The exotic fortress of an artistic yet slightly eccentric king from a bygone era, the Sigiriya Fortress rises over 600 feet into the heavens in all its majesty. If you are a discerning traveller looking for things to do in Sigiriya, do not miss the ascent to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. King Kashyapa, the son of a powerful king was not the direct heir to the throne since his mother was one of the palace concubines. He built his fortress and palace on this rock sourcing inspiration from his own fertile and visionary imaginations and the use of talented architects and engineers. If you are planning to explore this majestic wonder, consider a sojourn at one of the luxury hotels nearby like Water Garden Sigiriya.
King Kashyapa was a troubled monarch as he only took over the throne after murdering his father and his subjects loathed him for this atrocious act against a beloved king. Dejected, the king fled to the Sigiriya area and built a magnificent fortress filled with beautiful gardens, luxurious palaces, walkways and ample security with a good view of the approaching enemy. There he lived a life of luxurious excess surrounded by art and beauty until his brother gathered an army in search of vengeance forcing Kashyapa to commit suicide.
Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s many hydraulic wonders with water fountains and artificial ponds taking up a considerable space on top of the rock. The beautiful, semi-nude nymphs that adorn the walls of the inner cave have been subject to debate over the years with some claiming that the paintings depict some of King Kashyapa’s favourite ladies from his harem. The mirror wall contains some beautiful lyrics written in ancient Sinhalese dating back to the 8th century.
Halfway through the ascent, you will enter the actual pleasure palace ripe with intriguing frescoes, water gardens and a mirror wall bearing ancient graffiti through the massive paws of a crouching lion.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travelers across all walks of life. Google+