Cultural Triangle

Sites and Attractions

The Mirror Wall

The wall is covered in graffiti, the oldest dating from the seventh century, in which early visitors recorded their impressions of Sigiriya and, especially, the…

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The Mirror Wall

The rest of the Quadrangle

Thought to have been built by Nissankamalla, the Hatadage is also referred to as the Temple of the Tooth, since the relic may have been…

  • Polonnaruwa
The rest of the Quadrangle

The Boulder Gardens and Terrace Gardens

The gardens were also the centre of Sigiriya’s monastic activity before and after Kassapa: there are around twenty rock shelters hereabouts which were used by…

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The Boulder Gardens and Terrace Gardens

Samadhi Statue

The Samadhi Statue is 8 feet (2.4 m) in height and made of granite and the Dhyana mudra is symbolished – The posture of meditation…

  • Anuradhapura
Samadhi Statue

Ruwanwelisaya

The stupa is known as Ruwanwelisaya, Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya and Rathnamali Dagaba. The compound is supported by stone elephants, and the surrounding wall is decorated…

  • Anuradhapura
Ruwanwelisaya

The Sigiriya Frescoes

Shortly after reaching the base of the rock, two incongruous metal spiral staircases lead to and from a sheltered cave in the sheer rock face…

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The Sigiriya Frescoes

The Sri Maha Bodhiya

Sanghamitta Theri brought with her a branch of the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightment. The tree was planted on a high terrace about…

  • Anuradhapura
The Sri Maha Bodhiya

Vatadage – the highlight of the Quadrangle

The Vatadage The Quadrangle is dominated by the magnificent Vatadage (circular relic house), arguably the most beautiful building in Sri Lanka. Built by Parakramabahu, it…

  • Polonnaruwa
Vatadage - the highlight of the Quadrangle

Thuparamaya

This chetiya was built in the shape of a heap of paddy. This dagaba was destroyed from time to time. During the reign of King…

  • Anuradhapura
Thuparamaya

The Water Gardens

From the entrance, a wide and straight path arrows directly towards the rock, following the line of an imaginary east—west axis, drawn straight through the…

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The Water Gardens

The summit

The summit shelves quite steeply; the king’s palace occupied the higher ground on the right, while the lower area to the left would have housed…

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The summit

Royal Palace Group

According to the Chulavamsa (one of the great Chronicles of Sri Lankan history), the Parakramabahu Royal palace originally stood seven stories tall and boasted a…

  • Polonnaruwa
Royal Palace Group

North of the Quadrangle

  Rankot Vihara The Northern Group proper begins with Nissankamalla’s monumental Rankot Vihara, an immense red-brick dagoba standing some 55m high. The Fourth largest such…

  • Polonnaruwa
North of the Quadrangle

Gal Vihara Complex

The first is a samadhi image in meditation posture while the second is inside a cave and the third standing buddha image with crossed arms…

  • Polonnaruwa
Gal Vihara Complex

Cave of the Great Kings

This cave is accordingly called Maharaja lena, “Cave of the Great Kings.” The Buddha statue hewn out of the rock on the left side of the…

  • Dambulla Cave Temples
Cave of the Great Kings

Cave of the Divine King

It has been repainted countless times in the course of its history, and probably received its last coat of paint in the 20th century. At…

  • Dambulla Cave Temples
Cave of the Divine King

Isurumuniya

There is a viharaya connected to a cave and above is a cliff. A small stupa is built on it. It can be seen that…

  • Anuradhapura
Isurumuniya

Jetavanarama

The height of Jetavanarama is said to be 400 feet (120 m). This is considered as the largest stupa in the whole world. This stupa belongs to…

  • Anuradhapura
Jetavanarama