Known as the Lion Rock, Sigiriya is one of the most important sites in Sri Lanka displaying its cultural heritage, ancient architecture and its rich history. The importance attached to this historic edifice can be seen from the very fact that very often Sri Lanka is promoted using this iconic fortress and its impressive frescoes.
This 5th century fortress is located in the central part of Sri Lanka and forms part of the Cultural Triangle of the country. The fortress on top of the rock is believed to have been built by King Kashyapa in the 5th century and one has to climb up stairs built through a massive replica of lion paws to reach the top. The summit contains ruins of an ancient palace that had been there many centuries ago.
The setting is well known around the world for its beautiful frescoes of Sigiriya damsels which have been painted using colours from flowers and other natural materials. These frescoes are still intact despite the passing of the centuries. They are one of the biggest attractions of this site and have often been compared to the paintings of Ajantha in India.
The site also has a mirror wall that contains poetry written by those who visited the site after its completion and wrote poems in praise of it. The premise’s also boasts of water gardens with a number of ponds and waterways spread across the grounds and rock gardens featuring boulder architecture. The ancient hydro system that took water all the way up to the top of the rock indicates the advanced expertise that had been used by the people of the time.
For all these reasons, the site has been named as a UNESCO world heritage site and every year it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and it is even referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. There are numerous Sri Lanka hotels in the area as it is found in the gateway to the North Central province of the country which connects Anuradhapura, Polonnawaruwa and Matale areas which boast of a host of cultural attractions. Amongst the various accommodation options in the region, Jetwing Vil Uyana is a Sigiriya hotel that offers an ideal base set amidst picturesque natural surroundings.