Known by the locals as the eighth miracle of the world, this ancient palace and castle is of considerable archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the foremost visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka .

The fortress of Sigiriya

The palace is located in the heart of the island between the cities of Dambulla and Habarana on a large plateau 370 m above sea level.

The Sigiriya rocky plateau, which is made of extinct volcanic magma, is 200 meters higher than surrounding forests.

The viewer is amazed by the unique harmony between nature and the human imagination.

The castle complex includes the remains of a ruined palace, surrounded by fortifications, large gardens, ponds, canals, lanes and springs.

The area around Sigiriya has been banned for thousands of years.

From the 3rd century BC, the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century, King Kasyapa decided to build a royal residence here.

After his death, Sigiriya became a Buddhist monastery until it was abandoned until the 14th century.

Sigiriya lion claws

The main entrance is on the north side of the rock.

It was made in the form of a large stone lion, whose feet have survived to the present day, but whose upper parts have been destroyed.

Thanks to this lion, the palace was named Sigiriya. The word Sigiriya originated with the word Sigri, which means Lion Rock.

Sigiriya fresco
Sweepstroke paintings

The western wall of Sigiriya is almost covered with frescoes and was created during the reign of Kashyapa. Eighteen murals remain to this day.

The murals depict naked women and are considered to be Kashyapa’s wives, concubines, or religious rituals.

Regardless of the identity of the women depicted in the frescoes, these unique ancient paintings celebrate the beauty of women and have incredible historical significance.

Sigiriya Mirror Wall

One of the foremost striking features of Sigiriya is its mirror wall.

In the old days, it was so polished that the king could see it.

The Mirror wall is painted with inscriptions and poems written by Sigiriya visitors.

The oldest inscriptions date back to the 8th century.

These inscriptions prove that Sigiriya was a tourist destination thousands of years ago. Today, wall painting is totally forbidden.

The buildings and gardens of Sigiriya show that the creators of this marvelous architectural monument used unique and creative technical skills and techniques.

The ancient pools of Sigiriya

The construction of such a monument on a large rock some 200 meters high from the encompassing landscape required advanced architectural and engineering skills.

Sigiriya Gardens are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.

Sigiriya has water parks, caves and rock gardens as well as terrace gardens.

They are located within the western a part of the rock and have a posh mechanism consisting of canals, locks, lakes, dams, bridges, springs, also as surface and groundwater pumps.

During the rainy season, all channels are filled with water and begin circulating throughout Sigiriya. The fountains of Sigiria, built in the Vth century, are probably the oldest in the world.

The palace and castle complex are a classic example of ancient urban planning. Considering the uniqueness of Sigiriya, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Sigiriya is a unique blend of urban planning, water engineering, horticulture and art

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