Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, boasts of a vast and rich history as well as a diverse climate that has facilitated the coexistence of sunny beach weather and upcountry cool climes within a few hours’ drive. Whether one visits the island for a short duration or for a longer stay, Sri Lanka tours are truly incomplete without a visit to the major sites of cultural heritage such as Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Kandy and the iconic Lion Rock in Sigiriya.
Sigiriya, also fondly known as the Lion Rock, is a site that is rarely left out of many Sri Lanka tailor-made tours. Sigiriya refers to a fortress composed of rock located in the Central Province of the island. However, this is perhaps to understate the sheer magnitude of the structure for Sigiriya is actually a column of rock that is more than six hundred feet high. This particular rock column was identified by King Kasyapa as the site of his kingdom and he built a palace atop the rock. The reason for why this particular site was selected has attained the nature of local folklore. King Kasyapa, son of King Datusena, sought to secure the throne from his father by engaging in a coup and subsequently killing him. The actual heir to the throne, Kasyapa’s brother, Mugalan, fled the country, but King Kasyapa, fearing that his brother may return to avenge his father’s death, selected the Sigiriya rock and built the impenetrable Lion Rock Fortress. The Fortress was later used as a Buddhist Monastery.
The Lion Rock is open to the public and visitors will climb steep stairs carved into the rock to see the famous Sigiriya frescoes before passing through the Lion’s head (of which only the lion paws remain) to reach the summit. From the summit, a 360 degree view of the area can be enjoyed and this panoramic view makes the steep and tiring climb truly worth the effort.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+