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Sigiriya is one of the foremost valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka.
Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World, this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists per annum. It is probably the foremost visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka
The palace is found within the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a huge rocky plateau 370 meters above the ocean level.
Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters above the encompassing jungles.
The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an in-depth network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys, and fountains. The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years.
Since the 3rd century BC, the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the last half of the 5th-century king, Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here.
After his death, Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it had been abandoned.
The main entrance is found within the northern side of the rock.
It was designed within the sort of an enormous stone lion, whose feet have survived up to today but the upper parts of the body were destroyed.
Well, Thanks to this lion the palace was named Sigiriya. The term Sigiriya originates from the word Sihagri, which means Lion Rock.
The western wall of Sigiriya was almost entirely covered by frescoes, created during the reign of Kasyapa. Almost Eighteen frescoes have survived to this day.
The frescoes are a depiction of nude females and are considered to be either the portraits of Kasyapa’s wives and concubines or priestess performing religious rituals.
Despite the unknown identity of the females depicted within the frescoes, these unique ancient paintings are celebrating female beauty and have incredible historical significance.One of the foremost striking features of Sigiriya is its Mirror wall. In the old days, it had been polished so thoroughly that the king could see his reflection in it.
The Mirror wall is painted with inscriptions and poems written by the visitors of Sigiriya.
The most ancient inscriptions are dated from the 8th century. These inscriptions are proving that Sigiriya was a tourist destination quite a thousand years ago. Today, painting on the wall is strictly prohibited. The buildings and gardens of Sigiriya show that the creators of this amazing architectural monument used unique and artistic technical skills and technologies.
The construction of such a monument on a huge rock approximately 200 meters higher from the encompassing landscape required advanced architectural and engineering skills. The gardens of Sigiriya are among the oldest landscaped gardens within the world.
It has Water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and also terrace gardens.
They are located within the western part of the rock and are with a posh mechanism, which consists of canals, locks, lakes, dams, bridges, fountains, also as surface and underground water pumps.
In the season, all channels are crammed with water, which begins to circulate through the entire area of Sigiriya. Fountains of Sigiriya inbuilt the V century, perhaps, are the oldest within the world.
The palace and fortress complex is recognized together of the best samples of ancient urban planning. Considering the individuality of Sigiriya UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1982. Sigiriya is an unmatched combination of urban planning, water engineering, horticulture, and humanities.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
You can visit various places near Sigiriya like-