The Pride of History ‘Sigiriya’
Some Sri Lankans believe that Sigiriya was designed by King Kashyapa as a fortress to protect him from his own brother Mugalan’s troops after he assassinated his father King Dathusena. Other historians say that according to the remains of Sigiriya, it is a much more prehistoric palace. They mention that Sigiriya was the well-known Lankaapura of the King of Ravana.
Travelling about 177 km away from the city of Colombo on Kurunegala- Habarana – Dambulla road, you have to turn to your right at the Inamaluwa junction to Kimbissa road to arrive at this magnificent rock of Sigiriya. If you are coming from Kandy, it will be 93 km off Matale-Dambulla road. The ruins of Sigiriya and ancient parks are located in a large land area of Inamaluwa Korale. There are several gates to Sigiriya. Many use the western gate, the main gateway. Apart from this, there is a door beside the car park.
You have to go some distance through the jungle by walking to reach Sigiriya. Wild elephants roam in this area after the evening and it will be a risk for you. However, the gates are closed by this time. You will have to walk about 500 meters from the entrance to the Sigiriya Water Park. At the entrance, local and foreign tourists have to buy tickets. What you do not know is that the Central Cultural Fund earns most of the funds to protect archaeological heritage in Sri Lanka from Sigiriya site. Therefore, the amount you spend on a ticket is not a loss.
The entrance to Sigiriya Rock was shaped like a lion’s mouth. Therefore this rock was called ‘sinha giri’ (Lion’s throat) or Sigiriya. The mirror wall(Ketapath paura), the beautiful world famous frescoes (wall paintings) and the ruins of the ancient royal palace on the zenith of the rock are some interesting things that you can see when you climb up the rock. Some people are afraid of climbing the stairways to the peak because you feel dizzy when you look down. When you are at the top of the rock you can see a vast marvelous sight from all directions. It’s a wonderful journey that you can experience far from the words this article can express.
The ancient Pidurangala temple, the Sigiriya Lake, the Minneriya National Park and the Ancient Cave temple in Dambulla are not far off Sigiriya. All these places can be covered within a single day.
Sigiriya is a place where the dignity of ancient Sri Lanka is well displayed. So it’s worthy of seeing this magnificent rock once during your life time