidurangala - Dining
Pidurangala - Things to Do

Pidurangala, Sigiriya

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“ Returning to this wonderful place after five years, it is deeply pleasing to see the vines more tangled, and cottages blending further with the environment. This remains one of the most enchanting places to stay in Sri Lanka.
With much appreciation ”
- Stewart , Sri Lanka , December 2014

Hidden in 4 acres of forest at the base of the Pidurangala rock is our retreat, which the villagers themselves have named as “Kurulu Uyana” – Bird Park. A bird park in the wilderness it certainly is, but there is even more that you can enjoy: walk or ride to explore the 5th century World Heritage site of Sigiriya and our mighty neighbour the Pidurangala rock and ancient monastery. A 30 minutes drive will take you to Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks where the world famous Wild Elephant Gathering takes place. But we have to admit, the peace of forest and the little (and not so little.. such as elephants!) creatures that inhabit it, has often made us spend entire vacations right here within our premises.

“ I am so glad I came this year. Back of Beyond Pidurangala is the best place I've stayed in anywhere in the world. Why? Because of the people, first - you all. And secondly, the setting. The barbets, the sunbirds, crickets, bats, sun, wind, leaves, trees, squirrels - absolute heaven on earth ! Seven days of absolute bliss and going back with yet another wonderful bag of memories from here. ”
- Arati , Bangalore, India, September 2012

Pidurangala Location Map

Location:
Pidurangala – bordering Sigiriya. Closest main town is Dambulla (20 km)

Travelling from Colombo:
5 hour drive, 175 km of good tarred road, 400 m of well maintained village roads.

Accommodation:
8 rooms for a maximum of 22 adults and children. All rooms have attached toilets and hot water. Separate driver’s quarters are available.

Dining:
Custom prepared Sri Lankan and western meals will be served in the dining areas. Tea, coffee and drinking water is provided free of charge. Alcohol will not be provided in our premises but guests have the liberty to bring in their own.

Meal times and check in/out times:
Flexible depending on occupancy

“ It was a great escape from the city and we hand many fun adventures. We even found a hidden passage though the forest around the ancient ruins… Despite the lack of a television, we weren’t bored for a minute... Good bye and take care and hope to hang out here once again. ”
- Jet Ray and friends , Sri Lanka , July 2009

Staff:
Includes manager/naturalist, house-keeper, guide and cook.

“ The staff were wonderful. Friendly, efficient and always willing. A special touch is that there was always someone volunteering to go with us as a guide anywhere we wanted to!! They were always available without ever being intrusive. ”
- Nalinika , Colombo , December 2007

Activities and excursions:
Nature rambles, bird watching, hiking, picnics and tank baths in our neighborhood. Excursions to the National Parks of Minneriya, Kaudulla and Huruluwewa for elephant watching. Exploring the heritage sites Sigiriya, Pidurangala, Dambulla, Ritigala and Polonnaruwa.


FACILITIES AND SPECIAL NOTES

In brief, we offer :

- Lodges with attached modern toilets, and open format showers
- Hot and cold water
- Linen, towels, tissue rolls, soap and shampoo
- Mosquito nets and natural repellents
- Fan cooled rooms
- In-house cook and Sri Lankan and western menu options.
- We do not serve alcohol but permit our guests to consume their own at the premises.

We care deeply for our natural and social environment, We try to our best to ‘touch gently’ (see our policy statement), so please bear with us as,

- Mobile signal strength is usually low as we have retained the luscious greenery around us.
- We do not sell bottled spring water, but provide boiled drinking water free of charge
- Rooms do not have electric air conditioning
- Low lighting is used except in the bed rooms
- No TV and other noise generating entertainment
- No swimming pool
( but there are plenty of varied activities to fill your stay so we guarantee you will not miss the TV or the pool.)

“ It was a great escape from the city and we hand many fun adventures. We even found a hidden passage though the forest around the ancient ruins… Despite the lack of a television, we weren’t bored for a minute...
Good bye and take care and hope to hang out here once again.

