Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Kasyapa’s “citadel in the sky” the spectacular Sigiriya Rock Fortress rises sheer and impregnable out of the denuded plains of the dry zone, sitting atop a huge out crop of gneiss rock towering 200m above the surrounding countryside. The shortest-lived but the most extraordinary of all Sri Lanka's medieval capitals Sigiriya was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982 and is now the country's most memorable single attraction; probably an eighth wonder of the world...

A remarkable archeological site made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. It is also proposed that the site should be named the eighth wonder of the world, indicating it is in the same league as other international wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Ancient Pyramids.  Translated as ‘Lion Rock’ into English, the name of the monument indicates the way in which visitors used to begin their final ascent to the top – through the open jaws and throat (‘giriya’) of a lion (‘sinha’).  Unfortunately, the only remains of this lion figure are the gigantic paws, sculpted into the side of the rock.  The topography of the area is flat except for the massive rock outcrop of the fortress itself (which rises an incredible 600 ft up from the green scrub jungle).  The unusual rock is particularly interesting due to its flat top (nearly an acre in size), that was used in its entirety to build King Kasyapa’s fortress complex, still evident by the presence of the extensive ruins

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Sigiriya: Climbing Sri Lanka’s Lion Rock

Essential things-to-know about exploring the ancient fortress in the “Cultural Triangle” of Sri Lanka called Sigiriya (otherwise known as Lion Rock). While planning our Sri Lanka trip, visiting these ruins was at the top of my list of things we had to do. Make sure to check out our comprehensive Sri Lanka travel itinerary! We knew that the ancient rock fortress would be …

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