Showcasing the amazing feats of the ancient civilizations of Sri Lanka, the giant rock fortress of Sigiriya rises high above the flat landscape, surrounded by jungle on all sides. This ancient fortress built by King Kassapa - Sigiriya or Lion’s Rock is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world today and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 5th Century BC, he created a royal palace and fortress surrounded by pleasure gardens as his refuge from the invading armies led by his brother - the rightful heir to the throne, according to ancient legend. The incredible artistry, architecture and engineering of Sigiriya has stood the test of time and still serves to impress visitors thousands of years on. The beautifully landscaped pleasure gardens laid out below the rock, giant lion paws carved in stone mark the entrance to the fortress at its foot, the mirror wall carrying the scrawled writings of ancient poets – all still remain. Up on the summit - 370m high, the remarkable ruins of King Kassapa’s city are still impressive and the climb up along the side of the rock can be tough, but well worth it, as is, the 360 degree view from the top!
Take the winding staircase half way up the rock face to admire the exquisite frescoes painted on to the side. Ancient records mention over 500 frescoes but today only a few have survived. However, their beauty remains timeless and although photography is not allowed, it is a sight that is truly unforgettable.