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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for Must Visit Places in Sigiriya – UNESCO Heritage Town
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Must Visit Places in Sigiriya – UNESCO Heritage Town

Sigiriya is an ancient kingdom; a heritage city that harbours the world renowned Lion Rock Fortress. Scrub jungles and wandering wild elephants add to the rustic vibes of this marvellous little town.

1

Visit the Royal Harem – The Mighty Lion Rock Fortress

There is a 500 metre high rock that sits right smack in the middle of Sigiriya's verdant forest; around this rock, King Kashyapa built his kingdom in the 5th century. The citadel city was protected by three ramparts and two deep moats. The fort was Kashyapa's sanctuary and harem. Climbing the steps that lead to inner chambers reveal treasures such as the Sigiriya Frescoes; paintings of ethereal looking damsels that many dispute are a ladies of court or enchanted beings. There is the 'mirror wall' thus named for its marvellously polished surface that reflected the king's image when passing. Explore the lush rooftop gardens, surroundings boulder gardens, lotus ponds and meditation caves. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is open from 7 am to 5.30 pm and requires at least half a day for a thorough scout.

2

Pidurangala Rock

Easily reached from any hotel Sigiriya Sri Lanka has to offer, Pidurangala Rock is often overlooked. It's a shame though, for, like Sigiriya Jungles Sri Lanka, this iconic rock also offers expansive views of the famous rock fortress and has close links to King Kashyapa and his citadel. The history behind Pidurangala tells us of how King Kashyapa moved the monks residing at the Sigiriya Rock to the caves around Pidurangala. The king as thanks offered the monks refurbished quarters and a larger monastery to reside in. There is a monument at Pidurangala that suggests King Kashyapa was cremated at this site. It takes about 40 to 60 minutes to climb to the summit where you are well rewarded with a bird's eye view of the surroundings. The place is open from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.

3

Visit the Sigiriya Wewa - Enjoy a Fun Elephant Ride

The Sigiriya Wewa flows in front the rock; the surface is covered with beautiful lotus blossoms. When you choose an elephant back ride across the forest trekking through this pond is one of the thrills. The fun ride will take you through the jungle and rustic villages for sights of wildlife and smiling locals. Tours can be organised via your Sigiriya resort and are available during the day.

4

Check Out the Sigiriya Museum

About 200 metres from the main entrance of the Rock Fortress you will come across the museum. A model of the rock offers a comprehensive insight to the attractions and infrastructure of the citadel. The displays, however, are not from the time of King Kashyapa and neither are the re-creations of the frescoes of a high standard. The place, however, is ideal for a scope of the citadels vastness and what to look out for; especially the audio visual show which offers a good understanding of the entire compound.

5

Minneriya National Park for Elephant Lovers

The Minneriya National Park is the best place in Sigiriya for viewing herds of wild elephants. A jeep safari into the folds of this scrub jungle will reward you with sights of exotic wildlife, savannah-like jungles and views of the lush Minneriya Lake. A beautiful environ around which hundreds of migratory elephants gather; especially around the month of August.

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