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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 10 Facts about Sigiriya that will amaze you – Facts that will entice you into visiting the man-made marvel
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Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Facts about Sigiriya that will amaze you – Facts that will entice you into visiting the man-made marvel

The UNESCO world heritage site Sigiriya or Lion's Rock has captured the attention of people around the world. Here are 10 facts you ought to know about this ancient kingdom before visiting.

1

The height of the rock

Climbing all those 1,200 steps that go up 200 meters is not easy, and the steps are divided into separate staircases too. If you want to reach the top, this is the only way.

2

It's an ancient kingdom

King Kasyapa's reign stretched from 477 to 495 CE. As the king was having conflicts with his brother and living in fear of death, he wanted a citadel that cannot be easily breached. As a result of the feud, he built the most brilliant man-made kingdom the country has ever seen.

3

The Mirror Wall

It is said that the king made a mirror wall to see his reflection whenever he passed by. Though it is not now clear the exact location of the mirror wall, there's enough evidence to believe that there was one. There's also a wall covered with paintings of women and graffiti. The historians take a special interest in these paintings and the inscriptions as they showcase how the Sinhalese language developed.

4

Beautiful Surroundings

Feeling like heading out of your hotel room in Amaya Signature Dambulla and enjoying the beautiful surroundings? Well, make your way over to Sigiriya as the rock is surrounded by a network of beautiful gardens.

5

The king had no real right to the throne

He was born out of wedlock to an ordinary woman who had no connection with the royal family. But he wanted power as much as everyone else did, so he started a rebel against his father consequently imprisoning him who was later killed – this will give you goosebumps; he didn't just kill him, he entombed him in a wall!

6

A former monastery

The historically fascinating tourist attraction located not too far away from Dambulla boutique hotels was an old Buddhist monastery. After the king's death, it was again turned into a monastery until the 14th century.

7

The irrigation system

Fountains, canals, dams and lakes form the advanced hydraulic system – which could not be a possibility at the time – irrigates the gardens on top of the rock.

8

The carved lion

Why Sigiriya is called Lion's Rock is down to the staircase that emerges from the mouth of the carved lion.

9

A World Heritage Site

You probably know this one, but it's worth mentioning. The site gives you some insight into ancient urban planning. The admirable structure built at the peak of the rock leaves historians in awe.

10

It didn't come to anyone's attention until the British discovered it

The rock was abandoned and falling into ruin when Major Jonathan Forbes discovered it when he was out there riding. It escaped everyone's attention until 1831. But later, the site caught the attention of archaeologists and they started conducting various researches with regards to the history and the construction of the fortress.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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