It is the rock fortress the world sometimes refers to as the Eighth Wonder. Sigiriya rock towering 200m rises above the thick jungle in the central plains of Sri Lanka. Its caves sheltered Buddhist monastic monks during the 3rd century. It was made into the impressive fortress by King Kashyapa in the 5th century, who sought protection from enemy forces. It is the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. A colossal lion figure stood at the entrance leading up to galleries and staircases, of which, only the paws remain. The top of the rock, strewn with palace ruins, provides vistas across the misty forests and hills that surround.
At a glance
These colourful murals located in the sheer rock face, depicting beautiful maidens holding flowers, used to cover the whole western wall.
Mirror Wall Graffiti
This polished wall features ancient visitor inscriptions and poems that date back to the 8th century, often praising the murals and the fortress.
The grounds of Sigiriya consist of a series of water gardens, which are still functional. These include curved tanks, bathing pools, and little islands.
It has several large boulders connected by winding pathways. The garden extends from the northern slopes to the southern slopes at the foot of the Rock.
These form a series of terraces from the pathways of the Boulder Gardens to the Rock’s entrance. Bricks and limestone make up the garden construction.
- Pidurangala Rock is a unique nearby hike to admire Sigiriya from afar.
- Pidurangala Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple at the base of the Rock.
- Cobra Hood Cave in the Boulder Garden resembles a cobra hood.
- Dakinigiriya Vihara is a little-visited ruined monastery that has a lake and caves.
- Sigiri Art Gallery sells paintings, commissioned artwork, traditional masks, and textiles.
Where to Shop in Sigiriya
Pathikada, Sigiriya Craft Village, Vishwa Gems, and Lanka Silks are places to go if you are on the hunt for traditional and cultural goodies.
Where to Eat in Sigiriya
Heritance Kandalama, Water Garden, and Jetwing Vil Uyana have high-end dining options at their in-hotel restaurants. Gamagedara, Nirvana, Ahinsa, Rasta Rant, The Kitchen, and Chooti are quality restaurants in Sigiriya.
Water Garden Sigiriya
This oasis of beauty with the impressive Sigiriya Rock in the background is a recreation of the 2000 year old water garden that once thrived at the ga...
Jetwing Vil Uyana
Jetwing Vil Uyana, situated in the stunning backdrop of the historic rock fortress of Sigiriya is designed among reed beds and paddy fields and a man-...