Sigiriya Rock Fortress

The foremost attractions of prime importance - The Sigiriya Rock Fortress which the recorded history of Sri Lanka attributes to a renegade king - Kasyapa who built this “citadel in the sky” that 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 archaeological 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.

Presently there is a revival of the search for the lost glory of Sigiriya as historical evidence and records does not seem to have done justice to a site which seems to be much more than meets the eye. Has this been the site known as the “Alakamanda” – a city of great wealth ruled by the devas (Gods) according to Theravada Buddhism. This brings light and resurgence to the era of the great King Ravana of Lanka mentioned in the Ramayana Epic, where Ravana builts this majestic castle atop the summit of the rock with superhuman strength using extra-terrestrial intelligence, which is a more likely scenario than King Kasyapa (a renegade King) building this complex. He would have used a pre-made complex and claimed it for himself. The intricate water garden system and the castle in the magnificent castle which had existed on the summit are too complex for this earthly and evil intended king Kasyapa to have thought and constructed.(Read More)



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