The Mountain of Remembrance
Sigiriya otherwise known as the Mountain Of Remembrance or The Lion Rock is an ancient historic place located almost at the heart of Sri Lanka. It is a palace built on top of a huge rock 200 meters above sea level. The rock summit is surrounded by an exotic garden laid down for the then king Kasyapa who chose this site in particular for his capital. A unique Sri Lankan style is exhibited at Sigiriya hence listed as one of the eight Word Heritage Sites at Sri Lanka by UNESCO. The Ancient City of Sigiriya is well known example for urban planning for civilization which dates back to 495 CE. The altitude of the place made it suitable for shelter purposes inside caves and rock shelters in the vicinity.
Being one of the most visited places in the country, the ruins and remains of the palace are a treat to historians who can feast upon the ancient frescoes (paintings) which were carved upon the rocks which is similar to the Ajanta Caves in India. Legend has it that rock itself is a lava plug left over from an ancient long extinct volcano. The 200 meters of the rock is covered by 1200 steps to reach the top.
The Gardens of the Sigiriya city are one of the most important aspects of the site, as it is among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The gardens are divided into three distinct but linked forms: Water gardens which can be seen in the central section of the western precinct, Cave and Boulder gardens consisting of several large boulders linked by winding pathways, and the Terraced Garden formed from the natural hill at the base of the Sigiriya rock.
Sigiriya is located 25 km from the city of Dambulla. For someone who craves for a peaceful holiday trip which can give an essence of adventure and historical value, Sigiriya is the perfect choice. It is best to trek around the city than use a transportation vehicle to explore the entire place. One should not miss the citadels, reservoirs, gardens, rocks, caves, temples and of course, the Lions Paw upon which the whole kingdom’s capitol once was.
Surprisingly, the modern day Sigiriya has all the possible necessities for a camp over. It has guest houses, restaurants, cafes and a lot of trips. It is home to a number of wild elephants which venture out during the nights which paves way for Elephant Walk. Altogether, Sigiriya is a different holiday venue apart from the mainstream places which has a blend of heritage, history, nature, adventure and fun.