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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 26, 2018
Headline for Things to know when travelling to Sigiriya Rock Fortress – Preparing to See Sigiriya
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to know when travelling to Sigiriya Rock Fortress – Preparing to See Sigiriya

There are few who have visited Sri Lanka without spending a day travelling to Sigiriya as the ancient rock fortress is world renowned and awe-inspiring.

1

Understand the Weather

With warm weather conditions prevalent throughout the year, it could be daunting to ascend to the top of a rock during the day. Having said that, the premises is open only when there is daylight; therefore, it is advisable to plan your trip during a time that you can actually make it to the top without a problem. The weather conditions between February and April are supposed to be favourable for this outdoor trek. Rain can be a real dampener as it is not safe to climb a wet rock, therefore peer out of a window at your Kandalama hotel at Dambulla and look heavenward before confirming your outing.

2

Take Precautions

It's not the only sunstroke that you need to worry about; the Sigiriya Rock has several wasp nests in crevices and crannies on the rock's surface. If disturbed these wasps can be dangerous, therefore visitors are advised to come dressed in attire that adequately covers their body. Wasps can be disturbed by loud noises and commotion; hence all visitors should try to avoid engaging in loud or restless activities. Wasp attacks are not common but probably do depend largely on the maturity displayed by the visitors.

3

Know What to Expect

The rock itself is believed to have served Buddhist monks from the early parts of the 3rd century BCE but what makes one's jaw drop is what the men of yore have created, carved and drawn at this location. You need to pay attention from the word go as the gardens that spread far and wide around the rock and the complicated irrigation system that has kept the gardens prim need to be observed as you approach the rock from a distance. The entrance to the fortress is marked by the ruins of a lion, of which only the paws are left. The journey upwards takes you past the mirror wall and through the frescos section to the summit. Leave your most expensive camera behind at Amaya Signature or your chosen abode as flashes cannot be switched on in most areas.

4

Visit the Museum

The Sigiriya Museum which lies within the large gardens of the fortress has many memorabilia, artefacts and documents detailing the history, evolution and milestones of the fortress. There is a large model of Sigiriya at the centre of the museum where all the architectural wonders, the irrigation systems and the layout of the premises are clearly depicted for visitors to understand how the complex used to function. Some of the fountains in the garden still function without much refurbishment or renovation and purely by virtue of how they were originally built. Spend some time to learn about King Kasyapa who had this fortress made and how he did so to protect himself from the rightful heir to the throne. Though the circumstances under which he built the fortress are disappointing, the outcome is astonishing.

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