Sigiriya Rock Fortress – The Eighth Wonder of the World

by Dulanjaya mahagamage
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Sigiriya Rock Fortress has been named as the eighth wonder of the world and also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. Sigiriya has attracted much attention both locally and internationally. The value of the Sigiriya is not due to its amazing design. Sigiriya is also creative. Its technology and urban architecture are among the world’s oldest. In addition, its paintings, wall songs, irrigation system and gardens are among the most magnificent. Sigiriya is considered to be a treasure. It’s is a place where old Sinhalese technology, architecture, poetry, artistry and aesthetics are compressed together.

Sigiriya is located about 13 miles from Dambulla town in Matale District. The height is about 600 feet. The rock on the mountain is about 400 feet high and the area surrounding the Sigiriya mountain is also known as Sigiriya. Sigiriya was a capital of Anuradhapura period for about 18 years. The royal palace was located on top of the Sigiriya rock. There are extensive royal buildings and gardens around the mountain. Sigiriya is a well planned city.

 Sigiriya is the most famous mountain in the country other than Samanalakanda and Mihintale mountain. Sigiriya is located about 30 miles away from Anuradhapura. Most of the information about Sigiriya was obtained after Mr. Senarath Paranavithana was appointed as the Commissioner of Archeology. Sigiriya has been a monastery since the reign of King Kashyapa(477–95). The features of a fort at Sigiriya are scarce. Paranavithana has said that King Kashyapa had attempted to convert the kingdom into a deity, which he had imitated.

 Sigiriya is a rocky mountain. It is also a very difficult road. So this wall is a safe place. The rolling staircase and stone seats around the rock to climb to the top of the staircase are amazing. Part of that old staircase is still visible. Instead of a broken staircase, an iron staircase was installed by the British rulers. Sigiriya was the first fortified capital in our proud history. The then Commissioner of Archeology, H. C. P. Mr. Bell was found in a forest in Sigiriya on April 15 -16, 1894. Before that, Jonathan Pobbs visited Sigiriya in the 1830s and got some details. The Sigiriya Cultural Triangle Project began in January 1982. There are five sites in the Cultural Triangle. These are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. The town is surrounded by Buddhist Temples, man-made tanks, irrigation system and metropolitan areas. There are two Buddhist temples near Sigiriya named Ramakale and Vidurangala. A museum has also been established in Sigiriya. Near Sigiriya, Sigiriya Oya or Yan Oya flows. 


Location of Sigiriya


Location of Sigiriya


The Sigiri mountain is a hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano. The Sigiri mountain is bounded by a wall. The city is located inside the bund. The Sigiri Maha town is located on the outside. The great city outside is neatly arranged. There are various gardens. This town of Sigiriya is three kilometers long and one kilometer wide. The rock is named considering the shape of the entrance. There is a staircase leading up to the top of the rock and lion statue lying at the foot of the staircase. Also large. In Sinhala, the lion is called an Sinha. And the rock is called Giri. The name Sigiriya evaluated from a combination of these two facts Sinha+Giri (Lions Rock).

The Palace of the Sigiriya


The Palace of the Sigiriya                             

The royal palace of King Kashyapa was located on the top of the Sigiriya rock. It covers an area of ​​two acres. The foundation of the old royal palace has been raised on top of the rock. It has water pools, drinking water ponds, water canals and also gardens. Their water is supplied with rainwater and springs in the footer of the rock. The irrigation technology that carried water from the bottom of the rock to the palace at the top of the stone is still a marvel.


Mirror Wall

Mirror Wall Sigiriya


The wall is a stone wall such as a polished mirror. The walls here are so polished is incredible. The murals and caves belong to this wall area. Even though the winds blew for centuries, the level of polish has not been harmed. The kings, princesses, ministers, writers, monks and the general public who visited Sigiriya have written many songs about the paintings and the environment. These poems and songs written there are a very valuable part of Sri Lanka’s ancient poetry. 



Sigiriya Paintings


The paintings in Sigiriya remain to this day. Of the 300 paintings painted there in the ancient era, there are only 21 today. Many of these paintings are female paintings. The paintings in Sigiriya are worth as much as the Ajanta paintings in India. There is evidence that these paintings are inspired by the paintings in Gupta Period of India. The colors in which the paintings are drawn have survived for nearly 2000 years till today. Sigiriya paintings showcase the talent and technique of Sri Lankan artists of the ancient eras times. The paintings of the Sigiriya females are both red and blue. It is said that the paintings of the red females symbolize the light and the rain clouds are symbolic by blue females. It is said that these women have painted their way to the Pidurangala Vihara, near Sigiriya, as they have flowers in their hands. These paintings are believed to convey deep ideas.



Water Garden, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka


There are many parks around the Sigiriya rock. Sigiriya is considered as one of the best gardens in the world. The well-preserved garden is the Sigiriya National Park. Among the Sigiriya gardens, mango gardens, flower gardens, aquatic gardens and stone gardens have been designed in a neat manner. Most of the Sigiriya Gardens are water ponds. These are all interconnected. Eventually the water flows into the trench. Water flowers in the water gardens are still running during the rainy season. The mathematical methods of this construction are amazing. Summer Palace is in this water garden area. There is a drainage about 3 inches around the Sigiriya garden pavilions. It is for the walkers of the Tabernacle.



Sigiriya City 

The town of Sigiriya is located just outside the wall. These creations can be seen as a culmination of the Sri Lanka’s city design. Four main roads leading to Sigiriya have been discovered. The creativity on those routes is very high. There were four gates for entering the city. The western gateway is equipped with specialized techniques to enable the walkers to walk through the north gates. The ruins of the city has been unearthed and most of them are conservated.

Evidence has been found that there were over 150 villages in the Sigiriya area. There are also evidence of over 200 rural tanks. Buddhist monasteries and large iron-making sites have been found. There existed a technological and social development in the area before and after the Sigiriya era. A graveyard, garden ruins, inscriptions, coins, pieces of pottery, iron nails, hooks, roads, road gates, ruins of irrigation can be found in this area.

To reach Sigiriya, has to turn left from Dambulla on the A9 road. It’s about 30 minutes away ride to reach the entrance of Sigiriya. 






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From the entrance to the base of the Sigiriya rock is over a kilometer. Foreign tourists have to get tickets to enter the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The entrance fee is LKR 4,500 per person (equivalent to $20 USD / £15 GBP). The Sigiriya is open only till 4 pm. Also, you should avoid shouting because the wasps.

Sigiriya is one of the oldest well organized gardens in the world. These Gardens are one of the most well-preserved ancient garden designs of Asia. With all of this Fortress will provide aesthetic experience that combines its historical value will make you an amazing experience.

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