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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Why the Lion Rock of Sigiriya Should be on your Bucket List – Wonder of the Ancient World
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Why the Lion Rock of Sigiriya Should be on your Bucket List – Wonder of the Ancient World

1

The Surroundings are Rustic & Charming

Sigiriya is home to wild elephants, scrub jungles and simple village folks. One must pass beautiful jungle-lined roads to get to the rock; these are beautiful vistas that will refresh the heart and soul of any nature buff. Hence, one of the greatest allures for visiting the fortress lies in the exotic surroundings and possible thrills of coming across a wild elephant crossing the main road. Mind you take precautions and travel with a guide when touring Sigiriya and the rock.

2

The Citadel and Fort Are Ancient

Sigiriya was built by King Kashyapa over 1,600 years ago. A paranoid monarch who feared attacks from his brother, Kashyapa on discovering the massive over 600 foot tall column of rock, decided to set up his kingdom there. The rock has over the years functioned as a monastery, palace and is today an iconic attraction. King Kashyapa established his kingdom within, on and around the rock. The place is also, an excellent example of ancient infrastructure, which was well planned. Before you climb the rock, explore the surroundings. Easy to reach from any well-placed hotel, Sigiriya Sri Lanka has to offer, the Lion Rock Fortress will be more than impressive.

3

Gardens of Sigiriya

The surroundings of the fortress are fascinating, explore the meditation caves that have little ponds added above them as cooling devices, check out the modern plumbing systems and marvel at the lotus ponds and how splendid they would have looked when the citadel was thriving. Head over to the boulder garden, set up with huge rocks and pavilions used by meditating monks, the area still exudes an ambience of serene tranquillity.

4

Climbing the Rock

Leave at least an hour to climb the rock which is easily reached from Amaya Lake. The entrance is flanked by two huge lions paws carved out of stone. Heading through this entrance you can explore places such as the world famous fresco cave. These are ancient drawings of damsels, who many debate to be either ethereal beings or maidens from the king's large harem. The figures are depicted as descending from clouds and holding lotus blossoms in their hands. You will also pass the mirror wall, a plastered and heavily polished wall that reflected the king's image when passing.

5

The Sky Gardens

If the above attractions are not impressive enough, head over to the summit of the rock and feel like a bird. The expansive views of the verdant surroundings are stupendous. And once you have had your fill of the stunning vistas from the summit, explore the sky gardens inlaid with lotus ponds, carved figurines and marvels that make this citadel a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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