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Sigiriya rock

Sigiriya Rock Fortress – Eighth Wonder in world and Citadel in the Clouds and most tourist attraction place in SRI LANKA 2023

Often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder in world” by most of the tourist in the past. UNESCO world heritage site recognized Sigiriya in the year 1982 as UNESCO heritage. Therefore, I would highly recommend that you should add to your travel destination as Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is a Palace built on stone located in the northern Matale District near the Dambulla town in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The Sigiriya rock, which is of historical and archaeological value, is dominated by a massive rock column about 200 meters (660 feet) high.

Sigiriya is a popular tourist destination among tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Sigiriya ancient city is such a tourist attraction, Among the first-time traveled more than 50% are come to see the Sigiriya. Sigiriya is a tourist attraction due to its unique location and the royal palace built on a rock and the water pools and ornamental landscaping around the rock. This article has been created with all the information you need to know about travelling to Sigiriya Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya rock
Sigiriya rock

History of Lion Rock

Sigiriya Rock is a volcano formed in the past by lava flows. The story of the past of Sigiriya goes back to 455 AD, when King Dhatusena I was the first king of the Morian dynasty. Polonnaruwa was chosen as his capital and the country was prosperously governed. Prince Moggallana was to be inherit the throne after King 1st Dhatusena in future. But Kashyapa, the son of a non-royal wife, had a strong desire for kingship. In 473 AD, King 1st Dhatusena (his father) was assassinated in a coup and succeeded to the throne as king 1st Kashyapa. Prince Moggallana, the real owner of the crown, fled to India and organized armies to regain the crown.

In anticipation of the future return of Prince Moggallana, Kashyapa built a large fort-like palace on the Sigiriya rock. He designed Sigiriya with gardens, water flowers, different shapes of ponds and garden decoration, as well as a huge lion’s head with two legs (in a lion’s posture) at the entrance to the Sigiriya rock. According to ancient sources, king kashyapa lived in this palace and lived a comfortable life with 500 sub-wives.

In 495 AD, Moggallana returns from India with an army, and a war breaks out between the two armies, during which King 1st Kashyapa is defeated and flees. King 1st Kashyapa, who chose death, committed suicide because he would inevitably be imprisoned or enslaved for life if he was caught alive, as well as humiliated by the defeat of the battle.

King Moggallana, who ascended the throne in 495 AD, did not use Sigiriya as his palace to rule the kingdom but turned it into a Buddhist shrine and was used as a Buddhist monastery from then until the 14th century. After the 14th century, Sigiriya deteriorated due to a lack of maintenance.

However, Sigiriya was rediscovered by the British who ruled Sri Lanka in the 18th century, with the assistance of the British government, re-excavated and preserved Sigiriya to its present condition. Excavations and conservation work are still being carried out and at present excavations are being carried out by the Sri Lanka Department of Archeology. 

According to archaeologists excavating at Sigiriya, there is a large area of Sigiriya that has not yet been excavated, and archaeologists have set aside areas for future archaeologists to explore with new technology. In doing so, future archaeologists will be able to study the ancient technologies that created Sigiriya using advanced technology in the future and come to accurate conclusions.

How to reach Sigiriya

Sigiriya is located in the center of Sri Lanka. Therefore, the distance to Sigiriya from the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka is given below. No matter where you come from in Sri Lanka, you have to pass Dambulla town and visit Sigiriya.

DESCRIPTIONTRAVEL TIME AMONG CITIESDISTANCE BETWEEN CITIES
Colombo to Sigiriya03 Hours 45 Minutes173.5 KM
Galle to Sigiriya05 Hours272.7 KM
Kandy to Sigiriya02 Hours 15 Minutes90 KM
Ella to Sigiriya04 Hours 30 Minutes182.8 KM
Anuradhapura to Sigiriya01 Hour 45 Minutes77.8 KM
Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya01 Hour 15 Minutes56.3 KM
Jaffna to Sigiriya04 Hours 30 Minutes257.9 KM
Trincomalee to Sigiriya01 Hour 45 Minutes98.5 KM
Negombo to Sigiriya03 Hours 15 Minutes145.4 KM
Nuwara Eliya to Sigiriya05 Hours184 KM

The time ranges mentioned in the table above are the times taken while travelling in a private vehicle (TAXI). If you use public transport as a tourist, you can add 1 ½ hour to the above time and find out how long it takes to travel to Sigiriya using public transport.

