There are many valuable and historical places in Sri Lanka. Some are; Temple of Tooth Relic(Sri Dalada Maligawa), Sigiriya, The Eight Sacred Sites(Atamasthana), Adam’s Peak(Sri Padhaya). Among them Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical site of Sri Lanka. It is even refered to be as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Sigiriya is an ancient palace built by King Kashyapa and this fortress has significant archaeological importance. It may be the most visited tourists destination in Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya is located in Northen Mathale District, within Dambulla and Habarana in Central Province. Sigiriya is standing straight up 660 feet. The word ‘Sigiriya’ was derived from the word ‘Sinhagiri’, which gives out the meaning of ‘The Lion’s Rock’. Here, you have to climb up more than 1200 steps. If you need any break, there are several stations to take a rest when you are climbing up. The Lion Paws Gate (Sinha padhaya) is the main rest station
History of Sigiriya
Sigiriya was inhabited for more than 4000 years ago and it was proven by Archaeological excavations. Sigiriya was a monastery since 3rd century BC and after the 8th century it was turned into a palace.
Sigiriya palace and the fortress has a tragic story before it was found. It was built by King Kashya who was the son of King Dathusena and his brother was Prince Mugalan. With the time, Prince Mugalan attacked over his brother for fearing over that King Kashyapa led to Sigiriya in Central Province from Anuradhapura. And then he constructed his royal palace on that high rock thinking that his brother won’t invade him.
Sigiriya palace was constructed by most advanced technologies at that timr and decorated with colourful frescos. But unfortunately Prince Mugalan attacked at King Kashyapa and he died. And then Sigiriya became a Buddhist monastery again but after thousand years later it was also abandoned by the Buddhist monks.
Again in 1831, Europeans happened to be there accidentally and discovered Sigiriya. They were on their way to Polonnaruwa and in that Western history it said Jonathon Forbes, a major in the British Army discovered Sigiriya again. Gradually, the attention of the archaeologists and the historians turned over to Sigiriya and was able to find the royal palace, gardens, parks, old frescoes and the water fountains.
Architecture of Sigiriya
Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an exceptional masterpiece of ancient period. It was a well planned city and a palace in 5th century AD. The Sigiri Rock Fort us recognised as one of the best extant ancient urban sited in Asia, dating back to the 1st millennium and it is a living museum. Sigiriya World Herritage Site is one of the oldest political capital of Sri Lanka and the most sensitive heritage site in Sri Lanka which is versatile and multi-faceted.
- ancient urban planning.
- landscape and architecture.
- construction technology.
- exceptional hydraulic engineering and management.
- ancient fine art with unique harmony between nature and human imagination.
are all living examples to prove that Sigiriya has the best Architecture.
Ancient Urban Planning
Sigiriya has two parts. The western precinct of Sigiriya consists of 90 hectares and the eastern precinct consists of the royal park, a symmetrical designed pleasure garden with elaborate water fountains and also surface and sub – surface hydraulic systems. It is surrounded by three ramports and two moats which forms rectangular area, the inner perimeter of which is about 700m from east to west and 500m from north to south.
The other side, the eastern area appears to have a ceremonial compund with a large central pavilion as its only permanent structure. The whole royal lived within these walls. Moving inward from these two precincts in an ever-rising manner are a series of rock gardens and terraced gardens leading to the entrance to Sigiri Rock Access to the rock is through a long path that starts on the west side of the terrace garden and runs north along the Mirror Wall to the Lion’s Platform.
Sigiriya consists with many significant unique features. Among them, the water gardens hold a prominent place. Although the water park concept appears from the outside to be a single park system, four distinct sections can be clearly identified during its creation.
- One water garden has four large ‘L’ shaped ponds arraged symmetrically.
- Another one has water fountains. Those are connected with the underground channels.
- Next one us located at a high elevation and has a symmetrical layout.
- Last one is the mini – water park which is a small refinement of the other three park systems.
Sigiriya Graffiti and the Mirrorwall
The graffiti on the mirrorwall have taken more attention to centuries. The visitors who came Sigiriya in the past have scribbled on the mirror wall and now they have become historically important. Here, majority of the graffiti refers to the beautiful paintings of semi nude females.
The mirrowall is highly polished with the lime plaster of the brick masonry wall. So that it could reflect the images of the opposite wall and also is said they used it to see themselves. Even today we can still see the shine on this wall.
Accommodation in Sigiriya
If a person or a group planning on visiting to Sigiriya, it is good to take a stay near by. So that you can climb the rock leisurely with getting tired. Specially the foreigners, visitors and travellers who comes to Sri Lanka from abroad for a long time, can keep their luggages safe at your shelter. Some recommendations are;
01) Atha Resort – Dambulla (Kibissa)
02) Heritance Kandalama – Sigiriya
03) Amaara Forest Hotel – Sigiriya
04) Liyon Rest – Sigiriya
05) Into the Wild – Sigiriya
06) Sigiriya Jungle
07) Sigiriya Water Cottage
08) Sigiriya Paradise Inn
09) Palmyra Nature Resort
10) Jetwing Vil Uyana
All above mentioned recommendations have good facilities like;
Parking, Wifi, Transportation, Security and safe, Cleanliness, Pool, heavenly taste meals , friendly and helpful staffs, luxurious and spacious rooms, eco friendly nature, located in stunning locations and amazing hospitality.