Going on a trip from Colombo or its environs, of course, is worth plunging into the ancient history of Sri Lanka and getting to know a unique place called Sigiriya better. This is the eighth wonder of the world, striking with the unique sights of the ancient city, surprisingly well preserved to this day. All over Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is one of the most famous attractions, which is located near the city of Dambul. The amazing Sigiriya, the Lion Mountain, has such a name due to the enormous stone lion located below, where there are many beautiful places and ancient buildings.
The history of Sigiriya
Sigiriya is a large beautiful rock standing alone, located on the island of Sri Lanka; there are no similar rocks in the world. Today it is officially referred to as the Ancient City of Sigiriya, the ancient city of Sigiriya. The unique small town has become widely known for its impressive ancient frescoes, the enormous palace in honor of King Kassapa, gardens, fountains, and many other attractions. From the 3rd century, Buddhist monks lived here, and in the 5th century, King Kassapa himself fled to this place and built a fortress there, where he lived for another 18 years without going down. Many centuries ago, this place was chosen by Buddhist monks sitting secluded in the rock caves. According to legend, in Sigiriya, King Kashyapa in the fifth century AD. He erected a palace on the very top, hiding and hiding from enemies since he received the throne dishonestly by expelling his brother. Beautiful endless gardens began to surround the rock; fountains appeared for the first time in the world. A narrow path leads up, and the wall enclosing it was constantly rubbed to a dazzling mirror shine. So the impregnable fortress of Sigiriya was formed on the rock. Another Lower Palace of Sigiriya settled at the foot. In the old days, a moat was dug around it, filled with water, and breeding crocodiles. Having risen to the top, every tourist will feel omnipotent, like the former king who created this entire splendor. But the ending was tragic for him. The tyrant lost the battle to his returning brother, who had to pierce himself with a dagger. And the legitimate heir became the ruler of the ancient city of Sigiriya. Lion Mountain still keeps its secrets and mysteries.
Attractions of Amazing Sigiriya
There is a massive selection of all the fantastic things you can see in Sigiriya with children; you need to calculate their strength. Everything here is unique and exciting. After all, it is evident that in such an inconvenient place, it is simply impossible to carry out such miraculously performed work without modern technology, even if thousands of enslaved people are involved. The ancient city of Sigiriya was the site of the royal palace of King Kassapa I. The ancient city comprises several gardens, a vast red rock, and a castle in the sky built on rocks, including moats, ponds, courtyards, and fountains. What to see in Sigiriya? The Lion Rock and the Ruins of Polonnaruwa, the first capital of ancient Anuradhapura, and the Negombo Fish Market are the recommended tourist places in Sigiriya. Here you can check out amazing Sigiriya attractions for getting more details.
Sigiriya Lion Rock
The Lion Rock also called the Sigiriya Lion Rock is an aerial palace built on solid orange rock, leaving all visitors stunned and amazed. It is the pinnacle of Sri Lanka's "Golden Triangle of Culture" and is one of the world's most valuable heritage sites protected by UNESCO. The rock is 200 meters high, and from a distance, the Lion Rock is located in the plains of northeast Dambulla. The so-called Lion Rock is the most important monument in Sri Lanka, the island nation south of India. Described as the 8th wonder of the world, the mysteries surrounding this impressive structure and its unparalleled beauty are the most important reasons to tour Sigiriya. According to local legend, the palace on top of this enormous rock fortress was built in the 5th century and served as a shelter and lookout to detect threats from a distance, thanks to its enormous size. Activities in Sigiriya consist of climbing the huge stairs to the palace and walking through its beautiful gardens and tunnels with their picturesque walls painted with lush ladies. The stone-like Lion, Lion's head was weathered and fallen, Lion's body was left alone, and on the back of the lion, a 200-meter-high garden palace was built. Buried in the jungle for centuries, it was discovered in the mid-19th century by an English hunter: Bell. The Lion Rock includes a moat, a garden plaza, a huge rock, and a red brick castle in the sky that was built on top of the rock. The Rock of the Lion is about two hundred meters high, with a smooth, square, and imposing stone face. The hilltop area was about two hectares. The court has the king's stone throne, the cistern, the banquet hall, the meeting hall, the king's bedroom, etc. The scale of the building was incredible. The reservoir is artificially chiseled, and the stored water comes from rainwater, which can supply the palace for a whole year. When the water level is too high, the overflow water flows from the top of the mountain into the garden—designed for different sizes of the water well, forming a different fountain height, which is very lovely. A long walkway leads to the Patas León platform. After passing through the lion claw gate, then up a narrow iron ladder near a cliff, it is almost at a right angle, visitors could feel the cold wind blowing. Upon reaching the summit, there is a 1.6-hectare platform. Visitors can speculate on the scale and design of the palace. The actual pool is still in good condition. The water is dark green, and the pool from thousands of years ago looks like a modern pool at first glance. The view from the top of the rock is good. After years of erosion and human destruction, some have been unable to show their original appearance. The cave is heavily guarded, and glare is not allowed when taking photos. The spiral staircase leads to a long, golden wall of mirrors gleaming in the sun. Carved on the walls are ancient texts that record thousands of years of people's admiration after visiting the Sigiriya Lion Rock, a precious document of Sri Lanka.
