Back of Beyond Pidurangala is the cultural triangle version of this rustic eco collection in Sri Lanka. Set amidst four acres of wilderness that is inhabited by over 100 species of birds, deer and sambur, it lies in a small clearing in jungle thicket in an area where history dates back to 5th century AD. The Sri Lankan owners are ardent nature lovers, so cleared the bare minimum of the wilderness in order to construct the nature retreat. Two innovatively-designed eco-friendly dwellings provide comfortable accommodation, but there is no a/c, phones or TV – instead, guests are encouraged to experience simple rural living. Set off on an early morning jungle trek to Pidurangala Rock, a fascinating site with an ancient history that is connected to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. King Kasyapa, involved in the legend of Sigirya, built a forest monastery for Buddhist monks in Pidurangala, ruins of which still remain, including a 45ft reclining Buddha statue and several caves.
There are two sizeable cottages – Wellang and Weera – each with their own living, dining and sleeping areas. Accommodation is in rooms or separate cottages, designed with an ethnic feel and furnished with single or double beds fitted with mosquito netting. Attached bathrooms have open-air h/w showers. All rooms are cooled by overhead fans.
Wellang: This is a spacious dwelling with a living and dining area and three double bedrooms with attached bathrooms. One bedroom has a loft and can be used as a family room. Up to six adults and two children can be accommodated here. Wellang is only given out to one party at a time, ensuring complete privacy.
Weera: Weera has a living and dining area and three separate cottages – Shama, Iora and Malkoha. Living area has a loft and library. The cottages have attached bathrooms and private verandas. Each cottage can accommodate two adults and one has a day bed for an additional person. Weera can be rented per cottage.
Traditional Sri Lankan rice and curries are served, cooked with fresh vegetables and produce purchased from the village market. A BBQ is organised on some nights. Meals times are flexible. Wi-Fi is available. There are also bicycles that guests can use to explore the surroundings. Go bird-watching or trekking in the wilderness accompanied by one of the staff, who are well versed with the area.
Why We Like It
Consider the tree house option for an unforgettable experience near the foot of Pidurangala Rock.
Back of Beyond is a rustic eco-retreat at the foot of the towering Pidurangala Rock, just beyond the moats of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sigiriya Rock is within walking distance, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are 1.5 hours away and the historic Dambulla cave temple is just a 30 minute drive. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take about four hours.