Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour

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Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour

Visiting Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour can be a daunting task, if you begin your trip from Colombo or beach resorts on the west coast. However, Dambulla Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour quite possible if you stay in a hotel in Habarana or other nearby places. Since this excursion involves a 150-kilometer journey (you are supposed to begin the tour in Sigiriya, habarana or a nearby location).

Is it possible to do a Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour?

YES, it is possible to do a Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour. However, the tourists should start the trip in places that is close to all 3 sites such as Habarana, Sigiriya.

Our focus in this post is on one specific query that many tourists consider when organizing a trip to Sri Lanka. Can we see Dambulla Sigiriya Polonnaruwa in a day? My own experience comes into play, and it is feasible to see the trio in a single day; most certainly, I have done so several times. In this blog post, I will go through the process in detail.  

Duration of the Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa one day tour

Let’s start with discussing the duration of Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour. It could take visitors six to seven hours for this trip. It includes the time spent for travelling between these sites and see the significant monuments at each place.

If you leave from Habarana or Sigiriya, Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour take six to seven hours to complete. Nevertheless, the length of the one-day tour of Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa differed greatly based on how much time you spent in each city and how you get there. According to my experience it takes around 3 hours to cover the distance between these 3 sites.

Hours needed to tour the monuments

The whole trip lasts roughly 6-7 hours, including the 4 hours you need to explore the monuments in Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa. The trip may be shortened by an hour if you are an experienced hiker or stroll frequently at home. I have not included the time needed for a lunch break or any other quick respite, so please bear that in mind.

Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa one day tour from Colombo

If you Start Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa one day tour from Colombo or any other beach resort on the west or south coast, the trip may lasts atleast about 12 hours. The tour may lasts 12 hours mainly due to the distance to cover between Colobmo and the cultural triangle. A one way travle between Colobmo and teh cultural triangle lasts about 4 hours. It is advisable to arrange a two-day cultural triangle tour to Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa, when you are based in Colombo or in a beach resort on the west coast.

Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa three day tour

If you can arrange a three-day cultural triangle trip of Sri Lanka, it is far better, in my opinion. Major archeological sites (UNESCO world heritage sites) in the cultural triangle, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy, are covered on this three-day itinerary. This three-day vacation offers, in addition to the historical sites, safaris, city excursions, a botanical garden, cultural events, and much more.

Itinerary of Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour

  • You are met and greeted by your guide before going to the hotel in Sigiriya, stopping at Dambulla Temple and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage en route.
  • Ascend the Sigiriya rock fortress in the morning, then spend the afternoon touring the old city of Polonnaruwa. Later, on safari in Minneriya National Park
  • Travel via Kandy to the hotel in Colombo; en route, make stops at the Royal Botanical Garden, Matale Spice Garden, and Tooth Relic Temple as well.

Which sites are included in a Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa one day tour?

The main tourist sites you see on this trip are the Dambulla Golden Temple, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and Polonnaruwa Ancient City, although there are twelve significant historical monuments along this route. Time limits prevent one from thinking of going to other historical sites, going on safaris, taking cookery lessons, or going on village excursions. It is quite possible to see a few other significant historical sites, such the Pidurangala temple, if you can extend your visit and make it a two-day excursion. A wildlife reserve situated inside the cultural triangle offers wildlife tours as well. list of significant tourist sites to see on this journey is provided below.

  • Sigiriya Rock fortress
  • Golden temple of Dambulla
  • Museum of Pollonaruwa
  • Historical city of Polonnaruwa
  • Temple of Pidurangala
  • Minneriya National Park

Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka

Known by some as the golden triangle of Sri Lanka, the cultural triangle comprises several well-known tourist destinations, including Sigiriya and Dambulla. Hundreds of deteriorating historical monuments from the third century BC can be seen by visiting the cultural triangle. But the island has so many more significant locations to visit in addition to its cultural and historical landmarks.

Many tourists schedule a few days to see each and every area of the island. Thus, the tourists arrange to spend three nights in the cultural triangle, admiring historical sites, before heading to the upcountry of Sri Lanka to take in the stunning nature. Later, they head farther south to see wildlife sanctuaries and participate in jungle excursions in Sri Lanka. Finally, They stopped journey by visiting beaches on the west and south coasts.

Why tour Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, and Sigiriya?

One common pastime for international tourists to Sri Lanka is seeing historical sites. Major historical structures and UNESCO world heritage sites are Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa. Most Sri Lankan road trips, therefore, include all three locations.

