Towering over the plains of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, the Sigiriya Rock is an ancient fortress of architectural ingenuity combined with natural splendour. Built by King Kashyapa as a citadel in the 5 th Century AD, Sigiriya is celebrated the world over for its beauty, majesty and history.
The entrance leads you to the Water Gardens that possess features of great detail such as pools and fountains. It is believed to be where Kashyapa’s consort queens would bathe. Other popular features of the fortress, such as the Boulder Gardens and the Terrace Gardens, too are marvels of ancient engineering. The intricately painted frescoes depicting bejewelled damsels and the Mirror Wall are two other important cultural features of Sigiriya.
Just past the water features is what is left of the famous Lion Staircase that takes you up to the summit of the fortress. The massive lion paws that can be seen today, indicate the size of the intimidating stone lion that stood guard at Sigiriya in its glory days. Be mindful not to make loud sounds while you climb the staircase that leads up from the lion paws, as the giant hornets that nest on the rock are easily disturbed. The summit of the rock is where the king is believed to have built his royal palace, but time and the elements have reduced it to ruins now. It is still worth making a trip to the summit, as it provides absolutely stunning views of the surrounding landscape.