Sigiriya to Polannaruwa by bus
Whenever I’m in Sri Lanka, with friends or with Alessandro, I often travel by local busses and each time I get into a bus in Sri Lanka I wonder why there are no other tourists except us. It could be because most of the tourists don’t know about the public transportation in Sri Lanka.
The busses may look old, but the public transport in Sri Lanka is the most efficient and cost effective way to travel around the country.
Now, when it comes to sightseeing in Sri Lanka, I don’t want to hide that tuk-tuk is my favourite way to go around since it allows me to see much more of the beautiful Sri Lankan landscape than the bus and the drivers are very available to stop here and there. But, there are reasons why I find myself often traveling around Sri Lanka by local busses.
Why you should travel from Sigiriya to Polannaruwa by bus and not by tuk tuk.
When we wanted to go from Sigiriya to Polannaruwa, the tuk tuk driver asked 3600.00 Rupies, which is around 20 dollars. Finding us uninterested he dropped down the price until reaching €2800.00 (14.50 dollars).
Even then it seemed too much for the distance between Sigiriya and Polannaruwa. In fact, Polannaruwa is far from Sigiriya only 57 km.
This is how we found ourselves asking for bus directions at the information counter located by the entrance of Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya.
What they said was really interesting and I am here to share it with you since I am sure that you will have a huge advantage by knowing it.
Sigiriya to Polannaruwa by bus.
The tourist information counter at the Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya told us to first catch the Sigiriya-Dambulla bus ( bus towards Dambulla) at the main road in Sigiriya and to get off at the Inamaluwa Junction instead of going all the way to Dambulla. It takes about 30/40 minutes. From Inamaluwa Junction, catch the bus coming from Colombo (#48) which drops you in Polannaruwa. It takes about one hour and 40 minutes.
Both the busses, I mean the Sigiriya-Dambulla bus and the Inamaluwa Junction-Polannaruwa bus run regularly from 6:30AM to 6:00PM every day at intervals of 30 minutes. The entire bus ride from Sigiriya to Polannaruwa will cost you less than 125 Rupees, meaning not even one Dollar.
From Sigiriya to Polannaruwa, want to make it faster?
A brilliant option that you may want to consider for your trip from Sigiriya to Polannaruwa is going until Inamaluwa Junction by a tuk tuk. This stretch of road will cost you 600 Rupees (3.11 dollars). Once at the Inamaluwa Junction, you can catch the bus to Polannaruwa. The bus trip from Inamaluwa Junction to Polannaruwa costs only 98 Rupees (0.51 dollars) per head so you end up by spending 698 Rupees which means 3.51 dollars.
This option is a good choice if you’re travelling with luggage.
Read also: What you should eat in Sri Lanka
Important facts to know for your trip from Sigiriya to Polannaruwa.
When referring to Polannaruwa you can often find your way by looking for Kaduruwela, which is related to the New town of Polannaruwa, the part that doesn’t include the remains of the ancient city. It is easier to find this name on busses.
Know that the seats are often a bit tight, but, this is a short journey ( 2 hours) so you can manage it. Also know that the busses are often crowded so it is easy to find yourself standing on a crowded bus, surrounded by others like yourself. In this case when the bus stops suddenly, If you don’t have a good hand hold, you go flying forward into other passengers and start a domino effect!
Other bus options from Sigiriya to Polannaruwa.
The tourist information counter at the Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya also said that Kalmunai busses are faster than the ones headed to Colombo. You should look into this yourself because I didn’t try this option, so I can’t give you more details