Sigiriya or Lion Rock, Sinhalese is situated in the central Matale District of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The place receives its name from the huge column of rock almost two hundred meters high that was once the heart of the royal capital constructed by King Kasyapa. Sigiriya nowadays is the most favorite historical site in Sri Lanka.
The environments all-around Sigiriya appeared to be inhabited since prehistoric times. There’s obvious signs that the numerous rock shelters and caves in the area were occupied by Buddhist monks and ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BC. In accordance the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa the site was chosen by Kasyapa for his new capital. It documents that he constructed a spectacular capital there and a stunning structure on top of this two hundred meter tall rock. The main city and also the royal palace were abandoned after the king’s death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century.
When you approach, you’ll be amazed at this fifth century building which is placed on top of a 600ft rock and is visible for miles all over as it rears its head out in the midst of miles of rich green flat land.
You are able to wonder at the many rock shelters or water gardens at the base or maybe when you climb up the 1200 strange steps to the top, gaze at the frescoes mid-way to the top and also the mirror wall which a long time ago served as a mirror for the king but this time has turned into a spot for graffiti showing ancient Singhalese script. The lion gate, named so due to the large lion paws on the entrance, brings you to the summit that is a huge flat place scattered over which are the ruins of ancient palace, such as an ancient throne and a pool. The scene from the top is spectacular.