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Sigiriya

Brief
Sigiriya is a picturesque spot, located in the Mitale District of the Emerald Island - Sri Lanka. It is one of the world's popular and well-known heritage sites which reserve the architectural tradition of the country. The small town of Sigiriya is famous for the fort(rock), gardens and the sanctuary and is representative of the 5 th century urban planning.

History
Built in the 5 century AC this magnificent complex of geometrically laid gardens, pools, fountains (still working today) as well as oldest surviving murals of maidens has been a palace of the King Kasyapa. Built on top of a 200m high rock, the entrance to the climb once has been through a lions head. Only the huge paws remain today. Half way up the rock are beautifully drawn painted bare breast Maidens whose existence is still a mystery. Which should be the eighth wonder of the world, Sigiriaya, is a must see item in Sri Lanka. The occupation of the gigantic fortress ended when Kasyapa killed himself in a battle with his brother.

Reasons to visit
We welcome you to the most exciting tourist attractions and travel destinations which are given below. We take into notice each and every details about recreation, entertainment, adventure and relaxation. By looking at the things to do in city one can see if that spot offers romance, family fun, sightseeing or adventure. Drill down into the tourist attractions below to find out more about each place and see how the local customs create a unique atmosphere.

Water Gardens
The beautifully and elaborately landscaped water gardens, contain a complex network of underground water distribution system, which provides water to the Royal baths, the many little moated islands & fountains, some fountains still work during the rainy season! A superb view of the Gardens could be had from halfway up the rock.


Frescoes - The Sigiriya Damsels
About halfway up the rock is a sheltered gallery of frescoes painted on the sheer rock face. The 'Heavenly Maidens' are similar in style to the paintings of Ajantha in India. Some of them are still in remarkably good condition. Only 22 out of an estimated 500 pictures now remain. Flash photography is not allowed at this site.


The Mirror Wall with Graffiti
Beyond the fresco gallery, the pathway circles the the sheer face of the rock, and is protected by a 3m high wall. This wall was coated with a mirror-smooth glaze, in which visitors over 1000 years ago noted their impressions of the women in the gallery above. The graffiti was mostly inscribed between the 7th and 11th Century AD. 685 of them have been deciphered and published. The graffiti are a great source for the scholars to study the development of the Sinhala language and script.


Lion Platform
The Northern end of the rock the pathway emerges to a platform, from which the rock derives its name Sigiriya (the Lion Rock). At one time a gigantic brick lion sat at the end of the rock, and the final ascent to the summit was between the lions paws and into it's mouth! Today the lion has disappeared, only the paws and the first steps are visible.


The Summit
Covering an area of around 1.6 hectares, the remains of the foundations show that the summit would have been completely covered with buildings. The design, layout and magnificent views that it still enjoys to this day, suggest Sigiriya would have been more of a royal palace of pleasure than a fortress. A pond scooped out of solid rock measuring 27m x 21m, looks like a modern rooftop pool. A smooth slab of flat stone, often referred to as the kings stone throne, faces the rising sun.