Plan a Perfect Trip to Pinnawala and Sigiriya in 2024 With These Insider Facts

Have you ever heard where the kingdom of Ravana was located? Have you ever wondered whether Ramayana is a mythology or a history? Have you ever visited any Elephant orphanage? You think about all these questions. In the meantime, let’s take you all on a mesmerizing trip to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Sigiriya.

In case you don’t know who we are………..

We call ourselves Travel Freaks……..

Let’s begin this blog on a different note. You might be eager to know………

1. What is so different about Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage from Elephant Park?

The Pinnawla Elephant Orphanage is visitor friendly and interactive. We were quite excited even before our trip. A more detailed insight about the Park is given in the later part of this blog.

Coming back to our story. We were already in Colombo and explored the Gangaramaya Temple. You would love to read our blogs. Checkout our Sri Lanka series. You will get help to plan your own. Of course, we are there just a click away.

We started at around 7:30 AM from Colombo. Our driver cum guide Mr Mahesh was waiting in the hotel lobby. As we were leaving Colombo city, we spotted President House, Harbour Port, Beachfront, Navy Headquarters, Embassy buildings and a few more important sites. However, we didn’t stop anywhere, as we had a planned day for Pinnawala and Sigiriya.

You might be eager to know about……..

2. How was the journey from Colombo to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

Colombo to Pinnawala is about 95 km, generally taking two and a half hours to reach. However, on the way, we stopped for breakfast and a few other spots to get some good snaps, so it took us a little over three hours to reach.

Finally, we reached our first destination for the day, which was Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. It was around 10:30 AM. The sun was above our heads, and it was hot. We suggest our readers plan in the early hours of the day to skip day time rush and the summer heat.

Now that we reached Pinnawala, you all might be curious about……

3. What are the activities that can be done at Pinnawala?

As we got down from the car, we rushed to the ticket counter and bought tickets. It cost us around 1750 LKR as we were from the SAARC nations. For others, the cost was around 3500 LKR. The ticket price includes a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage entrance, entry to the herbal garden and Pinnawala Zoo.

Besides the mentioned ticket, three more activities were available: elephant bathing, feeding and walking. You can choose as per your interest. Also, the ticket included an auto-rickshaw drive to the elephant bathing area, Pinnawala Zoo and herbal garden. We took the tickets for Elephant bathing (750 LKR) and feeding (500 LKR).

We took the auto ride to reach the bathing area. Caretakers took us near an Elephant where it was resting in water and we bathed it as he guided us. The same was with the feeding activity as well. We were initially sceptical about going near them. However, later on, we enjoyed it.

Our next stop was the Pinnawala Zoo. The Zoo was mainly dedicated to various species of deer and, of course, elephants were there. We strolled around the zoo for around half an hour. A few herds of elephants kept us at bay while they were crossing through the zoo. It was time for the herbal garden; our auto rickshaw drivers took us to one of the nearby herbal gardens.

One guide welcomed us as we arrived. Soon he started explaining to us the medicinal properties of various leaves and plants. It took us around half an hour to visit the place. After leaving the park, we did some shopping and quickly hopped in the car as our driver mentioned we needed to reach our next point, Sigiriya, before 5 o’clock.

You all must be thinking…..

4. How was the experience of Sigiriya?

It was about 5 o’clock when we reached the famous point of Dambulla, Sigiriya, a UNESCO world heritage site. It is believed to be one of the possible locations of King Ravana’s palace. It was quite late, so we quickly took the entrance tickets from the counter and headed towards the Sigiriya Rock. It has almost 1200 steps to reach the top and has a height of about 660 feet. Sigiriya was constructed during the reign of King Kashyapa in the 5th century AD.

Initially, it was scorching heat as we reached, but by the time we started our hike to the top, it was almost time for sunset.

Thankfully by the time we reached atop, the sun was going down, and the view was stunning. It has a unique entrance in the form of a lion’s paws carved into the rock.

We took some beautiful snaps, explored the place for some time then started for our downhill hike. There were a few more sites on the way: mirror wall, terraced gardens, water gardens and a gallery of frescos.

At the time of getting down, as it was already dark had to switch on our mobile torchlights as the steps were not visible. It was an amazing experience though we were a bit tired after completing the entire journey.

Travel tip: If you are planning for Sigiriya Rock, plan to visit in the early morning or during sunset.

As it was pretty dark and time for dinner, we chose a place for dinner on our way to the stay. It was a cosy place with a nice ambience. Food was something to be appreciated and also one of the unique things we observed. People from all over the world have written their notes and messages for the restaurant, food, service etc. We enjoyed our time there.

Now it was time to head towards our stay. Meanwhile, we got a call from the hotel owner checking on us for dinner if we wanted to have it after arriving there.

By reading the last sentence, you might want to know…

5. Where was our stay for the night?

We booked Hotel Smashing Inn. We reached our stay in Matale Road, Dambulla, which was hardly 15 mins from our dinner place. The time was around 9 o’clock. Dambulla’s stay was a homestay, and the host was warm and welcoming.

A welcome drink was served to us, the stay had nice spacious rooms and a sitting area at the entrance, and lush green trees surrounded the whole stay. It felt so close to nature. We had only one night stay there due to time constraints, wish we could extend it.

It was time to end our day and get a good sound sleep for our next adventure.

Wait! We are not going anywhere without this last question.

6. What kind of help are we going to provide?

Let us inform you that we prepare itineraries not only for anywhere in India but also for Asia. We have been travelling since we were toddlers. So here in our blogs and stories, we will give you a glimpse of our journey and help you plan your trip.

Read about our Uzbekistan blogs.

Read about our Kazakhstan blogs.

Read about our Singapore blogs.

Read about our Vietnam blogs.

Read about our Cambodia blogs.

Read about our Bali blogs.

Read about our Kuala Lumpur blog series.

Read about our Sri Lanka blogs.

Read about our Nepal blogs.

Read about our Char Dham blogs.

Read about our Ladakh blogs.

Read about our day trip to Hyderabad.

Read about our Madhya Pradesh blogs.

Read about our Andaman and Nicobar blogs.

Do follow our Instagram handle @mindfulllofvacations and watch for the next destination story of Sri Lanka. For any query related to any trip, drop a mail at

by mitkau

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