Considered a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sigiriya is a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. The site is known for its ancient rock fortress, built in the 5th Century by King Kashyapa. The fortress sits atop a 200-meter-high rock and is surrounded by beautiful water gardens and is also known for its well-preserved frescoes depicting paintings of beautiful women. Here are four things to know about Sigiriya.
Sigiriya Was Built in the 5th Century
King Kassapa wished to create a royal palace and fortress on top of the 200-meter-high rock. This historical monument was designed with a series of palaces, gardens, and reservoirs and was surrounded by moats and ramparts.
The Lion’s Gate
The most prominent feature of Sigiriya is a massive stone carving of a lion’s head that marks the entrance to the fortress. The lion’s head was originally attached to the body of a lion, but the body has been lost to time.
The World-Famous Frescoes
Sigiriya is home to several ancient frescoes, paintings made with watercolor on wet plaster. These frescoes depict images of beautiful women and are thought to be the oldest surviving paintings of their kind in the world.
Ancient Water Gardens
Sigiriya is also home to several ancient water gardens used for irrigation and recreation. The gardens feature pools, fountains, and water channels and are surrounded by trees and other vegetation. If you wish to revel in a one-of-a-kind Ayurvedic retreat in Sri Lanka, head to the elegant Ayurvie Sigiriya.