As public transport is not available direct from major cities to Sigiriya, you can take another bus (Dambulla – Sigiriya) from Dambulla to Sigiriya to reach Sigiriya.

What are the best options to get/ from Dambulla to Sigiriya?

Tourists visiting Dambulla have several options to travel from Dambulla to Sigiriya lion rock. 

The distance from Dambulla town to Sigiriya is 16.8 km.

Dambulla to Sigiriya by Three wheel

Travelling from Dambulla to Sigiriya by three-wheeler costs LKR. 1,000.00 – 2,000.00 (per trip / each way).

Small tip

  1. In Sri Lanka, three passengers can legally travel in the back seat, except for a three-wheeler driver, so if three passengers are travelling, the fare can be shared between the three.
  1. If you are travelling from Dambulla to Sigiriya in a three-wheeler without a meter, talk to the driver before boarding the three-wheeler and come to a verbal agreement on the fare.

SIGIRIYA ENTRANCE TICKET PRICE FOR TRAVELERS

Entrance fees for foreign tourists visiting Sigiriya are as follows,

Age rangesEntrance fee to visit Sigiriya
For everyone over the age of 12US $ 30 – LKR 10,000.00
For everyone between the ages of 05 and 12US $ 15 – LKR 5,000.00
For everyone under the age of 05Free
For a person in a country in the SAARC regionUS $ 15 – LKR 5,000.00

You are SAARC nation national country tourist. The fee for SAARC nation national is US $ 15.00 per person, and you can book your Sigiriya ticket Online, and that ticket valid for a 90 days period. You can book an online ticket on the Web page of Sri Lanka Tourism for central cultural fund eservices.ccf.gov.lk

Sigiriya is open from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm. But the ticket counter is only open from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm. Therefore, remember to buy tickets to visit Sigiriya before 5.00 pm. This ticket valid for reach the Sigiriya Museum on the Sigiriya site.

SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS 07 TIPS FOR VISITING – SAFETY ADVISE

  1. Come correct time to visit Sigiriya.

A large number of local and foreign tourists come to Sigiriya every day. So, if you can buy a ticket, it in the morning, you do not have to wait in line to purchase tickets. Buying tickets without having to wait in line can save you valuable time. Also, if you visit Sigiriya in the evening, don’t forget to purchase tickets before 5 pm, as the ticket counter closes at 5 pm.

  1. Take plenty of water with you for your needs.

Sigiriya fortress is a large area so don’t forget to bring enough water for a few hours when you visit. Before coming to the Sigiriya rocky area, you can buy water bottles at the Sigiriya parking lot or at the tiny shops at the entrance to Sigiriya. That is to say, and if you cannot bring enough water, you will have to find water again and walk few kilometres again.

  1. Avoid climbing in the heat of the day.

Sigiriya rock is an open area as well as the area with Sigiriya where the sun shines during the day. Therefore, there is intense sunshine during the day. Tourists may find it difficult to climb the Sigiriya rock during the day. Between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm, the temperature rises during this time as the sun rises over Sigiriya, and the sun shines on the Sigiriya rock from early morning. Therefore, I suggest you to skip these time ranges and visit Sigiriya. This will allow you to view Sigiriya without any hassle. The temperature during the day is very high as no trees are planted on the Sigiriya rock.

  1. Make sure you have sun protection cream.

If you come to Sigiriya because of the good sunshine in Sri Lanka, don’t forget to bring sunscreen to protect your skin. Sun creams are not for sale in the vicinity of Sigiriya, so when you arrive, buy the sun creams you need from Dambulla. If you plan to visit Sigiriya during the day as a tourist, do not forget to bring a sunscreen product in your luggage to protect your skin from the sun during the day.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes for walking in Sigiriya rock.

Don’t forget to wear a pair of comfortable shoes when visiting Sigiriya. Wearing a pair of shoes that make it difficult to walk can make you uncomfortable. On the way to Sigiriya rock, you have to climb 1200 steps and, in some cases, pass difficult places. Running shoes are also a good option for walk-in Sigiriya Rock. The reason I say this is that wearing a pair of shoes that make it difficult to walk will not be able to see all the places in Sigiriya if your feet get uncomfortable and you will have to change your travel plans the next day.