Lush vegetation and architectural beauty begin long before the checkpoint. The park is full of not only cute habitual squirrels but also fluffy martens, giant elephants, and restless monkeys. Local Sri Lankans immediately sell fruits and delicious pastries, which you can share with the animals if you wish. Gardens are called not only greenery and hedges but also former fountains and pools. All this stands symmetrically along the path leading to the boulder. Manufactured gardens include plantings at the very top and water alleys, consisting of pools with bridges thrown over them, interspersed with natural reservoirs.
This is one of the fragments among what is interesting in Sigiriya. Once a wall was rubbed to a shine so that the king always admires his reflection as in a mirror. Today it is pretty dusty and unkempt. In addition, it is covered with numerous inscriptions in various languages ??of the peoples of different years.
The mountain next to Sigiriya can serve as a good alternative with a price eight times cheaper. There used to be a monastery down here. A beautiful view from above is guaranteed. And there are far fewer tourists. An ideal place for meditation and merging with nature.
The rock of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka immediately amazes with two giant Lions' paws. That's why this place is called so. Once upon a time, a lion's muzzle was carved right in the stone, but gradually it collapsed. The open mouth of the beast served as the entrance to this fortress. The statue is striking in its scale - a person next to it seems like a fine grain of sand. Scientists continue to argue that the stone lion was destroyed by erosion, and this would take not one and a half thousand but millions of years. Although in fact, the lion can be any mythical animal that looks like a lion. The structure of the brick used must resemble a giant reptile.
Among the unique attractions of Sigiriya, the pool stands out. It is located above the hall with the throne. All sides of the pool fit perfectly without the help of any mortar. The floor with borders and niches is impeccably processed. Everything looks like someone with a considerable blade cut, not a block of stone, but pliable soft plasticine.
Boat trip on Lake Hirivadunna
The walk on the lake is usually part of the so-called village tour offered by many agencies in Sigiriya and Dambulla. The tour includes an ox cart ride, a boat ride on the lake, and a traditional Sri Lankan lunch in the village. I was only interested in the boat trip from the whole program, so I decided not to book a tour, but you can easily find these tours through travel agencies, both in advance and on the spot.
There are other exciting places near Sigiriya Road. Like, for example, the stupa built by King Kashyap. Only the lower part has survived from it, now covered with a layer of moss.
Kassapa Palace in Sigiriya
The Kassapa Palace is located on the top of the mountain and was built in the 5th century. Amazing gardens, pools, and fountains are located next to the palace. A tragic and almost Shakespearean story is connected with the appearance of this fortress, which tells about King Dhatusen, against whom his son Kassapa conspired. Dilapidated buildings surround the palace-fortress complex, and to get to the palace itself, one must overcome as many as 2100 steps.
A great end to the tour will be a visit to the museum, where you can see what else is interesting in Sigiriya. These are original frescoes and reproductions taken carefully from the rock.
