Ancient City of Sigiriya


The name Sigiriya means Lion's Rock.
This Rock fortress is located in Mathale District, few km away from Dambulla – Habarana main road.

In year 477, during the Anuradhapura kingdom time, prince Kashyapa assassinated his old father, king Dathusena by plastering him up in a wall and took over the throne. But he felt Anuradapura is not a Safe place to establish his kingdom, because of the threats from the real owner of the throne, his brother prince Mugalan.

So He selected Sigiriya and build this magnificent city on top of this 200 m high granite rock. Actually this rock was middle of the jungle with a natural protection. No body easily can reach there. He got many creative craftmen and architects in his team, so he was able to build this great ancient city, still the world is talking about.

Sigiriya
Sigiriya

He ruled this kingdom from year 477 to 495, but later defeated by Prince Mugalan. According to historical stories, he actually commuted suicide at the last phase of the war, because he doesn’t want to get killed by anybody. Later on king Mugalan decided to reestablished his kingdom in Anuradhapura, so this place was converted to a Buddhist monastery.

Sigiriya Rock was surrounded by array of lakes and waterways, which provide natural protection to the fort. Its believe that crocodiles lives here are coming from the generation, who were originally used for protection of the fortress. In addition, of cause, it adds beauty to this place.

Sigiriya
Sigiriya

Once you cross the main entrance, you will first reach the water garden. This area consist of many ponds and still you can see some old day water fountains were working during the rainy season. These ponds and fountains are located besides the main path to the castle entrance. You will start climbing up, after passing the water garden.

On the way you can see a cave in on your left side, call “Deraniyagala cave”, the name given to commemorate Mr. P.E.P Deraniyagala. The paintings in this cave was recorded by him. There were some frescos, similar to the main ones also located here, but can be seen only faint traces only.

Deraniyagala Cave
Deraniyagala Cave

The main attraction “ Sigiriya beauties” can be reach by climbing up the granite stairs and a spiral stair case. Sigiriya frescos are world famous for their beauty and charm. There are many ideas about who are these ladies really.

Climbing up Sigiriya
Climbing up

Sigiriya frescos
Sigiriya frescos

Sigiriya frescos
Sigiriya frescos

Sigiriya frescos
Sigiriya frescos

Sigiriya frescos
SigirSigiriya frescos

After you pass the frescos , you can climb down few steps and walk through the a passage call Katapath Paura (mirror wall). This got its name because, it shines and reflects the image. The visitors who came to see this place throughout the ages, have written their thoughts on this wall.

Sigiriya  Ketapath Paura
Sigiriya Mirror Wall ( Ketapath Paura)

Sigiriya Mirror Wall
Sigiriya Mirror Wall ( Ketapath Paura)

Then you can reach a flat area call Singha Padaya and sit down and relax bit. This place got its name because of the Two lion's pow structures located beside the stairs to the top. This considered as the remains of the massive gatehouse to the sky palace. Some believe that actually there was a huge stature of a lion was there.

wasps wild bee nests
wasps nests

You can see many wasps (type of bees) nests are hanging over the rock. It’s always advisable to keep calm and low voice in this area to avoid any disturbance to the bees. Once they were disturbed , they become violent and tends to attack humans. In that case, you can use safety cages located beside. They are covered with nets, so bees can’t enter in.

Sigiriya wasps
wasps nests

Path to Sigiriya  summit
Path to Sigiriya summit

From this point, you can take metal staircase to reach the summit of this rock. For some people, this may be the hardest part, but it’s worth to get that experience.

Remaining’s of the Sigiriya Castle
Remaining’s of the Sigiriya Castle

 Some frequent visitors to Sigiriya palace
Some frequent visitors to Sigiriya palace

At the summit, you can get a breath taking view of the surrounding. There are many ponds and remaining of the foundations of the palace can be seen from here.

Sigiriya
Sigiriya Castle

On your way back, don’t forget to visit many other remaining artifacts located in the rest of the area.

Sigiriya
Sigiriya

Sigiriya asana guhawa
Sigiriya asana guhawa ( cave)

Dambulla  Rock Temple

Dambulla Rock Temple

Read more about   Dambulla Rock Temple »

Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna

Read more about   Kaludiya Pokuna »