Photo credits : Stephen Timewell from www.lincolnshiredrones.co.uk and Piyumi from navigator360.
Sigiriya - A World Heritage Rock Fortress.
Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Matale district , Central Province , Sri Lanka. This is a fortress made top of a rock which is 200m (660 ft) high approximately. This place was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. This place is one of the well secured capitals in Sri Lanka. Specially this rock fortress has only one way to enter. And this entrance is decorated with a enormous statue of a Lion. The name of this place came by this structure as old books refers. But this place is abandoned after the death of King Kasyapa and then used as a Buddhist Monastery.
Important facts about Sigiriya
Journey from Sembuwatta Lake to Sigiriya is about 3 hours.
After spending night at Sembuwatta Lake area, we headed back to Sigiriya. It’s only a 3 hours drive from Sembuwatta to Sigiriya. On the way to Sigiriya, you can visit Dambulla Cave Temple. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also called as “Golden Temple of Dambulla”.
For the knowledge
There are more than 80 recorded caves in this area. But this cave temple is the well preserved and most attractive cave in this area with more than 150 Buddha statues and murals cover the area of 23,000 sq ft of the cave temple.
Important facts about Damubulla Cave Temple
Inside view of the Dambulla Cave Temple. You can see many Buddha Statues here.
Climbing these stairs made by rock is a great experience. Path is surrounded by lots of tress which makes a calm and quiet environment.
The view when you reach top of the rock / temple is amazing. You can see mile away without any obstacles.
This is a relaxed environment and you can take some nice photos here.
After spending some time at Dambulla, we headed back to Sigiriya. There are 2 places to visit in Sigiriya area. (Sigiriya is also the name of this area)
- Pidurangala Temple.
- Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
To climb Sigiriya, we need a full day. So as soon as we arrived, we planned to visit Pidurangala Temple. This is also a temple built by King Kasyapa. When you climb to of the Pidurangala Temple, you can see Sigiriya Rock Fortress very nicely. This is a really good expedition. But keep in mind, the road is not easy. We had to climb some rocks and also use very very narrow roads. This road is not recommend to older people and also don’t try to climb Pidurangala on a rainy day.This is the entrance to Pidurangala Cave Temple. You have to go through a temple and make sure you behave and dressed decently. When climbing the rock, you have to pass this area also. It's bit difficult to climb and make sure you are ready to that. If you are old and not fit to climb a rock without a proper road, this journey is not fit for you. You can see this kind of Buddha Statues in this temple and on the way to the top of the rock. Top of the Pidurangala Temple is amazing. You can see Sigiriya Rock Fortress next to it. And all the surrounding area miles away.
This is a very famous photo. Many people including foreigners visit this place and pose this photo. The most important thing is, this is a religious place and we need to behave in a good , calm and decent way in this place. And also using drones are prohibited due to heavy wind and limited space on the top of the Pidurangala Temple Rock.
This is the only place which you can see Sigiriya and all the surrounding like this.
End of a great day and now it’s time to go to hotel and take a rest. We have to climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress the next day. So, time to leave. There are many good hotels in this area. This is one of the best tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
Among all the places, we selected “Wewa Addara Hotel” ( www.wewaaddara.com ) which is very close to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This place is very good for bird watching, easy traveling around and also good food. The staff is also very helpful and kind. You can get more information from them. Specially the hotel is surrounded by a lake and also lots of trees. Better place for a better vacation.This is the drone view of the Wewa Addara Hotel. Swimming Pool by the lake is amazing. This is the view of Wewa Addara Hotel if you can use a drone. A nice view of Sigiriya.
The next day early in the morning we started our journey to Sigiriya. We recommend to start early in the morning because no trees or shelter on the top of the rock. And also it’s hard to climb the rock when there’s too much of sun.
This is the stairs to top of the Rock Fortress. It's safe, but when it's too hot, you need more water and energy to climb. These are some old stairs you can see on the way to top of the rock.
Left side photos shows you the structure of Sigiriya Garden. You can see this clearly when you are at the middle of the staris to the top. The right side photos shows you a wall you can see on the way to the top of the rock. This wall is famous for all the nice poems and stories written on that by old people who lived there.
Sigiriya is famous for all the wall paintings. According to the history, King Kasyapa had many wives. Most of these paintings illustrate some daily habits of these girls. The way they are going to swim , girls with flowers , relaxing girls with their care takers , etc. These paintings tell us that King Kasyapa had a luxury life on the top of this Rock Fortress.
These are the amazing paintings of Sigiriya Girls , another name for King Kasyapa Wives.
When you are on the top of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, you can see a tall Buddha Statue which named "Kimbissa Temple". It's also a nice and very calm place. If you are more interested in Temples, you can visit this place.
Please feel free to comment and ask any question from us. We are happy to help you. Hope you will enjoy.
[ In this article , all the photo credit goes to Stephen Timewell from UK www.lincolnshiredrones.co.uk , Chanaka and Piyumi from Sri Lanka. All photos belong to Navigator360 and corresponding photographers. Downloading and using these photos without noticing owners is prohibited. Check About us page for more information. ]