The legendary tale wrapped around the fortress is that Prince Kashyapa seized the throne from his father to prevent the rightful heir; his step brother from becoming the king. Knowing that his step brother would declare war to regain the throne, Prince Kashyapa moved the kingdom from Anuradhapura to this fortress. Hence, it is well protected and shielded from external threats. However, in the end the rightful heir; Prince Moggallana reinforced his battalion and confronted Kashyapa to gain control over the country and moved the kingdom back to Anuradhapura.
The sprawling acreage that surrounds the rock would have been an evergreen sight in the days of yore. Even though the kings, who resided, did so in fear of imminent ousting, they had indeed lived in style. The Water Gardens, Terrace Gardens and Boulder Gardens which retain their olden grandeur to a large extent are an indication of what the environment may have been many centuries ago. It is believed that the royalty used to bathe and swim in the Water Gardens, which are located symmetrically to the east and west of the fortress. The Terrace Gardens form the pathway to the world famous ‘lion stairway’ of the rock and its formation is seen at the foot of the mound. The Boulder Gardens supported the pavilions in which proceedings were held in the days of royalty. A granite throne etched out of the rock itself was the royal seat during the sessions. A bird’s eye view of all the gardens can be seen from the top of Sigiriya.
The magnificence of the rock can be seen for miles around and most distinctly from the pool of Sigiriya Village, which happens to be one of the most sought after hotels in Sigiriya. In addition to visiting the rock itself, the convenience of the location and the relaxed ambience of this Sigiriya hotel, makes it an ideal place to stay at.