An Ancient Marvel of Sri Lanka


Sigiriya Rock Fortress, situated in the northern Matale District, is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. This ancient marvel was built during the 5th century by King Kasyapa, who reigned for 18 years from 477 AD to 495 AD, as his palace and fortress. The rock fortress has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress holds historical significance, as it is the only fortress in the world built on a rock that reaches over 200 meters in height. The fortress was used as the capital of Sri Lanka for almost 14 years during the reign of King Kasyapa. However, in 495 AD, King Kasyapa committed suicide as his army was defeated by his half-brother, Moggallana, who later became King. After that, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress was abandoned.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an exemplary example of ancient architecture. The cliff-top palace was built from frescoes, plaster, and bricks, which were later adorned with beautiful paintings. The palace has various chambers, gardens, pools, and fountains that were constructed for the pleasure of King Kasyapa.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress has stunning gardens and water features. The palace surrounded by two moats, which was once home to crocodiles caught from nearby rivers. The terraced gardens of Sigiriya Rock Fortress are filled with flowers and trees, including banana, mango, and guava, which were used as fruits to serve the King.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a beauty not only in architecture but in art too. The frescoes covering the western wall of the rock are one of the most significant aspects of Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The beautiful frescoes depict beautiful women painted with natural pigments that were found on the rock itself. These paintings are noteworthy for their skillful execution and naturalistic style.

In conclusion, Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a must-see site for history, architecture, landscaping, and art enthusiasts. The ancient architectural marvel with its beautiful gardens and frescoes is a testimony to the greatness of ancient Sri Lanka.


Useful Tips

  • Sigiriya is open from 5 am – 5 pm.
  • Sigiriya entrances tickets can be purchased at the entrance gate or online.
  • The climb will at least 2 -3 hours depending on your fitness level.
  • The climb will take you through staircases and narrow pathways
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