Sigiriya has great tourism potential. The Cultural Fund hopes that there will come a day when tourists flock to the country specially to see the Lion Mountain as they would the Pyramids or the Great Wall.
It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka. “Sigiriya is one of the most important urban sites of the first millennium. The city and palace planning is very imaginative and extremely elaborate.” It was developed into a complex city and fortress. Most of the elaborate constructions on the rock summit and around it, including defensive structures, palaces, and gardens, date from this period.
Top of this rock contains ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD) and surrounding rock is the Royal Garden. It is one of the 7 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level.
Considering the uniqueness of Sigiriya UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1982. Sigiriya is an unmatched combination of urban planning, water engineering, horticulture and arts.
- Sigiriya Lion Rock
Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Since 3th century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. One of the most striking features of Sigiriya is its Mirror wall.