- Jet Ray and friends, Sri Lanka, July 2009

“ We stayed 3 nights here and really liked it. The cottages are great, first time with such a good sleep even without AC. Great aircon going through the cottage ! everything was very clean and well maintained in a great natural environment with trees, birds, animals running around. The food is amazing and so good: congratulations to the cook. ”
- Karine & Christian, France, April 2013

You are welcome to :
- Request for tea, coffee and safe drinking water
- Use our home library
- Use our Wi-fi in the lobby

Speak to us if,
- You are on your honeymoon – we will make it extra special!
- You need to arrange a customised tour; around Sri Lanka or in the proximity of our lodges
- Arrange nature rambles (including night time Loris spotting) with our in-house Naturalist.
- Arrange for cooking lessons with our in-house cook

“ What a great experience! We enjoyed the sounds of the jungle while we were in bed. Food is just perfect. Staff extremely helpful and friendly. We can recommend this place to everybody who loves nature and wants to take a good rest. Thanks! ”
- Ralf & Roos, Netherlands, August 2015

“ We had a wonderful stay at your place. The chirping of the crickets, the calling of the bids, the croaking of the frogs, and the rustling in the trees of creatures small and large. It was relaxing amidst the tree hugging open patio !
Food was outstanding : even last minute requests were granted.

- Sandamalie, Rukmal and family, May 2012

“ A magical place. It was wonderful to wake up to the birdcalls. The architecture functional and beautiful. Delightful bathrooms – luxury among the foliage. The rooms were very comfortable and the bungalow very clean. Good work done by the entire team here, helpful and always ready to oblige. ”
- Sri Lanka Natural History Society, October 2007

Welang Bungalow :

This open format bungalow has three bed rooms, a dining and lounge area. Up to 7 adults and three children can be accommodated comfortably in Welang which is given out as a single unit.
We designed this specifically for family and friends to relax together in comfort while being close to nature. The attic we included for additional sleeping space has become the most popular spot with the kids! We have also added a small pantry with a refrigerator to this bungalow.

In keeping with our philosophy of minimising energy usage our bedrooms have fans rather than air conditioning. Given the jungle setting, we have provided mosquito nets for all the beds. Rooms have attached toilets with hot and cold water.



“ So sad to be leaving this little heaven today where I made so many new friends - frogs, monkeys, geckos, beetles..And the best sleep in my life. Thanks so much for all your kindness and exceptional level of service. ”
- Pauline , UK , August 2015

Weera Cottages :

Three individual cottages – named after three of our favourite resident birds Shama, Iora, and MalKoha – share a common lounge and dining area along with a little pantry. The cottages, each with its own verandah, are designed to maximise the impact of the forest. As our attics seem highly popular, we added one at Weera as well. It leads off the lounge area and can be used for additional sleep space or for reading, writing, bird watching…or for playing games on a rainy day.

In keeping with our philosophy of minimising energy usage our bedrooms have fans rather than air conditioning. Given the jungle setting, we have provided mosquito nets for all the beds. Rooms have attached toilets with hot and cold water.

“ We were in absolute heaven when we entered our cottage at Back of Beyond ! Such a cozy, beautiful place ! Loved the design of the cottages and guest house and loved how everything from the teapots to the lampshades has been so aesthetically and beautifully thought of. The food was delightful and the staff were wonderful and cheerful and our overall experience was relaxing and comfortable - just what we needed. ”
- Arayani and Ganesh , India , December 2012




“ What a great experience! We enjoyed the sounds of the jungle while we were in bed. Food is just perfect. Staff extremely helpful and friendly. We can recommend this place to everybody who loves nature and wants to take a good rest. Thanks! ”
- Ralf & Roos , Netherlands , Aug 2015

Milla Tree Houses :

Walk through a little forest path, towards a tumble of boulders, and you come to the most recent addition to our lodges at Pidurangala: Two stunningly spacious tree houses! Crafted lovingly by our team, they retains their position while giving you a elegant accommodation space.

Climb up well built wooden steps to the top of the tree house which is furnished with hand crafted comfortable beds where you wake up to the dramatic views of the boulder forest and the delicate sounds of nature. The additional lounge deck makes the upstairs a spacious, open space that easily accommodates up to 4 adults.

Downstairs, at the base of the tree, you have an open lounge to relax and sip your evening cup of tea or coffee. The modern toilet is attached along with the designer open format shower area, with hot and cold water for you to enjoy a long shower under the open skies.

These lodges are especially popular among honeymooners with the privacy, comfort and peaceful surrounding it provides.

