As the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka. The palace is located in between the towns of Dambulla and Habarana on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.
City Planning and the Technology
Sigiriya rock fortress is an exceptional master piece of ancient urban planning, landscape, construction technology, exceptional hydraulic engineering & management and ancient fine art with unique harmony between nature and human imagination. All these proved that it was a Well-Planned City & Palace in 5th Century AD. Sigiriya rock fortress is recognized as one of the best-preserved surviving ancient urban sites in Asia from the 1st millennium.
The Sigiriya Graffiti were written on the surface of the Mirror Wall at Sigiriya Rock. Scribbled on the wall are over 1800 pieces of prose, poetry and commentary written by tourists who came many years ago. The graffiti range from statements of awe, declarations of love, commentary, curses, laments, diary entries, or mere statements of visit. Many demonstrate a very high level of literacy and a deep appreciation of art and poetry written in a Sinhala, Sanskrit and Tamil.
Lion Rock Paintings (Frescoes)
The Sigiriya Frescoes were painted on the western surface of Sigiriya Rock. The images depict ladies in various postures with some carrying flowers with them. The true identity of these ladies is not known. Some believe these to be the wives of the king in his kingdom while others believe they are women taking part in religious observances held at the time. The Sigiriya Frescoes are almost similar to the paintings found at Ajanta Caves in India. Only few such paintings are left today and these are being protected in the best possible manner.
Cobra Hood Cave
Cobra hood cave also known as the “Parumaka Naguliya Lena”, is a natural geological formation projected as a cobra hood located within the boulder garden of Sigiriya Rock Fortress complex with plastered interior of the cave once embellished with floral and animal paintings. This is also part of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress complex.
Sigiriya is a best-preserved ancient rock fortress and one of the archeological treasures in South Asia. If you are excited to visit this historical site, you should be aware about below essential details.
- Opening time for visitors – 7.00 AM to 5.00 PM
- Best time to climb – Ideally in the morning 8 – 10 Am or 3 – 5 PM to avoid hot sun
- The temperature – Approximately 27 – 30 C
- No of Steps – 1200 steps
- Not recommended for – kids below 8 years and senior citizens
- Entrance Fee – 30 USD per person / Foreign ; 15 USD per person only for SAARC Countries nationals (Need to submit the passport to get this discount)