Sigiriya – One of the Heavens on Earth

Traveling is the most exuberant experience one could do in life. Whenever you are tied up at work, all you wish is to relax later on. Sometimes, the relaxation period is extended to what we would call the “hibernation period”. Having said that, if you want to go somewhere to relax, where all you have is your camera and yourself at the top of the world then, Sigiriya is your destination.

It is one of the best tourist’s sites that everyone should go once in a lifetime. It is a fort made of rock in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya is a Tamil word means “Lion Rock“. It has been named after the archaeological importance as the rock is 200 meters high and created as a lion’s face.

The history of Sigiriya is to be believed that the rock fortress was chosen by King Kasyapa to dominate it as his capital. The place became deserted after the demise of the king and later on used as the Buddhist monastery until 14th Century. The most common site used for living at Sigiriya was the Aligala rock shelter on the east side of the Sigiriya rock.

While looking at the architecture of the rock, Sigiriya is thought of a creative project. The architects have made the surroundings in a mathematical manner. The shelters near Sigiriya rock were created in the 3rd century under the bigger stones that were carved with fallen edges around the cave’s opening. Halfway above the rock, the king had created a Lion gateway. The ceiling of the rock is known as “Cobra Hood Cave”.

The palace of King Kasyapa was built at the top of that rock which was then decorated with beautiful paintings inspired by the Anuradhapura time period. Around 500 women were painted on those walls but no one knows the truth about those women. They are still the mysteries in those walls and paintings.

In the reign of King Kashyapa, the rock was turned into a fortress and there have been several defensive constructions made like palaces and gardens. The west part of the rock has a balanced (in terms of mathematical layout) park for kings with water – maintenance systems that are still working on today’s date. No wonder the palace is a good example of planning to build a town.

There is a wall in the fortress that is called “The Mirror Wall”. The polished wall seemed lively that the king could see himself on that wall, though it had white plaster. In the modern history, that wall has been dominated by the visitors. People would scribble their names with loved ones or any other experience. Nowadays, people are not allowed to write on that wall anymore.

The gardens in Sigiriya are one the vital and the oldest landmarks. Those gardens are divided into three districts; the Water Gardens, the Boulder Gardens, the Terraced Gardens.

The most eminent royal palace, Sigiriya has topped the list of the tourist destination because of its famous and unique painting styles that could relate to Ajanta caves in India. Secondly, it comes under the top ten tourist sites in Sri Lanka, which was then chosen for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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