“ We have been very lucky to spend 3 nights here and everything was perfect. We have slept 3 beautiful nights in the tree house and the wind and the morning song from the birds were an inexplicable experience. The team is no nice and friendly from breakfast to dinner !! ”
- Philippe , Galith Eyal and Lon , France , August 2015

Please speak to our staff about the special honeymoon package we offer as you make your booking.

“ The visit here was wonderful. We have done and see many great things in this area. Also the sounds of the animals made it special. Thanks for everything! We will never forget this honeymoon. ”
- Remco en Denise , Netherlands , September 2015


FACILITIES AND SPECIAL NOTES

In brief, we offer :

- Lodges with attached modern toilets, and open format showers
- Hot and cold water
- Linen, towels, tissue rolls, soap and shampoo
- Mosquito nets and natural repellents
- Fan cooled rooms
- In-house cook and Sri Lankan and western menu options.
- We do not serve alcohol but permit our guests to consume their own at the premises.

We care deeply for our natural and social environment, We try to our best to ‘touch gently’ (see our policy statement), so please bear with us as,

- Mobile signal strength is usually low as we have retained the luscious greenery around us.
- We do not sell bottled spring water, but provide boiled drinking water free of charge
- Rooms do not have electric air conditioning
- Low lighting is used except in the bed rooms
- No TV and other noise generating entertainment
- No swimming pool
( but there are plenty of varied activities to fill your stay so we guarantee you will not miss the TV or the pool.)

“ It was a great escape from the city and we hand many fun adventures. We even found a hidden passage though the forest around the ancient ruins… Despite the lack of a television, we weren’t bored for a minute...
Good bye and take care and hope to hang out here once again.

- Jet Ray and friends, Sri Lanka, July 2009

“ We stayed 3 nights here and really liked it. The cottages are great, first time with such a good sleep even without AC. Great aircon going through the cottage ! everything was very clean and well maintained in a great natural environment with trees, birds, animals running around. The food is amazing and so good: congratulations to the cook. ”
- Karine & Christian, France, April 2013

You are welcome to :
- Request for tea, coffee and safe drinking water
- Use our home library
- Use our Wi-fi in the lobby

Speak to us if,
- You are on your honeymoon – we will make it extra special!
- You need to arrange a customised tour; around Sri Lanka or in the proximity of our lodges
- Arrange nature rambles (including night time Loris spotting) with our in-house Naturalist.
- Arrange for cooking lessons with our in-house cook

“ What a great experience! We enjoyed the sounds of the jungle while we were in bed. Food is just perfect. Staff extremely helpful and friendly. We can recommend this place to everybody who loves nature and wants to take a good rest. Thanks! ”
- Ralf & Roos, Netherlands, August 2015



Food has always been a vital part of our family holidays…part of what makes up our travel memories! In keeping with the traditions of our Back of Beyond retreats, our cook at Kurulu Uyana will prepare a wide variety of Sri Lankan as well as western dishes. The village flavor predominates in the Sri Lankan food, and there is a distinct ‘Sri Lankan touch’ to the western dishes.

“ Oh the food – loved it! I couldn’t find anything to complain about. Each dish had it’s own individual tastes – from the barbecue with fire cooked pork to the kiribath and the strings – Oh the food! Phenomenal... ”
- Neil , Australia , July 2008

Rooms are offered on Bed and Breakfast, Half Board or Full Board basis.

We can also pack you a picnic lunch should you be spending the day exploring.


Reading up on what we see has always added to our pleasure of exploring this island. We have started a little library at each of our Back of Beyond retreats. In addition to some of our favourite books on Sri Lanka - its history, nature, wildlife, folk tales and culture – we have thrown in a few pulp fiction…after all what is a holiday without a little bit of fictional reading!

The library at Kurulu Uyana will also help you identify the birds and trees around you as well as bring you up to date with the latest debates on who built Sigiriya…

ACTIVITIES

Bird watching, Loris walk and wildlife : Kurulu Uyana is surrounded by forest that is typical to the north central plains of Sri Lanka. It is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. Our staff is specially trained to help you identify birds, butterflies and trees in the forest. As our property borders an elephant path, elephant sightings are possible, especially during the dry season.

