Sigiriya Rock Sri Lanka

Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a massive rock fortress in Sri Lanka that is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the country.
15 Aug 2023 · By Adrian Padmodihardjo
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Sigiriya Rock is a massive granite monolith that towers over the surrounding jungle in Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and for good reason. The rock is home to a fascinating array of ruins, including a palace, gardens, and a series of frescoes.

Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka /
Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka / lovesrilanka

The History of Sigiriya

Sigiriya was built by King Kashyapa I in the 5th century AD. Kashyapa was a usurper who had killed his father, King Dhatusena, to take the throne. He wanted to build a fortress that would be impregnable, and he chose Sigiriya for its strategic location. The rock is surrounded by jungle and is very difficult to climb. Kashyapa also built a moat and a series of fortifications around the rock.

Mural of “apsaras” inside Sigiriya Rock /
Mural of “apsaras” inside Sigiriya Rock / attractionsinsrilanka

The palace on top of Sigiriya was a luxurious complex. It had gardens, pools, and fountains. There were also murals of beautiful women, known as the "apsaras." Kashyapa lived in the palace for 18 years, but he was eventually defeated by his half-brother, King Moggallana I.

The Ruins of Sigiriya

Lion’s Paw Terrace at Sigiriya /
Lion’s Paw Terrace at Sigiriya / Frans Sellies

The ruins of Sigiriya are still impressive today. The most notable feature is the Lion's Paw Terrace. This was the entrance to the palace, and it was once guarded by a giant lion statue. The statue has been destroyed, but the paws remain.

Other ruins on Sigiriya include the Mirror Wall, the Water Gardens, and the Cave Temples. The Mirror Wall is a polished slab of rock that was once used by the women of the palace to admire their reflection. The Water Gardens are a series of ponds and fountains that were used for irrigation and recreation. The Cave Temples were used for religious purposes.

Mirror Wall at Sigiriya /
Mirror Wall at Sigiriya / wikimedia

Visiting Sigiriya

Tourist visiting Sigiriya Rock /
Tourist visiting Sigiriya Rock / photoshelter

Sigiriya is a popular tourist destination, and it can be visited year-round. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which is from December to April. The climb to the top of the rock is steep, but it is worth it for the views. There are also a number of other things to see and do at Sigiriya, such as visiting the ruins of the palace, the gardens, and the temples.

Planning a trip to an exotic place? Visit Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka is a hidden gem of the Indian Ocean, with stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and ancient ruins. Plan your trip today, here are some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka!

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