The eighth wonder of the world, Sigiriya is a historical place to enjoy nature, history culture, and the ancient proud culture of Srilankans. It’s a fortress complex located in the northern Matale District of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya is the greatest archaeological site in South Asia, rises to an elevation of 1144 feet (349 meters) above sea level, and is some 600 feet (180 meters) above the surrounding plain.it’s natural rock raised through the jungle which was protected naturally.
What is Sigiriya
A controversial ruler King Kasyapa selected rigorous as Both the palace and the protective fortress. He made a beautiful residence palace on the top of the rock and he designed it from wall paintings, in the present also we can see those iconic paintings.
There is a beautiful story behind how Sigiriya got his name when we reach 100 meters of the rock the lion-faced entrance to the top started from there because of that people believe it’s the rock of lion (in Sinhala sigiriya means lion’s rock). After the death of King Kashyapa kingdom of Sinhalese shifted to Anuradhapura.
Discover of Sigiriya to the future
The credit of Discovering Sigiriya is directly drawn to Jonathan Forbers, who was the major of the 78 regiments of the British Royal Army in 1831. He sawed the covered top of the Sigiriya rock by fauna when in returned to Colombo from Polonnaruwa by horse cart. He has mentioned this in his book called “ 11 Years in Sri Lanka”.The First Archaeological excavation Started in 1890 under the Archaeological commissioner in that period Mr.H.C.P Bell, in 1982 Sri Lankan government was involved in the excavation and started to excavate the whole area belonging to the Sigiriya fortress.
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The ruins of the palace are found on the top of the rock the entrance to the palace is the lion’s mouth and its ruins also have remains. Ruins of another two palaces have been found in the plain area at the foot of the rock. Local and foreign visitors are still surprised about the technology used to transport water to the top of the rock, and the ponds on the top still working when rain comes.
There is evidence of prehistoric lives around the Sigiriya area from those excavations. The rock scripts found from Sigiriya have proved that monks have meditated in caves located in this land From third B.C.
King Kashyapa was Not the son of the royal princess, so the crown belonged to the princess’s son, Prince Mugalan but the king was the father of both of them. Kashyapa stole the crown from a military coup with the support of the commander of the king. Prince Mugalan had run away to south India to protect his life, he waited for a long time to bring back his crown from Kashyapa
Kashyapa was cruel to kill his father and developed Sigiriya as the capital city and the fortress of his kingdom. mainly to protect from the invasions of Mugalan.
Prince Mugalan came back to take his crown from Kashyapa and he did this with the help of the king in south India because of that invasion King Kashyapa suicide after King Mugalan shifted his kingdom to Anuradhapura Sigiriya converted to an Ashram of monks.
Sigiriya Floor Plan
Sigiriya floor plan has been designed greatly according to the natural model without destroying nature. The royal garden was built west side of the fortress all the places especially water ponds and piped water systems connected.
The water garden consists of four parts, this garden system is named (charbar), which means fourin the Persian language the charbar water system in Sigiriya is one of the oldest water systems in the present world. whole of the fortress is bounded by Moats multiplying the the protection and the beauty of the fortress. The Water-flowers that are made of limestone flakes still work well today in the rainy season.
The rock garden is located above the water garden this is an area where rocks are naturally located. Ruins on the top of those rocks prove that buildings have been built on each top of the rocks. Some rocks are used to roll over to enemies when some attack the fortress.
Sigiriya Wall Arts
At present few of the complete are remain in a cave area 100m above from ground, Some unclear arts also remain in many places. There are many opinions about those arts some people guess those ladies are angels from heaven and they spray flowers on the king and the people on the ground. King Kashyapa had a group of wives some people believe those arts are pictures of the king’s wives who bring flowers to worship Lord Buddha. These paintings lay laying the west side of the rock. scientists found there were more than 500 paintings spread through an area of 5800 square meters.
Architecture in Sigiriya Fortress
King made his palace on the top of the rock look like a cloud which were floating near to rock, it was a fully air-conditioned palace. The top was not a flat land sloped as a stair. The whole area had rounded from a strong wall. The palace has been designed openly to gain wind properly and endure high temperatures. All the buildings were not high enough to protect themselves from the wind. All the walls and buildings are painted white to pretend as clouds.
However whole area was divided into three main parts as upper palace, the below palace, and the royal garden every part had a swimming pool which were carved on natural rock. Marble stairs have been built in and outside the palace. On the highest place King’s room was located it was 13m in length and 7m in wider. The main pool was 27 m in length and 21m wider. Seats have been carved using natural rock and some toilet bowls which were made of rock have been found. a special place has been built to gather the royal cabinet and discuss. It is made by slicing a big rock.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Man-made amazing creations are named world heritages, 1982 UNESCO named Sigiriya a world heritage all Sri Lankans should bind their hand to protect this heritage
All the visitors should watch the modern museum to gain more details about Sigiriya. This modern building was also constructed according to Sigiriya Prosperity under the supervision of architect Mr.Chandana Ehelepola in 2009.
Tourism in Sigiriya
Sigiriya Lion Rock has two different tickets. One is Sigiriya full ticket, which can visit Sigiriya Rock and Sigiriya Museum. The other one is to visit the Sigiriya Lion Rock Museum. There are special discounted ticket fees for travelers from SAARC countries
Sigiriya Lion Rock ticket counter is considered as
Adult – 12 years and above 12 years, Children – 6 years and between 6 to 12 years toddler – below 6 years
Sigiriya Lion Rock full ticket including Sigiriya Lion Rock and Sigiriya museum. If you are a traveler from SAARC country, you can get a 50% discount. You need to present your original passport at the ticket counter. The ticket counter does not accept photocopies of passports or photos. If you are not able to provide your passport at the ticket counter you can’t get a discount price.
- Buy a Sigiriya lion rock ticket at the entrance ticket counter
- You can buy a ticket at the Sigiriya Lion Rock ticket counter.
- Ticket counter open time: 6.30 am
- Ticket counter close time: 4.59 pm
- Ticket counter contact number: +94766981570
- Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau: +94112 426 900
Sigiriya Lion Rock entrance ticket prices
- Non-SAARC foreign adult -US$ 30
- Non SAARC foreign child -US$ 15
- SAARC foreign adult -US$ 15
- SAARC foreign child -US$ 15
- Local adult – Rs.100
- Local Children – Rs.50
- All infant and toddler – Free entrance
- Sigiriya Museum entry ticket prices
- Foreign adult -US$5
- Foreign child – US$5
- Local adult – Rs.100
- Local child – Rs.50
- All infants and toddlers – Free entry