Sigiriya (Lion’s rock)

Sigiriya an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin encircled by the remains of a widespread network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. Sigiriya consists of an ancient castle built by king Kassapa during the 5th Century AD. It is a popular tourist destination. Sigiriya has it all and its prehistoric paintings (frescos), which are significant of the Ajanta Caves of India.

The Sigiriya rock is believed to be a hardened lump of granite from long-eroded volcano. The rock itself rises 370 m (1,214 ft) above the sea level and stands high above the surrounding plain, visible for miles in all directions. The Sigiriya site has the ruins of an upper palace sited on the top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palace that clings to the slopes below the rock, and the walls and gardens that extend for some hundreds of meters out from the base of the rock. Regardless of its age, the magnificence of the palace still furnishes an astonishing insight into the resourcefulness and imagination of its builders.

The Gardens of the Sigiriya city is one of the most important aspects of the site as it is among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The gardens are alienated into three isolated but linked forms; water gardens, cave and boulder gardens and the terraced gardens.

The Mirror Wall is made of a particular variety of porcelain, which was initially well polished that the King could see himself whilst he walked alongside it.

The Paintings sheltered an area of 140 m long and 40 m high. There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, many more are lost forever, having been wiped out when the palace once became a Monastery after King Kassapa’s death.

Things to do in Sigiriya

  • Visit the Sigiriya – Lion Rock
  • Visit the Pidurangala Rock
  • Visit the Sigiriya Museum
  • Take a Balooning tour
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