Sigiriya

Sigiriya is a UNESCO world heritage site in Sri Lanka. It is the most fantastic single wonder of this beautiful little island. The Sigiriya rock itself is a volcanic plug. Now it is the core of an extinct volcano. Then the mountain around it eroded over many years. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, this place was selected by king Kashyapa for his new capital during Anuradhapura kingdom. He built his royal palace on the top of the rock in the late 5th century. Then he decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. After his death, Sigiriya again becomes a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.

Access

location

Sigiriya is found within the Matale district near the town of Dambulla within the central province in Sri Lanka. Colombo to Sigiriya distance is about 175 kilometres. To get there by car you want to take the track A1 or A6. The best thanks to getting there by public transportation are to require a bus from Dambulla. There is a bus every 30 minutes starting from 7 A.M. The trip will take approximately 40 minutes. Otherwise, you can take Cinnamon Air from Colombo international airport to Sigiriya. The flight takes approximately 30 minutes. Entrance fee is USD 30 to foreigners. You also can access to the Sigiriya Museum. The ancient site is open a day from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM (last entrance at 5:00 PM).

Water Gardens

sigiriya water garden
sigiriya-water garden

The Water Gardens are the primary a part of Sigirya visitors encounter as they enter through the west gate. Relatively well preserved. Interspersed among the gardens were a variety of palaces and bathing pavilions, and therefore the entire area featured lush vegetation. Three principal water gardens are found here. The first water garden consists of a plot surrounded by water. The second contains two long, deep pools assail either side of the trail. The third garden is situated on a better level than the opposite two. It contains an outsized , octagonal pool with a raised podium on its northeast corner.  Each garden has its distinctive characteristics.

Lion's Paw

sigiriya lion's paw
sigiriya-lion's paw

Sigiriya, also known as the Lion Rock owes its name largely because of the giant lion statue which was constructed in order to make the rock resemble the figure of a lion. However, the Lion Rock has almost disappeared leaving just two of its giant paws at the Northern side of the rock. H.C.P. Bell who is a British archaeologist liable for a huge amount of archaeology in Sri Lanka. He found the 2 enormous lion paws when excavating here in 1898.

Frescoes

sigiriya-frescoes
sigiriya-frescoes

The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock, a neighbourhood 140 meters long and 40 meters high. There are references within the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, most have been lost forever. Some say they’re celestial nymphs carrying flowers to shower upon kings and mortals below. Others suggest that they are queens and concubines. Some even suggest that they’re the manifestations of the goddess Tara. These pictures have a close resemblance to paintings seen in the Ajanta caves in India but have a specific character in their classical realist style.

Mirror Wall

sigiriya-mirror wall
sigiriya-mirror wall

The Sigiriya Graffiti was written on the surface of the mirror wall at Sigiriya between 600AD and 1400AD. The Mirror Wall is highly polished white masonry parapet brick wall. It has a two-meter-wide inner passageway. The outermost section of this passageway is built up to create a protective wall. The walkway was paved with polished marble slabs. The graffiti range from statements of awe, declarations of affection, commentary, curses, laments, diary entries, or mere statements of a visit.

Thanks for reading!

Gallery

elephant safari-sigiriya
elephant safari-sigiriya
bird's eye view of sigiriya
bird's eye view of sigiriya
sigiriya garden
sigiriya garden
sigiriya frescoes
sigiriya frescoes
way to sigiriya summit
way to sigiriya summit

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