Beautiful Sigiriya : The Sky Fortress and 8th World Wonder!
Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Rising 600ft up from the modest plains in Dambulla lies the majestic Sigiriya : The Lion Rock which carries the guarded secrets of an ancient civilization. This UNESCO listed world heritage is an epitome of ancient city building with advanced architectural and irrigation technologies which mesmerize the engineers even today.
History and the Structure
Sigiriya was transformed from a monastery to a gigantic citadel by King Kashyapa in the 5th century in fear of an invasion by his brother Moggallana who was the legitimate heir to the throne. This three layered sublime fortress and palace is sure to get you traverse through the history towards a vivacious reign with magical green gardens, defensive structures, breathtaking art and sophisticated hydraulic systems of which some are working even to this date.
The three layered citadel consists of the ruins of an an upper palace on the flat surface on top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall with its frescoes, the lower palaces located behind the lavish lower gardens, and the impregnable stone parapet.
Finding the Lion
The capacity of your imagination will be tested in visualizing the enormous lion figure towering against Sigiriya by the paws which are remaining. The brick and wooden staircase between the paws is the portal into the mesmerizing sky palace on top of the rock.
Silence is a virtue in visiting the Lion’s Rock as you don’t want to disturb the natural habitat of the wasps surrounding the rock.
Sigiriya Frescoes: Cloud Goddesses on the Rock
The history bears references to over 500 frescoes: the famous drawings of Sigiri Apsaras covering the Western surface of the giant Sigiriya rock from which only 19 have survived to this date. The rich and detailed rock paintings of women in translucent lower garments and disrobed bosoms showering flowers from the clouds is an enchanting sight indeed.. These paintings drawn from earthly mineral extracts offer you a glimpse of ancient Sri Lankan art at its zenith.
The Mirror Wall
The highly polished surface of the Mirror Wall is truly a deep reflection of the inexhaustible Sri Lankan literature & culture. The wall has preserved the Scribblings of ancient travelers who have gotten compelled to express their thoughts on the images of women on the gallery above. These Scribblings run back in history to 600 A.D. and you will surely be mesmerized by the ancient travelers’ lavish expression of awe, love, passion, laments, curses in the mode of prose, poetry and free verse.
How to Get There
Sigiriya is definitely a must see site if you are in love with the marvels of the ancient civilizations. The best way to get to Sigiriya is by road. If you are traveling by a private vehicle take A01 (Kandy Road) upto Ambepussa and then take a turn to Kurunegala on A06. The journey will take about 3 hours from Colombo with no traffic conditions.
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