Known as the eighth wonder of the world, Sigiriya is one of the most popular travelers’ destinations in Sri Lanka. The ancient city of Sigiriya dates back to the 477 AD when the King Kashyapa ruled. He became the ruler after he murdered his father by plastering him up to a mud wall. After murdering his father, the King Kashyapa had to run away from the capital of Anuradhapura. Then he built his kingdom in the midst of the forests where he finds a magnificent rock standing up among the forests. The King Kashyapa built his castle on this rock of 600 ft high with luxurious pavilions, halls, gardens etc. Before it became the capital of the kingdom in the 5th BC, Sigiriya has been a Buddhist monastery since the 3rd century BC. For its unique and incredible architecture and historical importance, Sigiriya was declared a World Heritage site in 1982 by the UNESCO.
The main attractions of Sigiriya include,
- Citadel of Sigiriya Rock- the remaining of the castle is open for the travelers on the top of the rock where you will find gardens, fountains and ponds, halls, pavilions, balconies and the throne of the King Kashyapa.
- Sigiriya Lion Claws- The entrance to the rock is designed as a lion, whose claws and the feet of the lion are still remaining at the entrance. This is located in the northern side of the rock. It is said that the rock has gained its name ‘Sigiriya’ after the lion (Lion rock- Sinhagiri in Sinhala) at the main entrance to the
- Famous Frescos of Sigiriya – Sigiriya is famous for its most amazing frescos of females painted on the western wall of the rock. These frescos are said to be painted after the wives of the King and also some of the critics argue that they are ladies performing religious activities since they are holding flowers in their hands.
- Mirror Wall- another important aspect of the rock is the Mirror wall. During the time of the kingdom, the wall has been polished so well that one could see one’s reflection on the wall. It is said that it has been polished well so that the King could see him on the mirror. However, after the collapse of the kingdom, the rock has become a famous among the travelers and they have written poems, verses and paintings all over the wall. The oldest inscriptions are found to be dated back to the 8th century.
- Sigiriya Ancient Pools- the engineering and architectural skills of the Palace is still amazed by the researchers as the pools and fountains of the gardens are still functioning even today after thousands of years. The skilled and advanced water management system of the palace includes a canal running around the palace, lakes, ponds and fountains, sewage system as well as the underground water pumps.