Sigiriya Rock Fortress,
Sri Lanka, Cultural Triangle
Info : Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The ancient rock fortress and palace of Sigiriya (aka Lions Rock) is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. It has also been declared by UNESCO as the 8th Wonder of the world.
Surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens and reservoirs, Sigiriya is steeped in history. From the 5th century BC, the fortress was used as a rock shelter mountain monastery, with caves prepared and donated by devotees to the Buddhist Sangha.
It is thought that the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD) and most of the elaborate constructions on the rock summit date back to this period as well as defensive structures, palaces and gardens. There was even a royal bathing pool on the summit, which still fills with rain water.
An interesting feature of Sigiriya is the Mirror Wall. Made of a kind of porcelain, this wall was originally so well polished that the King could see his reflection as he walked alongside it. Today, the wall is partially covered with verses scribbled by visitors to the rock, some of which date from the 8th century. Similarly, the wall frescoes are clouded in mystery and the subject of many a legend.
Whether you are keen on art and history or not, a visit to Sigirya is a must for all to see the breath-taking views.
Sigiriya is a half day tour and generally best visited during the early morning or the late afternoon, when the sun is at its least fierce. It's a spectacular trip with something to tickle everybody's imagination. Due to the spiral staircase and flat rock surface the trip may be challenging for anyone without a head for heights.
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