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Updated by Auburn Silver on Jul 27, 2015
Headline for Top must see attractions in Sigiriya: Home to the 8th Wonder of the World
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Top must see attractions in Sigiriya: Home to the 8th Wonder of the World

Visiting Sri Lanka? Then make sure to include the city of Sigiriya into your rambles. Why you ask? Well here are five reasons that will make you want to head out to this cultural & natural jewel of a city right now.

1

Sigiriya Fortress

There’s a reason why this 660 ft high gigantic fortress is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From beautiful frescoes of goddesses, the Mirror Wall partially covered with verses, the giant Lion’s Paw entrance to the lush gardens & water gardens which are some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world; Sigiriya is deemed as an architectural marvel and is even known as “The 8th Wonder of the World”. This magnificent structure was built by King Kasyapa during 477 to 495 Centuries as his new capital. For those searching for accommodation close to the site as well as Sigiriya’s other attractions, Aliya Resort & Spa is an excellent choice among resorts in Sri Lanka, as it is only within just 15 minutes distance from the rock.

2

Sigiriya Elephant Rides

After the strenuous climb, embark on a ride through the pretty lily lake near the near the bottom of Lion’s Rock, on an elephant! This ride will not only ensure an hour of absolute fun and excitement but it will also give you the chance to experience the gorgeous scenery all around that apart from the blossoming lilies, includes flocks of birds, chattering monkeys and bathing water buffaloes.

3

Sigiriya Museum

Step back in time and experience the glorious days of King Kasyapa’s reign at the Sigiriya Museum. Deemed as one of the most attractive museums in South Asia, the Sigiriya Museum has been designed with taking inspiration from the architecture of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress with the mastery use of water and the use of trees as well as the brick wall entrance. Inside, among the many artifacts of jewellery, weapons, tools, human skeletons and sculpture; an iron melting Kiln, a large buxom stone deity and a purple jewel encrusted gold earring stand prominent.

4

Pidurangala Rock Ancient Forest Monastery

Within just minutes away from the Sigiriya Rock, is the Ancient Forest Monastery of Pidurangala, a massive rock surrounded by forest that was occupied by meditating monks for hundreds of years. It is said that when King Kasyapa approached Sigiriya to build his citadel, it was first occupied by monks at first, thus he built a newly refurbished and enlarged temple and monastery at Pidurangala and moved the monks there. Today, when you visit the monastery you will see large caves used as meditation chambers inside the gigantic rock, a massive reclining Buddha statue and one of Asia's oldest and remaining Dagobas with a Bodhigaraya which is also believed to mark the spot where King Kasyapa was cremated.

5

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park, situated also within a short distance to the Sigiriya Rock, is a must-visit Sigiriya attraction for wildlife-lovers. This park of 8,890 hectares, is home to 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies. The number one attraction of this park is the world renowned ‘Minneriya Park Elephant Gathering’, a spectacular event that sees around seven hundred elephants congregating around the tank to socialize, bathe, drink, feed and mate.