Sigiriya | Sri Lanka | Travel | DestinationsAncient Cities in Sri Lanka
Sigiriya is an ancient palace located in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high.
Sigiriya has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavangsha, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.