Sigiriya Rock Fortress: Ancient Sri Lankan City

Sigiriya, aka Sinhagiri, is an ancient rock fortress in Sri Lanka. According to the ancient chronicles, this area was a large forest; however, it became a hill after the storms and landslides. Then, the hill became the new capital of Sri Lanka in the 5th century AD. King Kashyapa (477- 495) built a palace decorated with frescoes on top of it. He also built a gateway in the shape of an enormous lion on a plato leading to the palace. This gateway also gave the fortress its name, “Sinhagiri,” meaning the lion rock.

Sigiriya rock fortress

Soon after the king’s death, the capital started to serve as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Today, Sigiriya rock fortress is in the list of UNESCO World Heritages as one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

Sigiriya rock fortress
Gardens of the fortress by thilina_s_photography

According to the chronicles, there was also a mirror wall leading to the palace. This brick wall was originally covered with white plaster which made the wall so reflective that the king could see himself as he walked alongside it.

the mirror wall
The mirror wall from
Sigiriya rock fortress
Sigiriya rock fortress frescoes
Sigiriya rock fortress