Sigiriya Rock is an ancient fortress that reaches about 600 meters high and it’s located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka in the district of Matale. It is the remains of a palace built on top of a volcanic rock by King Kasyapa during the 5th century AD.
It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited places in Sri Lanka.
This was one of the places I visited turing my stay at Kumbukgaha Villa.
The resort includes the remains of the ruined palace that is surrounded by gardens, pools, ponds, canals and fountains.
There are three entrances, each represented with an animal: a lion, a cobra and an elephant.
The main entrance is the lion. It’s located in the northern part of the rock. This is where the name Sigiriya comes from. It means lion’s rock. Today you can find the lion’s legs but not the head, which fell down years ago.
The western wall was almost completely covered with frescoes representing naked women; they are considered the portraits of Kasyapa’s wives. Today there are only eighteen preserved. In order to see them, you have to climb a spiral staircase.
I was struck by the “wall of the mirror”. It is said that it was once so polished that the king could see his own reflection in it. It is now full of graffiti, some of them dating back to the 8th century.
As I said at the beginning, the archaeological site is surrounded by swimming pools, canals and gardens.
I went early in the dry season, so I barely found water, but I was told that in the rainy season, all the canals are full of water.
One must bequeath to the summit a total of 1262 steps to reach the top. It is not difficult, but it is very hot, so it is important to bring water because once inside there is nothing.
I went with a guide who explained everything to me. It can be done alone, but I had not had time to read anything about Sigiriya Rock, so it helped me a lot to have someone explain the history of the place.
At the top of the rock is the palace of the king. It’s like a small town. The rock is shortened, surrounded by green. It felt nice to touch and observe the landscape.
It was a very nice and healthy walk, in which I learned a lot about the history of Sri Lanka.
Love and gratitude