One of Sri Lanka’s most famous historic and cultural landmarks is Sigiriya. Roughly translating to ‘Lion’s Rock’ in Sinhalese, Sigiriya is named after the Sigiriya Rock; a 200m tall column of rock which was transformed into a castle fortress by King Kashyapa. The castle was the Royal Seat during the reign of King Kashyapa in the 5th Century AD, and is known for its amazing architectural features, beautiful gardens, and stunning larger-than-life frescos. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is thus a very popular tourist attraction. Many hotels in the area, such as the luxury Hotel Sigiriya, are ideal for accommodation for tourists and travelers.
Among the many amazing features of Sigiriya is the Mirror Wall. The Mirror Wall is wall that stands around some of the lower sections of the rock fortress. As its name suggests, the Mirror Wall was known for being polished to such perfection that it would reflect anything in front of it, much like a mirror. Since its construction in the 5th Century AD, the wall has intrigued many of those who have visited it in the ancient times, and the same can be said of today’s visitors.
Built using clay bricks and plastered with limestone, the Mirror Wall stands several meters high from the base of the rock. Ancient texts reveal that King Kashyapa wished to see himself as he walked along the walls of the rock fort, and thus had the wall polished to perfection so as to project his reflection. The quality of this polishing was so great that even today, 1500 years after its construction, certain areas of the wall retain some of its original reflecting ability. Another amazing feature of the Mirror Wall is the thousands of inscriptions and poems on the surface of the wall made by visiting Kings, Queens, noblemen and monks, all of whom praise the beauty of the Mirror Wall. A compilation of over 1500 of these poems was made by renowned historian Dr. Senarath Paranavithana, and is considered to be a masterpiece in Sinhala literature.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.