Sigiriya is one of the most fascinating historic and cultural destinations of Sri Lanka. Located in the Matale District of the Central Province, this city served as the capital and Royal Seat of the nation in the 5th Century during the reign of King Kashyapa. The city is named after the 200m tall rock column, upon with King Kashyapa built his royal palace and fortress. One of the most blissful hotels Sigiriya is the luxury Hotel Sigiriya.
Apart from the many amazing historically and architecturally significant highlights of Sigiriya, one that is a testament to the skills of ancient Sri Lankan architecture and hydro-engineering is the Water Gardens. Forming a third of the gardens at the palace complex, the Water Gardens are considered to be among the most well preserved features of Sigiriya. Located on the western precinct of the Sigiriya complex, the Water Gardens are generally the first feature of the palace complex that visitors encounter.
The Water Gardens are divided into three distinct gardens. The first garden consists of 4 beautifully constructed pools surrounded by lush greenery. With polished walls, and ornate steps leading into the pools, it is believed that these pools were used for leisure by the royal family. The second garden consists of the two sections; the first of which contains two long rectangular pools with stepped cross-sections, while the second section consists of a series of ancient fountains and marble paved streams leading to a Royal pavilion. The third garden, which is generally not easily visible, consists of two large octagon shaped pools with raised podiums in the centre of the pools. The pools are supplied water through a series of underground clay pipes, a system which is considered to be highly advanced for its time. This system of pipes and hydro-engineering is so remarkable, that even 1500 years after construction the fountains and pools still work perfectly during the rainy seasons. Hence, the marvelous Water Gardens of Sigiriya are well worth a visit.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.