Sigiriya Rock Fortress – The Wonder of Asia


We are here to brighten your Sri Lanka tour itinerary, ensuring that your trip to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka is one that is truly memorable. That being said, this blog is to give you a peep into one of the most magical sites of the island; none other than the awe-inspiring Sigiriya Rock Fortress. 

A truly majestic wonder that is home to one of the most astounding histories of the tiny island calls out to be explored. Once, long ago this archaeological monument was home to King Kashypa who on top of this gracious rock, erected his castle and adorned with strikingly beautiful frescoes. After King Kashyapa, dynasties rose and fell, their fortunes shaped by internal power struggles and conflicts between native Sinhalese and outside invaders from India.

A Buddhist monastery was founded at Sigiriya rock fortification in the third century BCE and so far, thirty cave-shelters with drip-ledges that is believed to have been home to monks have been located near the base of the huge rock. Details of donations to cave shelters have been engraved in Brahmi script on eight of them, giving visitors an insight into the vast and mysterious history of ancient Ceylon and the majestic kingdom of Sigiriya. Following King Kashyapa’s dynasty, by the 6th and 7th century A.D., Sigiriya had lost its political status and had once again become the home of Buddhist monks. During this time, the cave-shelters with drip-ledges from the previous monastic epoch were improved. Additional shrines were built, including a stupa, image house, and bodhi tree shrine. This second stage of monastery growth lasted until the 12th and 13th centuries A.D.

At present day, the historical Sigiriya stands proudly as a UNESCO world heritage site; located in the northern Matale District of Sri Lanka’s Central Province, near the town of Dambulla and has proudly taken its place as the 8th wonder of the world. 

Head towards the picturesque small town that yet beholds one of the grandest sites in the country and be amazed by all the mysteries it has to offer. The ruins of the ancient capital lie at the summit of the rock, renowned as the Lion’s rock, dominating the luscious green town. 

As you step foot on the enthralling site, the extensive collection of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains are surely set to mesmerise you alongside the truly unique harmony between the nature and human imagination that it exuberates. The main entrance is located in the northern side of the rock, intended in the form of a huge stone lion, whose feet have survived up to date, giving evidence to the intricate architectural efforts put into the designing of the ancient kingdom. The Western wall on the other hand is sure to capture your eyes with its many frescoes painted each depicting a story of its own. The enthralling frescoes that depict paintings of nude females are considered to be either the portraits of the king’s wives and concubines or priestess performing religious rituals. Despite the unknown identity of the females depicted in the frescoes, these unique ancient paintings are celebrating female beauty and have incredible historical significance. Another substantial feature of the monument is the famous mirror wall, painted inscriptions and poems written by the visitors of Sigiriya. Take a peep at it on your way to the very top of the rock and get lost among the riveting history the mysterious Sigiriya has to offer. 

Visitors to Sigiriya are treated to magnificent buildings rooted in history and culture. But there’s a lot more to the remains of the old Lion Rock fortress than meets the eye. If you’re interested in learning more, a top by the Sigiriya Museum is a must. 

Apart from visiting the renowned Lion’s rock, there are abundant other activities that you could enjoy during your stay in Sigiriya from visiting the local handicraft shops that surround the site to participating in sacred ‘Pansil’ ceremonies, enjoying delectable local meals and taking in the serene beauty of the tranquil town by either a long stroll or exciting cycle ride around the historical monument of Sigiriya. Visit the secluded sunset royal cave known famously as Pidurangala; an ancient Buddhist monastery and learn of the mysterious history of Ceylon and enjoy a serene lunch or dinner by the Kandalama Reservoir. Created by kings of long-gone times in order to provide water for farming irrigation, the location is the ideal intimate gate away.

Sigiriya is also known for its breath-taking sceneries and local village life. So, it is only right that you visit a local paddy field and interact with the farmers, even enjoy a delectable meal with them, in your Sri Lanka Trip. Friendly smiles and chitter chatter!  

At night, you can also enjoy a serene candle lit dinner by the Kandalama Reservoir. Created by kings of long-gone times in order to provide water for farming irrigation, the location is the ideal intimate gate away. Thriving in biodiversity, Sigiriya is also renowned as a home to the famous night loris. The nature trail at Sigiriya appears to be the most reliable spot in the country for watching these elusive creatures, where several loris have been recorded and sightings can be obtained on almost every night. So, get your night lights and gear on and be on the lookout. 

Indulge in a luxurious spa treatment and get lost in a blissful haven as you enjoy a series of signature ayurvedic spa treatments. Ayurveda: the science of life’ is an ancient, holistic form of healing that promotes total wellbeing and harmony within you in balance with nature and the environment. With knowledge honed over thousands of years, it is a practice that considers your whole being and emphasises on the prevention rather than cure of symptoms. At the blissful town of Sigiriya, you can partake on a spiritual cleansing by visiting one of the many Ayurveda Spas that surround the tranquil haven. Here, you will be under the care of highly qualified Ayurvedic Physicians who will spend time in consultation to evaluate your physical health and understand your individual needs prior to prescribing treatments or packages best suited to you.

During your trip to Sigiriya you can also visit the truly serene town of Dambulla and step into the midst of the famous Dambulla cave temple. A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, the Dambulla cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka, and explore them in your Sri Lanka Itinerary. The Buddhist mural paintings and 157 statues that the cave is home to are sure to leave you amazed!

Enjoy your stay at one of the many luxury villas that encapsulate the beauty of Sigiriya and explore the mouth-watering local flavours. Treat yourself to the tongue-tangling local cuisine and even enjoy a meal by the lushes’ paddy fields of the city.

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