Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Water Garden

March 12, 2023

Sigiriya, located in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, is a unique and remarkable archaeological site that is steeped in history and legend. It is best known for the ancient fortress and palace complex that sits atop a massive column of rock, which is believed to be the remains of an ancient volcano.

The Sigiriya rock is a massive outcropping of hardened magma that stands over 200 meters (660 feet) tall. The rock’s history as a volcano date back to over millions of years ago, where it is believed to be a volcano that erupted and then became dormant. It is composed of a mixture of granite and other types of igneous rock. The rock is also rich in iron, which gives it its distinctive red color.

The fortress and palace complex at the top of the rock were built during the reign of King Kasyapa in the 5th century AD. King Kasyapa choose this location as a fortres to protect himself from his half-brothers, due to the height and natural defenses that the rock provided. The fortress complex is one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning, and it is believed to have been a royal citadel for more than 18 years.

The Sigiriya is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of ancient Sri Lanka. It is a popular tourist destination, and the climb to the top of the rock offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The site also includes an extensive network of walking paths, gardens and pools that were created as part of King Kasyapa’s palace complex.

In addition to the fortress, there are several other features of the Sigiriya site that are thought to have been created by the ancient volcano. These include a series of rock shelters and cave temples that are thought to have been formed by ancient lava flows.

In conclusion, Sigiriya is an outstanding testimony of an ancient civilization, and its volcanic origins have played a key role in shaping the site’s natural beauty and architectural wonders. It is a valuable cultural and historical treasure that offers a glimpse into the lives of Sri Lanka’s ancient people.