  1. Beware of wasp attacks.

Sigiriya has been a haven for wasps since ancient times. These wasps have been living in the Sigiriya rock since ancient times. Due to this, safe stalls have been set up on the Sigiriya rock for the protection of tourists in the areas where wasp dust is abundant. Wasp attacks are not frequent, and wasps are aroused when tourists speak loudly.

TIP

Advertisements are hung in areas where wasps are common and be sure to minimize loud talking when travelling in these areas. In the event of a sudden wasp attack, go to safe stalls. Security guards at Sigiriya will arrive and calm the situation and take you to a safe area.

  1. Do not attempt to photograph the area with ancient pictures of Sigiriya.

Photography is prohibited in the area where ancient paintings are found in Sigiriya. It is often said that it is forbidden for security guards to take pictures before you climb the stairs to the photographed area. You may also have to pay a fine if you attempt to do so. The ban was imposed because of the belief that flash exposure to photographs could damage ancient paintings. Also, no tourists are allowed to stay in the area for long.

What are the most tourist attraction places in the Sigiriya ancient Rock Fortress?

  1. Sigiriya Rock

King 1st Kashyapa build the castle on the top of the Sigiriya rock, and you can still see the ruins of the rooms in the castle. Ponds can still be seen today for the water needs of the palace built on the rock. Even in times of intense sunshine, those ponds still do not dry up today. Although there are rumours in the past that a comfortable path was built to climb the Sigiriya rock, it is not seen today. According to historians, the reason for this was that Sigiriya fortress was not properly maintained after King 1st Kashyapa, and that road was gradually destroyed.

  1. Sigiriya Rock Paintings

Today you can see 19 Sigiriya murals at Sigiriya, which were preserved in 1967. Historians say that in the past, there were more than 500 Sigiriya murals all over the Sigiriya rock. After 495 AD, the Sigiriya frescoes were destroyed due to improper maintenance. It is popularly believed that these half-naked female murals were the sub-wives of king kashyapa. Also, natural colour illustrations have been used to create these paintings.

  1. Royal Gardens

This royal garden has been created around the Sigiriya rock, and the garden designers have tried to create the same in creating this garden. You can also see that these gardens have been created in harmony with the environment without destroying the existing environment. There are ponds, water flowers and gardens all around Sigiriya, and there is still an unexplored area in Sigiriya.

  1. Lion’s Paws

The main reason why Sigiriya got its name is because of the design of this lion with two front legs attached to the Sigiriya rock. Although it was largely destroyed during the rediscovery of Sigiriya, it has been restored to its present condition with the dedication of archaeologists. In the past, this creation had a pair of lion legs and a lion’s head.

  1. Sigiriya Museum

This museum has been created by collecting all the archeological artifacts found in the canyons of Sigiriya. Visiting this museum, you can also see a creation that shows how Sigiriya was in the past. If you buy a ticket to visit Sigiriya, you can visit free of charge in Sigiriya museum. But if you do not buy tickets to visit Sigiriya and only visit the museum, you will have to pay US $ 5.00 or LKR 1,000.00

  1. Sigiriya Water Flower

Just as there are two water flowers on either side of Sigiriya, you can also see four water flowers and two small ponds where the water collects. These water flowers are still active to some extent during the rainy season. These water flowers use two simple concepts are gravity and pressure. These flowers are supplied with water from ditches on either side. The water coming through a drain is directed to a filter before it reaches the water flower. Therefore, these water flowers are active to some extent during the rainy season.

  1. Sigiriya Water Ponds

According to the design, these ponds will be designed throughout Sigiriya water technology to adapt to the nature of the land without changing the terrain of Sigiriya. The first part of this water park is called the small water park, and the second part is called the big water park. There is an English L-shaped island in the middle of the four small ponds that make up the Great Water gardens, which is one of the best-preserved examples of evidence of the ancient Asian park known as Char Bagh.

  1. Sigiriya Mirror Wall

After the death of King Kasyapa, the ordinary people were able to visit lion rock in Sri Lanka. Due to this, local as well as foreign tourists visited Sigiriya from the 5th century onwards. People who saw the Sigiriya murals began to write their thoughts on the area now known as the Mirror Wall of the Sigiriya Rock. Even though 14 centuries have passed, its records are still preserved so that they can be viewed.

This article brings together all the facts you need to know about Sigiriya lion rock, the modes of transportation to and from Sigiriya. If you want to know more about Sigiriya in addition to this, please comment below.

Related Article : TOP 08 SRI LANKA TRAVEL GUIDE – 2021

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