“ The Dawn Chorus was amazing. We clocked up about 48 species of birds for that one night stay. ”
- Srinath and Vasantha , Colombo , February 2008

“ While 8 of us were in the Park, Kamini opted to stay behind at Back of Beyond and she had a most thrilling experience- a lone elephant calmly lumbered past her cottage while she was seated on the verandah. It is indeed heartening to note that man and beast could live in such harmony. ”
- Sri Lanka Natural History Society , October 2007

“ Many thanks for this wonderful retreat and for preserving for us and our children and their children the beauty and splendour of Sri Lanka. We enjoyed the food, the unique Loris walk (we saw the Loris) and the fabulous bird walk. ”
- Nanayakkara family , Sri Lanka , Switzerland and USA , July 2014




Picnics and tank baths :
Sri Lankans have a partiality for relaxing in inland waters. There are a number of wewas, (ancient man-made lakes or ‘tanks’), that are ideal spots to spend the better part of the day doing very little!


Walking and cycling :
The forest merges with the villages and historical sites of Pidurangala and Sigiriya. Walking and cycling along the red earth roads are an ideal way of exploring. But please take care as there are elephants around…



Hiking :
There are a number of high outcrops that provide excellent hiking options. Not only are you hiking up forested areas, you also get to explore the ruins of ancient monasteries and palaces.

Pidurangala :
If you take the jungle path from the edge of Kurulu Uyana, you immediately start climbing the forested slope of Pidurangala. Along the village road, it will take you less than 5 minutes to get to the temple entrance.
‘Above the drip ledge of this cave is an inscription and from this point to the summit is a flight of steps made of rubble. A long cave on the east side of the summit has been divided into three sections by walls. In one image house in this cave is a large recumbent Buddha statue made of brick and stucco probably 10th century …’ – Handbook for the Ceylon Traveller




Sigiriya :
A barely 5 min drive or a 15 min walk along shady paths will take you from Kurulu Uyana to Sigiriya.
“An enormous crag, soaring above the plains of the North Central Province, for a brief period in the 5th century Sigiriya was one of the most beautiful and splendid of royal cities; at once a fortress, palace and citadel…A combination of rock, boulders, water, stone and brick, Sigiriya is a carefully thought out city where the natural elements are interwoven with the man-made environment.” - Eloquence in Stone



EXCURSIONS

National Wildlife Parks of Minneriya, Kaudulla, HuruluWawe : Less than one hour drive from KuruluUyana.
Minneriya, famous for its ‘Gathering’ when herds of over 200 elephants move to the open grass lands, and its neighbouring park Kaudulla are beautiful parks well worth a visit. The recently opened Hurulu wewa Park is also waiting to be explored


ARCHEOLOGICAL RESERVES

The ancient Sri Lankan excelled in the art of combining nature with human habitation. To explore an archeological site is in fact to marvel at how human construction can enhance rather than destroy nature. Ritigala and Kaludiya Pokuna, are worth the effort of climbing if only to prove that it is possible for us to live as one with nature. You can also visit the famous sites of Dambulla and Polonnaruwa.

Ritigala
An easy 45 minute drive from Kurulu Uyana.
‘Ritigala monastery lies at the foot of the gorge which separates the main peak form the northern ridge of the range…After clambering over the bed of the main intake stream, the principal entrance staircase is reached…The stairway follows upwards in one ascending ridge and is flanked on either side by ruins, gigantic boulders scarred by gulleys, jungle and noble trees. It is one of the most beautiful and moving sights of any ruins in the county’ – Handbook for the Ceylon Traveller, Chapter 32



Dambulla
A 30 minute drive from Kurulu Uyana.
‘From time immemorial the people of Sri Lanka have taken to rocks and caves with as much alacrity the ducks to water. To torment a cliché – we’ve hardly left a stone unturned. It is then hardly possible that Dambulla’s enormous rock and cavern would have been given a miss…There is no doubt that the painting in the caves of Dambulla have been touched and retouched by succeeding monarchs and patrons and it is not too fanciful to imagine that underneath it all might lie the first artistic efforts of the Lankan cavemen’ - Handbook for the Ceylon Traveller, Chapter 31



Polonnaruwa
A one hour drive from Kurulu Uyana.
‘The finest statue of the Buddha himself will be found at Polonnaruwa, which became the island’s capital when Anuradhapura was abandoned after repeated invasions from India around AD 1,100. A huge reclining figure, fifteen meters long represents the Buddha at the moment of death; standing at its head is a smaller – but still impressive – statue with arms crossed and a look of downcast meditation or sadness’. - The Sea of Sinbad, Arthur C. Clarke



Testimonials

Pidurangala, Sigiriya

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