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Back Of Beyond (Dehigahaela, Sigiriya)

Alakolawawe, Sigirya,

or me, this is really the best place to stay in the vicinity of Sigiriya. Well designed mud and wood cottages in the middle of the jungle that, with their open and swank modern bathroom fixtures manage to feel almost luxurious.

About half an hour away from the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dehigahaela is the perfect escapade from the hustle and bustle of the city. An eco-lodge, Back of Beyond offers an immensely comfortable stay surrounded by wildlife in all its glory.

The Experience

There is really nothing to dislike, unless you're terrified of insects and small mammals. The tree-house we were in was extremely spacious and could comfortably host about 5 or 6 people. We had monkeys patter about the roofing and the branches above us, and small mammals (i.e squirrels and rodents) nesting in the rafters, but neither of them were pesky or annoying.

The outdoorsy bathroom is on the ground floor and was equipped with hot water as well. Electricity is supplied via solar power, so it's not the most predictable on cloudy days. High noon in April was predictably hot and humid despite being surrounded by leafy greens and having tons of ventilation, but that's the only drawback.

The only thing we didn't really see were elephants, which according to the staff, casually amble in and out of the premises.

Food, Service & Ambience

Interaction with staff is minimal and you're left to your own devices unless you want to interact with them; in which case they're keen to oblige. They serve up a legit rice and curry, and other home-made Lankan meals for breakfast and dinner (Idiappa and rotti, with dry fish curry, parippu, a killer pol-malluma and the likes) with zero frills and feathers. The meals are wholesome, filling, and absolutely delicious.

The buildings all blend in with nature, and are made of brickwork, clay, and woven palm fronds and hay (aka illuk / dried wild grass). They stick to a dull ochre colour scheme, and set in the middle of a chena, facing a lotus-filled lake and bordered by a river filled with hungry fish that nibbles at your feet, it's perfect. 


Getting to Dehigahaela is a feat in itself, and can be hard on your vehicle and your bones as you rattle along off-beaten tracks. The Lodge does pick you up at a point though, so you can call up ahead and arrange it. They're flexible, hospitable, knowledgeable and helpful, so you feel right at home. It goes at around Rs. 10,000 a night, but do check on their website as this can change. You can pick between tree houses and boulder cottages (built into boulders in the area) both which are very, very cool.


Book the tree house, they have slightly raised lodges and a tree house- the tree house is the prime spot. The recommendation is for Back of Beyond Dehigaha-ela they have another property at Pidurangala right near Sigiriya but of the two I much prefer this. It is almost an hour away from Sigiriya proper though.


Alakolawawe, Sigirya,


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