Sigiriya mountain plateau
Sigiriya is one of the unique parts of the grand cultural route through the golden triangle of Sri Lanka. Big Sigiriya is a mountain plateau in the heart of Sri Lanka, where the famous ruins of an ancient fortress are located, and there is also a famous cave monastery.
The first section of Sigiriya Rock consists of four pools; when they are complete, they form a small island in their center, which is connected to the surrounding gardens. The remains of the mandapas can be seen from the north and south sides in rectangular areas, which is considered a small but extensive fountain garden here. Who preserve their ancient fountain?
The lion gate of Sigiriya, a giant lion, was destroyed long ago; this lion's mouth was previously the main entrance to the fortress of Kassapa. Today, only two lion paws have survived from this gate, the size of which is large enough, so one can only imagine how huge the figure of the animal itself was.
Other entertainment and attractions of Sigiriya
Mount Sigiriya is a sleeping lion with the ruins of an ancient city on top. King Kasapa chose this place to build an impregnable fortress to protect him from his brother's persecution. The best architects worked to create a magnificent city with fountains and gardens and fabulous staircases. Although the fortress was built in the fifth century, a substantial royal throne and large stone paws of a lion on top of the mountain have survived. The gallery of frescoes is also worth visiting, preserved in excellent condition. Although out of 500 frescoes, only 17 remain, their meaning and significance are clear to us. It depicts the dance of half-naked princesses or palace ladies floating in the air. In addition, writings and poems dedicated to female beauty remained on the walls.
Tips for Sigiriya
Sigiriya is one of the most extraordinary tourist spots in Sri Lanka. It was built in the fifth century and is considered by the local people to be the world's eighth wonder. This ancient city is a combination of natural wonders and artificial wonders. Even after thousands of years of weathering, the unique outline of the ancient city is still clearly visible. Here are tips for travelers who want to travel to Sigiriya.
- It will take a long time to climb Lion Rock, and it might bring enough water.
- We suggest you wear light sports shoes as it takes a long time to walk or climb.
- Some local people will wait for visitors and see if visitors need a guide, or when you climb the mountain, some local people will come to hug you, if you don't need, you should say no thanks, as all these services are not free, you have to pay them.
- Many monkeys are in this scenic area, so we advise you not to hand over the food and feed the monkey as the monkeys may grab your food.
Best time to visit Sigiriya
If you are planning to visit Sigiriya Rock, let us tell you that to visit Sigiriya between January and April is the best time. At this time, the time is suitable for day trips. However, for the rest of the year, the average weather and the highest temperature are around 31°C.
How to Reach Sigiriya?
Suppose you are planning to travel from India to Sigiriya. In that case, Sri Lankan Airlines operates direct flights from major cities of India like Trivandrum, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi to Colombo. And there are connecting flights to Colombo from Lucknow, Chandigarh, and other northern cities. From which you can reach Colombo. Then you can travel from there by local means and reach Sigiriya.
Sigiriya does not have an airport. The Colombo is the nearest airport to Sigiriya. So you can reach Colombo before the flight, and from there you can travel by bus or taxi and reach Sigiriya.
If you want to reach Sigiriya by traveling by road, then you can reach by traveling by bus, taxi, or car.
Keep in mind that there is no direct train available for Sigiriya, if you want to travel by train. For this, you can come by train to Habarana. Sigiriya is at a distance of 17 km from Habarana, where you can reach Sigiriya by taxi.
To see these wonders, thousands of tourists from all over the world come here every day who want to see the impressive Kassapa Palace personally. This palace is situated on the lion mountain, and now this place is under the protection of the world's heritage and has long been surrounded by various legends. The amazing Sigiriya has many ancient exciting secrets, the Lion Mountain itself is majestic, and a beautiful gorgeous view opens up from its top. After Kassapa, monks began to actively settle on the rocky plateau, forming a unique cave monastery there.
Speak to our Experts!Instant Quote, Best Deals - 100% Customizable, Includes hotels + car + guides Cost depends on various factors like, number of people you are, travel dates, category of hotel and transportation etc.Drop your Inquiry to get the best deals as per your requirements. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Rated 5* in TripAdvisor.