Lion Platform

Continuing up the rock, a flight of limestone steps climbs steeply up to the Lion Platform, a large spur projecting from the north side of the rock, just from here, a final staircase, its base flanked by two enormous paws carved out of the rock, leads up to all that remains of a gigantic lion statue - the final path to the summit apparently led directly into its mouth.

Visitors to Kassapa were, one imagines, suitably impressed by this gigantic conceit and by the symbolism — lions were the most important emblem of Sinhalese royalty, and the beast’s size was presumably meant to reflect Kassapa’s prestige and buttress his questionable legitimacy to the throne.