SIGIRIYA IN SRI LANKA RANKS 7TH ON BLOOMBERG’S LIST OF ‘NEW’ SEVEN WORLD WONDERS
by Jetwing · Published · Updated
Once again Sri Lanka Tourism is in the spotlight with its latest recognition from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, maintaining its brand visibility and universal appeal on a global platform.
In its declaration, Sri Lanka Tourism stated that Sigiriya Rock Fortress was listed as one of the world’s new Seven Wonders and made Sri Lanka one of the only Asian countries to be included in the list along with six more iconic sites appealing to an adventurous new age traveler.
These wonders include archaeological and natural treasures far broader than the ancient Greek world and which cater to all kinds of contemporary explorers.
Sigiriya is one of the most stunning and fascinating historical sites in the world, with a glorious past that has left millions of visitors speechless. Sigiriya is the “perfect amalgam of human-made treasure and natural wonder” as reported by Bloomberg.
Sigiriya Lion Rock is considered to be the Kashyapa kingdom’s short-lived fortress. King Kashyapa murdered his father Dhatusena, claiming his throne, though he was not the direct heir – his mother was one of the concubines of Dhatusena.
Kashyapa feared that his half-brother Prince Moggallana would return from exile in India to claim his Crown after murdering the King. This fear motivated him to construct the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which was protected not only by the rock’s height and sheer sides but also by stone barracks filled with soldiers and a crocodile-infested moat. In addition, he has developed an extensive and unbelievably advanced system that allows the water to move from top to base of the rock. Not only to provide drinking water but also to fill the beautiful water gardens he had created at the foot of the rock.
In 491 AD, Moggallana returned to find Sigiriya in its full glory as Kashyapa feared. However, after being defeated and abandoned by his army, Kashyapa committed suicide, leaving his half-brother to rule from his fortress-palace paradise.
The remaining years of Moggallana, even one as glorious and monolithic as this, showed little interest in living on a rock, and the caves were again the homes of Buddhist monks seeking meditation, but according to the inscriptions found in the caves, Sigiriya had first served as a religious retreat in the third century BC.
What’s left today are remarkable ruins. The path to the top continues along steps carved from the rock and then via a narrow iron staircase leading into the rock that replaced the original, long-lost, brick staircase that could be challenging for people with a weak or faint heart.
About halfway down to the summit, there are the frescoes of Sigiriya, the ancient wall paintings of busy maidens, rich and serene expressions, who have probably acted as the concubines of Kashyapa’s. This remarkable location is part of the Cultural Triangle’s most popular quartet of historical sites.
Climbing the rock on its own is a journey for many tourists but all the attractions such as the Frescoes, the graffiti wall mirror, the water guest garden and the boulder gardens are all activities you need to see when you are there. Around 300 meters above ground level, Sigiriya rock gives guests breathtaking panoramic views of nearby jungles, farmlands, villages, rural areas, lakes and paddy fields at an impressive 360-degree altitude. A unique, harmonious blend of nature and human imagination is found in the rock of Sigiriya.
In the National Certification for the Sustainable Destination (NCSD), Sri Lanka Tourism is strategically moving to develop Sigiriya, a World Heritage site. The conservation of natural, cultural and environmental resources which are essential for the wellbeing of the tourist industry in Sri Lanka depends on sustainable tourism.
Single-use plastic in Sri Lanka was recently banned following this initiative. This strategy will also provide local people with more opportunities for the practice of ancient crafts to meet the demand for sustainable materials while maintaining our resources.