The name Sigirya brings many things to mind, the story of a fight between two brother, murals of beautiful women and the ancient palace built on top of a singular rock, overlooking a kingdom. There are many more Things to do in Sigiriya, and visiting the Sigiriya Museum to get a better idea of the story that lies behind this magnificent marvel is a must.
The Sigiriya rock fortress is not far from various comfortable hotels, like the Hotel Sigiriya, so climbing it in the early hours of the morning before the blistering sun comes out is ideal. Located at the base of the rock, next to the ticket counter, is the Sigiriya Museum. Here, decades of archaeological research on the rock fortress is stored and displayed for visitors.
The museum is divided into three sections that detail certain periods in Sigirya’s history. The first describes the prehistoric and how people first came to live here and the surrounding area some 10,000 years back. Next comes the Protohistoric era (the period between prehistoric and history), where people began cultivating agricultural settlements. This is followed by the Buddhist monastic periods and then the Pre-King Kasyapa period. Ultimately, the last gallery is solely dedicated to King Kasyapa who ruled from the rock fortress, this period is referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of Sigiriya.
Various artefacts and remains found at excavation sites like human skeletons, iron and stone tools, jewellery, beautiful sculptures and much more are exhibited here. A few of the galleries display drawings, photographs and historical information in English so that you can take it all in without the help of a tour guide. Some of the most substantial artefacts at the museum include an iron melting Kiln and a purple toned gold earring. The entire story detailed by the galleries is eye-opening and knowing the story that lies behind this marvel makes the climb up to the fortress that much more exciting.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.