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Updated by Adventure Travel Travel on Jun 23, 2016
Headline for Things to do in Sigiriya – Home of the Lion's Rock Fortress
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Things to do in Sigiriya – Home of the Lion's Rock Fortress

Sigiriya is a sleepy little hamlet in the north central region of sunny Sri Lanka. It is a home to the Lion's Rock Fortress UNESCO World Heritage Site, wild elephants and traditional villages.


The Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Dating back 1,600 years the Sigiriya Rock Fortress was the strong hold of reclusive King Kashyapa. It was a lavish citadel home to the king and his famous harem. The name 'rock' fortress is derived from the huge black column of rock that stands at a height of 600 feet right in the middle of the once royal city. Around this rock King Kashyapa built ponds and lavish gardens. The rock itself was the fort home to the king and his much loved harem. The inner wall of the rock is adorned with what remains of the Sigiriya damsels. These are paintings of the upper torso of women believed to be ladies of the court or ethereal beings. There is also a well plastered wall dubbed 'the mirror wall' as it was kept so highly polished the king could see his reflection in it. The top of the rock is home to lavish rooftop gardens and offer birds eye views of the area. An integral part of Sri Lanka travel, Sigiriya is a must visit.


Visit Pidurangala Rock

Pidurangala is located a mere 2kms from Sigiriya; sadly this stunning place is often overlooked but if you book a Sri Lanka tour with a reputed tour operator chances are you will be given a comprehensive tour. Packages such as Paradise of Asia offered by Jetwing Travels are ideal for exploring heritage sites in Sri Lanka. Pidurangala Rock was home to wandering monks for over 2,000 years; explore the ancient cave homes of these holy men who were resettled from Sigiriya at the monastery established by none other than King Kashyapa (477 – 495 AD).


Enjoy an Elephant Ride in Sigiriya

Often the highlight of a tour to Sigiriya the elephant rides through the lotus flower lake facing the Sigiriya Rock is quite a fascinating affair. Apart for your elephant wading across the lake you get to explore the verdant jungle area on elephant back which roughly takes around an hour.


Visit the Sigiriya Museum

The museum is located just 200 metres from the main entrance to the fortress. It is a must visit for a further insight to this rich heritage of Sri Lanka. There the audio visual show gives a comprehensive update on the Kingdom of King Kashyapa for you to better understand the grandeur of the rock fortress. There is also a summary on Sigiriya's history apart from the times of King Kashyapa. If you need to read more on Sri Lanka visit the well-stocked bookshop.


Visit Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is just 41kms from Sigiriya; come August it is home to one of the largest migratory herds of elephants in the country. The jeep safaris into the park will take you past vast herds of elephants complete with calves and some very curious males. The park environs are quite stunning with the legendary Minneriya 'Wewa' – lake taking precedence. Wild life and unique flora thrive in abundance within the beautiful environs of this historical park.