Sigiriya is 180m tall rock, located in the middle of the jungle, in central part of Sri Lanka. On the top of the Lion Rock one may find former royal capital constructed when King Kassapa ruled the island (473-495). In order to reach the stairs that will take you straight to the top, you will have passed through the mouth of a giant lion, made of bricks and plaster. This lion was one of the most impressive monuments in Sri Lanka and it was built with an aim to intimidate and fend off the enemies who wanted to take the capital city under siege. Regrettably, this monument lost its former glory since today you can see only the paws of the lion as the rest of the body is destroyed.
Sigiriya, has a perfect strategic position as from the rock one could observe the entire surrounding. On the top of the rock, there are numerous gardens, water reservoirs, channels and buildings. Due to its stunning beauty the city of Sigiriya got its well deserved place in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 1982.
Approximately, half way up the stairs visitors may notice frescoes of the “girls among the clouds”. According to historical records, at first, in this place, there was over 500 frescoes, however visitors can see only 22 frescoes that were restored in the 1970s.
On their way to the top of the Lion Rock visitors may notice the mirror wall. Today, this wall is painted with orange shades, but when King Kassapa built it 1600 years ago, there is a coating of glossy mirror-like veneer to it. This mirror-like veneer is believed to have been achieved by covering the wall with special mortar (obtained by mixing fine limestone with egg whites and honey). After the drying process was completed the plastered surface was ironed with wax in order to achieve its high veneer-like gloss.
From the foothill to the top there are as many as 1200 stairs. Having said that, visitors should brace themselves up for a challenge. Climbing equipment, frequent breaks and lots of water is required. Climbing from the bottom to the top will last approx. two hours (depending on the physical condition of the climber).
The visitors will be well advised to set about climbing early in the morning so they can get to see one of the most stunningly beautiful sunrises in the world, from the top of the Lion Rock.
All in all, though the experience is superb however we think that the ticket price is somewhat high.
The ticket price for Sigiriya, The Lion Rock in Sri Lanka
The entrance fee is $30 USD. This also covers the entrance to the Sigiriya museum.
Working hours of Sigiriya, The Lion Rock in Sri Lanka
Sigiriya is open every day from 7:00am to 5:30pm (last entrance at 5:00pm)