Someone asks you what the top tourist attraction place in Sri Lanka is or the 8 wonders in the world. What are you thinking? It only has one answer and one word with 8 characters called Sigiriya. When traveling from Colombo to Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa, you can find this wondering place. This is one of the real glorious architecture in the world.
Sigiriya is a historical rock castle in central Sri Lanka with an ancient fortification built on a spectacular monolithic rock pillar in the late 5th century CE. In 1982, UNESCO recognized Sigiriya as a World Heritage Site. This is also known as Lion Mountain or Lion Rock. This is in Matale District, close to Dambulla town, located in the country’s central province.
The rock stands 349 m(1,144 ft ) above sea level, and a 180 m(600 ft) tall granite pillar dominates this historical and archaeologically significant site as well as 1,200 steps that have to go to the cliff’s top. There are 21 incredible rock paintings of Apsaras in Frescoes and Mirror wall. The Sigiriya rock’s Palace Complex is about 1.5 hectares in size. Few parts of the castle that is still preserved. There are two large paws of an enormous lion facing the Northside in front of you as you make your final journey to the royal residence at the summit of Sigiriya rock.
Sri Lankan Most Attractive Sigiriya
According to the Sri Lankan book history, Sinhalese king Kashyapa chose Sigiriya for his luxurious lifestyle. Upon the several acres of land at the peak, king Kashyapa (from 477 to 495) constructed a massive lion’s style palace and used it as a defensive barrier against his enemies. The king, however, was defeated and withdrew in 495. After that, the palace was left in ruins.
According to archaeological evidence, Sigiriya’s origins may be traced back to prehistoric periods, according to the findings of historical studies at the location. On the eastern side of Sigiriya Rock, a monadnock known as Aligala can be found at its foot. Aligala (Elephant Rock). Excavation of a cave below has discovered the remains of prehistoric human habitations that lived circa 5,500 B.P. here. People have lived in this area as far back as the early ninth or tenth century B.C.
Sigiriya rock fortress was home to a Buddhist monastery in the 3rd century BC. There are currently 30 monks living in cave shelters with drip ledges at the base of the huge rock. There are eight cave shelter donation records carved in Brahmi writing on these stones.
Indian and Roman coins and ceramics from the Sasanian kingdom of Persia (Iran) have been found in the Sigiriya rock fortress, which indicates commercial and cultural contacts with other countries during this short period.
Sigiriya and king Ravana
the most popular ancient folklore comes with these places. One of the best folklore is about King Rawana. According to this story, Sigiriya was Built by King Rawana’s GrandFather, who is King Sumali. He has great engineers for his development and the best engineer is “Mayadana.”
This is the best historical urban planning in the world. This includes the Royal garden, Water garden, Boulder garden, Terraced garden, Lion’s paws, Frescoes, and Mirror Wall. Even today, Historians wonder about using a water irrigation system at the top of the rock palace. Another story is this had a stone elevator moving from bottom to top.
Why Sigiriya is Important
Sigiriya Site Plan
Sigiriya’s site layout is regarded as one of the most elaborate and inventive of the first millennium’s urban planning efforts. A royal park on the western side of the rock is planned out in a symmetrical pattern and incorporates water-retaining facilities. Some are still in use today. A man-made reservoir may be found in the southern part of Sri Lanka. The entrances to the building included five separate gates. As far as we know, the more ornate western entrance was designated for the kings and queens. Read more…
One of the most important parts of the Sigiriya is its gardens, which are some of the oldest landscaped grounds in the world and are considered one of the world’s most important archaeological sites. It is possible to separate the gardens into three distinct yet related types.
Rock Paintings of Apsaras (Frescoes)
Another best thing to do in Sigiriya is watch rock paintings of Apsaras. In the 5th century, about 500 lovely women painted the wall in a magnificent fresco that measured 450 ft in length and 130 ft in height. Just 21 young women have made it to the present day, although it’s been more than 1500 years since anyone has survived.
The Sigiriya Ladies may have been the wives of King Kasyapa, or they may have been goddesses. Their upper bodies are barely depicted, with the women looking like they’ve emerged from the skies, godlike. Some have three hands or three breasts. Painting resembling the Ajanta Caves in India makes this place so attractive. Luciano Maransi, a renowned Italian artist, later repaired these works.
The Mirror Wall of Sri Lanka’s Sigiriya Rock Fortress is now orange-tinted. The route clings to the steep side of a border and is protected by a 3m-high wall on the outside. Over 1600 years ago, King Kasyapa constructed a perfectly polished white brick parapet wall that perched perilously on the nearly perpendicular west surface on Sigiriya Rock.
This wall had a smooth glaze on which visitors were compelled to write their thoughts of the women above or local tradition. Historians are fascinated by the graffiti because it shows the evolution of the Sinhala language and alphabet and a long-standing love for the arts and beauty of the country’s culture. Modern visitors are warned not to put their writings on the walls.
3D View of Sigiriya
Best time to visit Sigiriya
January and September, and December is the best time to visit Sigiriya. One hour and a half to three hours are needed to climb and return to the cliff. This depends on your age, fitness level, and crowd. So that if you select the less crowded date, it will be more support to you climb the Sigiriya hike freely and enjoy it.
Suggested Trailoka: 12 Best visiting & relaxing places in Sri Lanka
Best visiting places & things to do near Sigiriya
- Pidurangala Rock
- Ritigala Forest Monastery
- Kandalama Lake
- Kaudulla National Park
- Anuradhapura 8 Sacred Places (Atamasthana)
- Dambulla Cave Temple
- Dambulla Hot Air Balloon
- Minneriya National Park
- Wilpattu National Park
Best hotels near Sigiriya
- Hotel Sigiriya
- Jetwing Vil Uyana
- Sigiriya King’s Resort
- Sigiriya Jungles
- The Elephant Corridor
- Heritance Kandalama
- Aliya Resort and Spa
- Water Garden Sigiriya
- Sigiriya Village Hotel
- Roo Mansala
Day trip from Colombo to Sigiriya & route map
Sigiriya is one of the best places to arrange one day trip in Sri Lanka. You can plan and visit the most famous places in Sri Lanka during this journey. If you plan to visit Kurunegala, you can first visit Kurunegala Athugala. Then, you can choose one or two sites from Dambulla Cave Temple, Ritigala Forest Monastery, Kandalama Lake, or Pidurangala Rock.
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