The astonishing city of Sigiriya is north of Dambulla, rising vertical and daunting from the plains of the Sri Lankan dry zone, a huge outcrop of rock towering 200m above its surroundings.
It was short-lived as Sri Lanka’s medieval capital, but is undoubtedly the most extraordinary of them all. Sigiriya (‘Lion Rock’) was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982, and almost certainly you will find it the most memorable single experience of your visit to Sri Lanka. It is an unforgettable archaeological site not least because of its beautiful and dramatic setting.
|Places in Sigiriya
|Structure of The Lion
|The Sigiriya Rock is actually a hardened magma plug from an extinct volcano. The most significant feature of the rock would be the Lion staircase leading to the palace garden. The Lion could be visualized as a huge figure towering against the granite cliff. The opened mouth of the Lion leads to the staircase built of bricks and timber. However the only remains of this majestic structure are the two paws and the masonry walls surrounding it. Nevertheless the cuts and groves in the rock face give an impression of a lion figure.
|There are only two pockets of paintings covering most of the western face of the rock. The ladies depicted in the paintings have been identified as Apsaras. However a lot of these ladies have been wiped out when the palace was again converted into a monastery so as to not to disturb meditation.
|The gardens are amongst the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The gardens are divided into three distinct but linked forms; water gardens, Cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.
|The Mirror Wall
|Originally this wall was so well polished that the king could see himself whilst he walked alongside it. Made of a kind of porcelain, the wall is now partially covered with verses scribbled by visitors to the rock. Well preserved, the mirror wall has verses dating from the 8th century. People of all types wrote on the wall, on varying subjects such as love, irony, and experiences of all sorts. Further writing on the mirror wall has now been banned.