SIigiriya Rock Fortress is situated in a city called Matale in Dambulla, Sri Lanka and it is known to be a world heritage. The name of this historic rock formed
because of the huge statue of a lion at the entrance. The whole structure of the lion is not at all visible at the entrance but it is observed that the steps have been created through the neckline of the lion till the top of the rock.
Path to Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The place is 10 kms away from Inamaluwa after taking a turn towards the East, just crossing after Kimbissa Township. It is recommended to
take the Colombo-Habarana highway. Once upon a time Sigirya was the most spectacular city in Asia.
Historical overview about Sigiriya
The ramparts and deep ditch around the rock suggests that Sigriya was used as a fortress and a place to hide. History says that King Kassapa ruled Sigirya for eighteen years from 477AD to 495 AD and it was one of the wonders of the world at that point of time. After killing his father Kassapa hide himself in Sigirya to save himself from prince Mugalan who was supposed to kill him.
Architectural value of Sigiriya
The place was made as an natural speculate by Kassapa. There are about 95 ponds and pools in Sigirya. He established several gardens in the palace as well as in the city. Fountain Gardens and Boulder Gardens, Water Gardens, Royal pleasure Gardens were very famous.
Sigiriya Frescoes or Rock paintings of Sigiri Damsels’ famous paintings were found
in the western side Rock face cavity that was situated 100 meters above the rock bottom. It is said the most of the 21 paintings were made in the memory of Kassapa’s wives. At his time there were at least 500 paintings.
Between 7th to 10th centuries AD loads of people visited the place and they have left their traces among the scribbles found in the Mirror Wall. After passing the mirror wall there is a lion paw platform. It is evident that there was a huge lion statue at the entrance where you may find
only two paws of a lion now. In the 3 acre area of Sigirya we can find a few
ponds and the foundation of the palace building from the top view of the rock.
A hydraulic water system can be found in that area. The largest pond was prepared cutting across the rock at that time only to use it as a huge water tank. Using the extreme available wind power in the area water was fetched to fill the tank from the ground level. It says a lot about the excellent technology available that time.
The Rock was a stunning creation of all time but the rest of the structure was never found in the island. The structure of the rock is thus unique.
Major H. Forbes in 1831 rediscovered Sigiriya when the British were ruling Sri Lanka. A.H. Adams and J. Bailey were first climbed the rock in 1853. The useless rock doesn’t become the identity of Sri Lanka but also one of the wonders in the world. The structure itself evidence of the fact that the workers involved in the creation of the ancient rock were far more skilful engineers than 21st century engineers.