YAPAHUWA ROCK FORTRESS | Steep Stairways, Jungle Treks & Epic Viewpoints

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As our tour bus rolled as much as the Yapahuwa Rock Fortress, I don’t assume any of us have been fairly ready for the steep journey that we’d quickly be on.  The solar was shining vivid, it was ridiculously humid (normal for Sri Lanka), and nearly all of our tour group have been sporting flip-flops…which all of us quickly found was not ultimate for the day’s exercise!

After two totally different month-long journeys to Sri Lanka in earlier years, I nonetheless in some way had by no means heard of this fascinating & stunning vacation spot in Sri Lanka!  The Yapahuwa Rock Fortress will not be some of the iconic or well-known locations to go to, nevertheless it’s actually up there with regards to Sri Lanka’s greatest hidden-gems!


Yapahuwa Rock Fortress Historical past

Yapahuwa is considered one of Sri Lanka’s most original and essential websites for these within the nation’s historic historical past! 

Yapahuwa was was one of many ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka after the autumn of the Polonnaruwa kingdom.  The town was a well-planned fortress consisting of the inside metropolis/ outer metropolis sections, encircled by ramparts & moats whereas strategically utilizing the panorama for safety.  Full with three gated entrances and epic fortifications, it’s secure to say that penetrating the partitions of this metropolis could be no straightforward activity.

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa is most well-known for as soon as being the placement of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha (which now could be present in Kandy).

“In 1272, King Bhuvenakabahu transferred the capital to Yapahuwa from Polonnaruwa within the face of marauding Dravidian invasions from South India, bringing the Sacred Tooth Relic with him. The transfer proved to be of little avail. Following the dying of King Bhuvenakabahu in 1284, the Pandyans of South India invaded Lanka as soon as agai, and succeeded in capturing Sacred Tooth Relic too. Following its seize, Yapahuwa was largely deserted & inhabited by Buddhist monks & non secular ascetics.”  –

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Yapahuwa Stone Stairway

Probably the most jaw-dropping spotlight of the Yapahuwa Rock Fortress is unquestionably the insanely steep stone staircase main as much as the traditional palace grounds.

Once we arrived at this archaeologically gorgeous masterpiece, the entire group began taking turns getting “the shot”.  We have been touring with a bunch of (superior) travel-bloggers and Instagrammers in spite of everything, and it actually is an ideal photograph alternative!


This huge staircase consists of three layers, and if you’re standing on the backside trying up (you possibly can’t even see the highest).  It simply goes on and on…it’s loopy!

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

It the steps didn’t have such a Mayan like steepness, it might be an ideal place for some every day stairmaster train.  


Yapahuwa Lion Terrace Doorway

On the high of the daunting staircase, you’ll end up at this picturesque and spectacular stone doorway.  Since this was the earlier location of the Sacred Tooth Relic, it comes full with two “well-known Yapahuwa Lions ever vigilant, on guard and set to sound the warning roar, and leap in assault to defend Lanka’s most treasured possession.”

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress


When you step foot beneath this doorway and into the foundations of the temple, you’ll see that there isn’t all that a lot else there in addition to some beautfiul timber, bricks & stone pillars.  With that being stated, the views loooking down at what you simply climbed up are magnificent!

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress


Yapahuwa Rock Summit

Now, I believe our tour group was really meant to cease right here and head again all the way down to the bus…however I do know I couldn’t come this far and never make it to the highest of the mountain!  That is the place issues obtained a bit difficult, as the rest of the tough path to the highest of the rock is a steady steep trek.

However the extra I climbed, the higher the views obtained – therefore my inspiration! 

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Upon arrival to the summit, you may be rewarded with 360º views of your entire area.  These sprawling views are signature Sri Lanka, and jogged my memory of my first journey to the nation 4 years in the past after I did the Sigiriya Rock Fortress hike  Vast-open rice paddies, rolling inexperienced landscapes, and plush inexperienced jungles so far as the attention can see.  Even with some clouds within the sky limiting the element within the far off the mountains, the views have been fully stunning.