Every week, I get numerous emails asking things like, “Can we spend a day seeing Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya?Could you set up a tour to see Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla? When visiting Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya, how long does it take?“. To provide a comprehensive image of the day trip to Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya, I decided to write this blog entry.

The cultural triangle is home to hundreds of dilapidated historic buildings, but its most visited locations are Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave, and Polonnaruwa.

When is the ideal time to visit Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa?

I would advise that you may take the Dambulla Sigiriya Polonnaruwa tour at any time of year if you are wondering when is the best time to go. The dry weather makes Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa excellent year-round holiday spots.

Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa—are part of Sri Lanka’s arid zone and are situated inside its cultural triangle. Travelers may enjoy pleasant, bright weather most of the year because the dry zone of Sri Lanka receives little rainfall and stays dry for most of the year. Nevertheless, during the rainy season, the temperature can be quite humid; thus, visitors should monitor the local conditions, particularly in October and November.

What is the one day scheduled trip to Dambulla Sigiriya Polonnaruwa ?

07.00 am: To begin the ascend at the Sigiriya rock

09.45 am: completion of the Sigiriya rock hike.

10.00 am: Driven to Polonnaruwa

11.00 am: After arriving in Polonnaruwa, begin the city tour.

01.00 am: Leave Polobnnaruwa historical city

01.20 pm: Lunch

03.30 pm: Have an eye on the Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla

04.30 pm: Wind up the one-day excursion to Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla

Adorable in the Cultural Triangle

To visit the cultural triangle, it takes at least two days. If you want to explore it at a reasonable speed and have some free time, you should allow three days at the very least. A 4-day cultural triangle trip in Sri Lanka is one of the most interesting things to do since it shows you the ruins of a once-thriving civilization.

Proof of ancient culture can be found in the magnificent Dagobas, interactive wood and stone carvings, enormous granite figures, and paintings from years ago. Historic cities will have several dozen of parks, palaces, temples, and other structures.  

Day trip to Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya

It is crucial to have a suitable means of transportation between those sites in order to save time; thus, I assume you have private transportation to go from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa and then to Dambulla. Using public transportation to see Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya in a day could be somewhat difficult. Generally speaking, public transportation moves slowly and behind schedule.

Starting point of the journey to Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa

You have to start your day trip from a nearby place if you want to see Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa in one day. This is so because the trip, if you start in Sigiriya or any nearby location, is about 150 km long and takes three hours. The sightseeing will take around five more hours, so the whole excursion will last about eight hours. You will, of course, have little time for anything else because you also need to budget for a few breaks (for lunch, to have a drink, to use the restroom, etc.).

The trip ends late at night, and you have to start it extremely early, at least about 4 a.m., if you arrange it from a faraway place like Colombo or Kandy. Thus, if you want to see Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa in a single day from Colombo, Kandy, or the west coast, we would advise a two-day tour. In addition to seeing Sigiriya Polonnaruwa and Dambulla in a single day, a two-day tour allows you to include a few more fascinating activities, such as a safari, a visit to the Pinnawala elephant orphanage, a spice garden, and the Sigiriya village tour as well.

First stop on the one-day tour to Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa is Sigiriya.

I advise you to start the one-day trip as early as possible—roughly about seven in the morning—and to start with a visit to the Sigiriya rock fortress. Why I suggest seeing Sigiriya early in the morning may be a mystery to you. Thus, you can protect yourself from the severe heat and sun throughout the outdoor Sigiriya trek. inconvenient, but the hiking makes you perspire. Thus, a visit to Sigiriya requires many hours of strenuous climbing on 1,200 tight steps.

Being at Sigiriya Rock early in the morning also allows you to avoid the crowds of visitors that begin to assemble at the gate at about 8 a.m. then carry on till early afternoon, roughly.

There is just one small stair to climb the rock, so if you get caught in tourist traffic, you might have to spend many hours more on the ascent. Usually taking two hours to complete, the climb to Sigiriya includes both upward and descent trips; on very crowded days, this time may increase to three or four hours.

This trip requires good time management because you have to go about 250 kilometers in a day and see three main tourist sites. Try to make the Sigiriya climb only two hours long; this will make the rest of the journey easier. Most tourists to Sigiriya take around two hours.

You can tour the archeological site at your own speed (no hurry) and, most significantly, there is no time wasted in line when you climb early in the morning. 

