Often considered as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ by the people of this country, this town is the one of the most historical and significant tourist destination of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
Places to visit in Sigiriya
This town has a two hundred meters high rock fortress complex which consist of ruins of a palace and is surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys &fountains. Sigiriya means a Lion Rock. There was a huge structure of a stone lion at the main entrance of the rock and hence, this place was named as Sigiriya. At present, only the feet portion of the structure is remaining . All other parts has been destroyed. This rock fort offers a great view of the nature and surrounding forests from the top.
This land served as a monastery since the third century. In the late fifth century, a royal residence was built by the King Kasyapa. Post his death, the royal palace was left abandoned and it was again turned into a Buddhist monastery until the fourteenth century. The walls of this rock is filled with frescos that displays female beauties performing some rituals. The most important feature of this rock is the Mirror wall. Back in the old days, this wall was well maintained and polished so that the King could see his reflection in it. There are some inscriptions and poems carved by some visitors on this wall. The most ancient inscriptions are dated from the eighth century. This proves that Sigiriya has been a popular tourist attraction since thousands of years.
The building structure&gardens showcases the amazing technical skills & creativity used to build this monument on a massive rock at a height of two hundred meters. The gardens and fountains are the oldest in the world. There are water gardens, cave & boulder gardens and terraced gardens within the complex area. The fountain was built in the fifth century. The complex is well equipped with the hydraulic system including under water pumps, canals, lakes, dams, bridges and fountains as well. The entire place is a perfect example of a mix of an ancient urban planning.
Best Time to visit Sigiriya
Best months to visit the city of Sigiriya in Sri-Lanka, are November to February. Summer and monsoon months between April to October can be avoided.