Sigiriya, the spectacular ‘Lion rock’ fortress, stands majestically overlooking the luscious green jungle surroundings, and is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions. As legend goes,this was built by King Kasyapa, a son of King Dhatusena. King Dhatusena was overthrown and walled in, alive by Kasyapa in 473 AD. Kasyapa fearing an invasion built this impregnable fortress at Sigiriya.

Considered to be one of the most amazing and beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya has also been proposed to rank as the Eighth wonder of the world. Also known as the ‘lion mountain’ Sigiriya has been confirmed as an epitome of the ancient architectural tradition of Sri Lanka. It has been preserved from the first millennium and its buildings, pathways, trees and water gardens remind you of the magnificent fame of Sri Lanka’s past.sigiriya-1128a-092810

The most significant feature of this place is considered to be the ‘lion staircase’ which lies at the top of the rock. The staircase resembles a gigantic figure that towers against the spectacular granite cliff giving the site a majestic outlook. There are a number of paintings and carvings on the surface of the rock but some of them have worn out with the passage of time. The painting on the roof of the Cobra HoodCave is of major significance.

A magical monument

The water gardens is the gateway to the Lion Rock, it situated in the Sigiri gardens on top of the rock. The beautifully and elaborately landscaped water gardens contain a complex network of underground water distribution system, which provides water to the Royal baths, the many little moated islands and fountains. Some fountains still work during the rainy season. An intriguing view of the Gardens could be seen from halfway up the rock.

About halfway up the rock is a guarded gallery of frescoes painted on the sheer rock face. Called the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ this painting is similar in style to the paintings of Ajantha in India. Only 22 out of an estimated 500 pictures now remain. Flash photography is not allowed at this site. Beyond the gallery, there is a pathway that circles the sheer face of the rock, and is protected by a 3m high wall.

This place is really amazing and a great place to visit and experience the rich cultural past of the country. The Lion Rock will remind you of the greatness of ancient history and how much our ancestors exploited nature’s gifts.

There are many tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, the Lion Rock is one of the main attractions. You don’t want to miss it anytime you get a chance to visit Sri Lanka.

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