Drive from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa

55 kilometers are traveled in about an hour of driving from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa. Because majority of the drive takes place inside Minneriya National Park, the route from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa and the other way around is quite popular among tourists. Visitors to this route often see wild elephants. Keep your antenna up and you could see a few wild elephants. Few locations allow you to glimpse wild animals while driving.

From Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa by Bus

But because of the few transit stations, taking public transportation (bus) from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa could take up to three hours. First transit point is Inamaluwa; second is Habarana. You must take a bus headed for Habarana from Inamaluwa after leaving Sigiriya since there isn’t a direct route from Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa. Habarana has direct bus service to Polonnaruwa.

Driving from Sigiriya Rock to Polonnaruwa, ask your driver or guide to take Moragaswewa-Illukwewa Rd., also referred to as the Sigiriya shortcut. Traveling the major route (via Habarana) will add roughly forty minutes to the trip.

Exploring Polonnaruwa

Second-oldest capital of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa, dates back to the tenth century AD. Most of the historical monuments that Polonnaruwa conceals are still in good condition. Here are numerous centuries-old palaces, parks, temples, audience halls, and other historical buildings. Though there are no steps to climb at Polonnaruwa, the monuments are dispersed throughout a considerable portion of the historic city, unlike in Sigiriya. You must so either drive or walk from one location to another.

Tour of Polonnaruwa city

Polonnaruwa city tour focuses mostly on museums, stupas, historical temples, and ancient sites. The length of the Polonnaruwa city tour may change according to your level of interest in archaeology and the kind of transportation. Walking during the city tour could take you four hours to see Polonnaruwa. Traveling in Polonnaruwa by car or van might allow you to finish the city tour in roughly two hours.

The climate of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya are same, so the two places have comparable weather. Polonnaruwa is situated in the north-central province of Sri Lanka. Less rain, high humidity, and high temperature are the same weather in Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya.

What to see while touring Polonnaruwa city

There are hundreds of old monuments to see if you stroll along the dusty road in the historic city of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa is replete with historic buildings; you will find a great deal of temples, Dagobas, stupas, palaces, Buddha statues, Ayurvedic temples, and much more. While most of the historic sites in the city are from the 10th century AD, some are hundreds of years old.

Interesting about Polonnaruwa is that it has a well-designed natural green cover in addition to being an archeological site with monuments. Everywhere inside the historic city, the visitors come across enormous trees and vegetation. Incorporating lakes, gardens, roads, moats, and fortifications, the ancient rulers painstakingly designed the metropolis in the tenth century AD.

In a nutshell, one day tour to view Sigiriya frescoes paintings, see off the beaten track tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya rock fortress, things to visit in sigiriya, five most significant cities in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, Dambulla Sigiriya Polonnaruwa tour

Day trips to Sigiriya and Dambulla depart from Colombo and other well-known west coast destinations. The trip visits the Dambulla golden temple and the Sigiriya rock fortress, two important historical sites in Sri Lanka. Complete ground transportation, a live guide, all entrance fees, and all taxes are included in the private tour.

Museum of Polonnaruwa and Parakrama Samudra

Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum is the first stop on an exploration of the historic city. To reach the archeological museum, which is close to the bank of Parakrama Samudra, travel a hundred yards along the main road.

As they designed the city, the ancient engineers gave a permanent water supply great thought. To give the old city water, thus they constructed Parakrama Samudra close by. One of Sri Lanka’s largest artificial lakes, Parakrama Samudra, is still essential to the locals’ water supply.

The best way to see the city is by bike, which lets you see the historic sites within lush greenery. If you would like to rent a bike for your city tour, we suggest getting in touch with a nearby tour operator like Seerendipity.

Walking is another good and sometimes somewhat less expensive, way to get to Polonnaruwa. Many backpackers that travel to Sri Lanka using public buses have stuck to this strategy in order to save a few dollars.

The majority of tourists that arrange package excursions with regional tour companies need not bother to get to Polonnaruwa. Everything is planned by the trip operator, from the admission tickets to the tour guides to the means of getting around the historic city.

Ione can also travel by bus, van, or private vehicle; the roads are suitable for them. Many tourists continue to use this kind of car because it is definitely very quick, easy, and pleasant for riding or walking through the historic city of Polonnaruwa.