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Listed below are a few of my favourite photographs from the summit!  Which one is your favourite…?

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress


With solely the sounds of my digital camera shutter and some bugs zipping across the air…I relished within the silence discovered on the summit.  A tremendous second, and a terrific solution to spend a day.

**One factor I seen was that there have been barely another vacationers there in addition to the individuals in our group.  It made for a really nice sightseeing expertise, particularly in comparison with different locations in Sri Lanka like Sigiriya Rock which is swarming with vacationers each day!**

Sadly, the clouds began turning a bit too grey, and we needed to unexpectedly make our approach again to the bus.  Whereas I made it simply in time to remain dry, many individuals in our group weren’t as fortunate (and got here again drenched from the tropical monsoon rains that happen in Sri Lanka). Ahh, the struggles of touring within the wet season, lol.

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress


Yapahuwa Rock Fortress Opening Occasions & Entrance Payment

One of many issues I discover fascinating about touring in Sri Lanka is that all the pieces like lodging, meals, drinks, and excursions could be actually low cost and reasonably priced.  The one factor I discovered to be costly was the doorway charges (like $35 for Sigiriya and $25 for Yala Nationwide Park).

Thankfully,  Yapahuwa Rock Fortress is among the most cost-effective within the nation, and tickets will solely value you $3.50 U.S.D per grownup)

Opening Hours:  8:00 A.M – 5:00 P.M (TripAdvisor)

Simply keep in mind that since this is a crucial non secular website as properly, you could costume accordingly and put on clothes that covers your shoulders and knees!

Yapahuwa Rock Fortress


Planning a visit to Sri Lanka…?

Take a learn by a few of my different articles about my travels on this breathtaking nation.

Kaudulla Nationwide Park | An Elephant Jeep Safari Journey for the Bucket listing

35 Instagrams That’ll Encourage You To Go to Sri Lanka

10 Superb Issues to do in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Studying to Surf in Sri Lanka | Visiting Weligama & Midigama

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Reasons TO Visit Sri Lanka


Thanks for studying in regards to the Yapahuwa Rock Fortress!

In case you’re not already, ensure to observe alongside on my travels on Instagram & Fb, and be at liberty to shoot me an e-mail with any questions you could have about touring round Sri Lanka!  I’m at all times glad to assist any approach I can.

View this publish on Instagram

“FOG & Smog shouldn’t be confused, and are simply separated by shade” — Chuck Jones. . Early morning drone flights at Sigiriya Rock produced some really gorgeous & foggy photographs. ?❤️ I want I had extra time Up there, however I’m an fool and solely purchased one battery (fixing that mistake tomorrow) . . Right now was the ultimate day of #TBCAsia with @cinnamonhotels although, and I’m so unhappy that’s it come to an finish. I’ve had a completely epic expertise for my third journey again to Sri Lanka, and undoubtedly planning on coming again ASAP. . . The convention in the present day was nice, and it’s been tremendous enjoyable hanging out with some actually unbelievable and galvanizing fellow journey bloggers. I actually love this neighborhood, and so glad to have been chosen to come back again once more for TBC Asia. . . I’ve now obtained 1 extra day (Halloween ?) within the nation, after which I fly to The Maldives for weeks! I’ll be experiencing slightly luxurious, after which lastly studying the right way to scuba dive!! Thrilling instances forward, and I’m simply pumped to be in the identical time zone for greater than per week, lol. . . #SriLanka #CinnamonHotels #InspiringMoments #srilankanairlines #iflysrilankan #srilankan

A publish shared by Dave | Jones Round The World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on


I used to be invited to Sri Lanka as a hosted blogger for TBC Asia 2018, sponsored by Cinnamon Inns and Sri Lankan Airways. As at all times, all opinions are my very own.  


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Tags: historic locations in sri lanka, Rock Fortress Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, the fortress sri lanka, Yapahuwa, yapahuwa accommodations, Yapahuwa Rock Fortress

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