Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sigiriya - Severe Test of Endurance in Spectacular Sigiriya

Rock Temple's 2,400 steps to climb to the top. A nerve wracking experience for me. Reminds me of Myanmar's Mount Popa. This photo only courtesy of wikitravel's Bernard Gagnon.

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka - Sigiriya is a flat-topped rock outcrop rising over 200 meters over the dusty central plains. With a population of 1,000, the surrounding fields is remote and jungle lush!
I hired a van to take me there. Upon reaching the temple grounds, I suddenly realized that this was going to be arduous. Endurance I don't have a problem. It's the psychological test of getting through my fear of heights which until now has never been really much. Not only is there more than 2,400 steps to conquer, but these steps involve walking though steep, winding staircases with rails that seem to invite you to fly off the edge. I was practically dying every second I was braving my way up! There was this series of frescos - paintings on a wall located at some cave which is navigable by a spiraling stair, at the side of a perpendicular wall of rock. Several areas vary from each other, it must have been a virtual city during its time. You don't wander why UNESCO placed it at its Heritage list!
A portion of the walk is through shallow platforms, the rails are low and the drive to suddenly fall of hundreds of meters down below is all encompassing. Local visitors had 5 year old children walking unassisted! I was shocked! It is a bit irresponsible to take those young souls up there coz they could easily fit and fall off the open rails. The though just mortifies me!
On the whole, Sigiriya is on top of my list of experiences in Sri Lanka. It makes Myanmar's Mount Popa seem like a child's game.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

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