The contrast between Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa is that, while all activities there are outside (except from the Polonnaruwa museum), the old city of Polonnaruwa has a far higher green cover than Sigiriya. Polonnaruwa protects you from the sun and offers shade from thick trees. You won’t be able to sense a big crowd in Polonnaruwa because it disperses people and objects over a large space.

See the Golden Temple on a one-day trip to Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa

Near the end of the one-day excursion that visits Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa, I suggest going to the Dambulla Golden Cave Temple. Not as difficult is the climb in the Dambulla cave temple as it is at Sigiriya. You may see Polonnaruwa whenever you want with an easy hike that takes no more than ten minutes at most. Although Sigiriya rock-cut stairs are narrower, Dambulla steps are simpler to climb.The hike at Dambulla was far more difficult and took longer than it does now, when the hikers started a few years ago, close to the A9 major road. The hike was made easier with a new entrance when another temple in the same location later took over management of the temple. Hiking at Dambulla is best done in the afternoon or early morning due to the heat. Though occasionally several hundred tourists swarm into the cave, Dambulla sees far fewer tourists than Sigiriya. Most tourists come to Dambulla early in the morning. Including trips both up and down the five tunnels, the Dambulla cave temple tour takes around an hour.

From Sigiriya to Dambulla by land

With public transportation, getting from Sigiriya to Dambulla is simple. You do not, however, receive trail transportation on this trip. The 17 kilometer trip from Sigiriya to Dambulla takes, depending on your mode of transportation, 20 to 40 minutes. Driving from Sigiriya to Dambulla takes 20 minutes if you have a private car. The public bus will take you at least forty minutes.

Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla day trip summary

If you need more time when traveling, you are also required to drive additional 30 minutes from the hotel in Sigiriya or Dambulla, thus, you have to check out of the by 06.30 am: Leave the hotel

07.00 am: Reach rock fortress and start to ascend at Sigiriya rock

08.00 am: Climb to the top and investigate the monuments

09.15 am: 30 minutes break (refresh yourself; dozens of cafeterias are located close to the Sigiriya Rock, it’s good after a strenuous climb)

09.45 am: Leave for Polonnaruwa

10.45 am: Visit the archaeological museum, then buy a ticket, and admire the priceless exhibits in the museum.

11.30 am: Tour the ancient city of Polonnaruwa

01.30 pm: wind up the Polonnaruwa sightseeing trip and depart

02.00 pm: Lunch break

03.30 pm: Travel to the Dambulla Golden cave temple

04.00 pm: Explore Dambulla cave temple

05.00 pm: Depart the temple.

Conclusion of the one-day excursion to Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa

Less well-known sites to see in Sigiriya and Dambulla

There are several travel and leisure activities in Dambulla and Sigiriya on the main schedule. On the other hand, some of them can be seen in the tour itinerary as well, such as Pidurangala Temple, Habarana Village Tour, and Safari at Minneriya National Park. Nevertheless, this one-day tour will leave you with little time for other activities due to the hectic schedule. You may see a lot of fascinating sites in two days, including Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa in one day, if you arrange a two-day vacation that includes an overnight stay in a hotel in Sigiriya or Polonnaruwa.

One day trip to Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, Omitting the Dambulla cave temple

It’s not too difficult to see Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa in a single day, but if you leave out the Dambulla cave temple, your savings are little. Visits to Dambulla Golden Temple take less time than those to Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa. And Dambulla is only twenty minutes away if you drive to Sigiriya. Unlike the trip to Sigiriya, the Dambulla climb is rather simple and takes just ten minutes to ascend the stairs.

Why travel with Seerendipity Tours to Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa?

Totally owned locally, Seerendipity Tour has its main headquarters in Colombo. A major asset of Seerendipity Tours is the highly skilled local staff, who can arrange your ideal vacation to Sri Lanka.

best pricing assured for your vacation to Sri Lanka

Seerendipity Tours guarantees the best pricing because you book your tour directly with the local firm, eliminating intermediaries. Just contact us, telling us when you plan to travel and what you enjoy seeing.

Organize the perfect vacation to Sri Lanka with a knowledgeable

Our staff creates a customized itinerary that you can modify until you choose the ideal Sri Lanka vacation package. To get ideas, you can also peruse our current trip packages at www.sirilaktours.com; all of our pre-made tour packages are modifiable and can be altered to fit your exact specifications. Write to admin@seerendipitytours.com or call. WhatsApp: +44 77 440977

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