English,  Travel/Cestovanie

Sri Lanka: The climb to Sigiriya – the Lion Rock

I always found Sri Lanka, an island country with rich history, lush greenery and marvellous cuisine, very attractive to visit. I had explored the southern part of the island years ago, and recently, I found myself wandering through the heart of the country, discovering gems like Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, and Pinnawala.

Sigiriya, often referred to as the Lion Rock, is located in the central Matale District near the town of Dambulla in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya is considered one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Sri Lanka and is an important part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Slovenská verzia: Sri Lanka: Výstup na Sigiriyu – Leviu skalu

Built in the 5th century by King Kasyapa (AD 477-495), Sigiriya served as the royal palace and fortress during Kasyapa’s reign but was later used as a Buddhist monastery until the 12%th century. The site combines fortifications, gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. According to a legend, King Kasyapa chose this site for his new capital and palace after a power struggle with his brother. He built his fortress on tock with its natural defenses, making it an impregnable fortress.

The gardens of Sigiriya are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world, divided into three distinct but linked forms: water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.

There is also a Mirror wall and Frescoes. The Mirror wall contains inscriptions and poems written by visitors over the centuries, some of which date back to the 8th century. The frescoes, preserved in a sheltered cave, depict celestial maidens and are believed to be either celestial nymphs, concubines of the king or religious figures.

The ascent to the top – The journey to the top of Sigiriya, nearly 200 meters high, offers a challenging climb. Visitors climb via a series of staircases and pathways with more than 1200 steps that cut through the rock. Halfway up, the gateway in the form of a huge lion’s paws provides an entrance to the fortress complex atop the rock. The entire lion figure that originally marked the entrance no longer exists; only the paws remain. Yet, this feature gives Sigiriya its name, which translates to ‘Lion Rock’. The climb is physically demanding, but the view is worth it – the views of the surrounding jungles and landscapes is breathtaking.

Would you like to leave your feedback?