“He cleared roundabout, surrounded it with a wall
and built a staircase in the form of a lion…
Then he built there a fine palace, worthy to behold,
like another Alakamanda,
and dwelt there like the god Kuvera.”
Culavamsa CH 39 v2-4 (circa 1200AD)
It’s an architectural marvel. A monument that portrays Sri Lanka’s past glory and a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. Sigiriya- It’s a wayward king’s emulation of the Alakamandawa, the city of the gods.
The Sigiriya rock is an ancient palace and fortress located in the Matale district, 177 km away from the capital Colombo. Just 17 minutes away is the Hotel Sigiriya, an option to consider for travelers in search of luxury hotels Sigiriya. If you want to gain an insight into the history of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is definitely one of the best places to visit as it contains attractions that are of high significance to ancient art, literature and of course architecture of the country.
Hundreds of years ago, in 477 CE King Kasyapa horrifically murdered his own father to seize the throne, and fled in fear and guilt of his half-brother, the true heir to the crown, returning to seek vengeance and seize power. Fleeing to the dense jungle, on top of the massive column of rock nearly 660 ft high, he built a fortress and furnished it with defensive structures, gardens, frescoes and many other superb constructions that it truly did resemble the legendary city of the gods.
King Kasyapa called this fortress or palace, Sigiriya, meaning Lion Rock in Sinhala as he built a gigantic gateway in the form of an enormous lion. Of this structure only the giant lion’s paws remain, the rest destroyed through the test of time. He adorned his palace with beautiful frescoes of semi-naked women, some still intact with their vibrant colors. At the top of a flight of steep stairs at the Terraced Gardens you will find the Mirror Wall which contains thousands of poems by ancient travelers.
Amidst lush gardens that are recognized as the oldest landscaped gardens in the world, the magnificent Sigiriya Rock stands proud today depicting the prowess and power of an ancient kingdom whose ruler the mighty yet headstrong King Kasyapa, slit his own throat being too proud to surrender in defeat at the hands of his invading half-brother.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.