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Sri Lankan Sojourn:Sigiriya

28 Nov

Hotel Sigriya in Sigriya(what a surprise!) was the best hotel during our stay. And they gave me and friend the honeymoon suite (which oddly had a child’s bed!).

Next day we awoke bright and fresh for what would be the most rigorous day of them all-the climb to Sigriya rock fortess.

So we need to just get to the top of that rock

Another UNESCO world heritage site, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress built in the 5th century AD is an ancient rock fortress and ruins of a castle situated in Sigiriya between the historic capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Sigiriya,  is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical loc

ations in the world. A mythical past of feuding dynasties suits Sigiriya’s striking setting- it was built in 5th century AD by the playboy king, Kasyapa, as a fortress-palace. Legend says that King Kasyapa murdered his father, Dhatusena, and claimed the thrown for himself. However, Kasyapa was not the direct heir; his mother was one of Dhatusena’s concubines, and he was fearful that his half brother, Prince Moggallana, would return from exile in India and rightfu

lly claim his crown. Moggallana did return to find Sigiriya in its full-glory and Kasyapa’s army waiting for him. Despite building an impenetrable stronghold, Kasyapa was defeated. Abandoned by his army, Kasyapa killed himself and left his half-brother to reign from his castle paradise.

To get to the top you have to climb a measly 1202 steps.. my whole years cardio in one shot!

So we started our crazy climb. And climbed. And climbed and climbed. We had an enthusiastic guide who kept taking us through the history of the place. I am not sure if its the entry fees but we mainly saw foreigners huffing and puffing along with us.

Much of the climb was on rock's edge on iron structures as old as me.

The result of this precarious climb was to see these beautiful frescoes not unlike those at Ajanta. People came from far and wide to admire these “ladies” and wrote sonnets for them on the mirror wall.

King Kashyapa was a bit of a collector-500 concubines from across different continents

From there we continued along the mirror wall to reach the famed Lion’s paws. This is the text book pictures of Sigiriya. The colossal paws show the scale at which this fortress might have been built. Weather has washed away the head and shoulders which are assumed to have been projecting from the rock.

Text book photo of Sigiriya fortess but with the author of this long winding travel journal

After climbing the remaining narrow steps at rock’s edge, we reached the ruins. We sat there enjoying the breeze and clicking away to glory. All that was missing was a lemon soda after the exhausting climb.

The royal bath

Then began the climb down which was much quicker.
Sigriya left me truly breathless. And hungry. After wolfing down some lunch we were on our way to Polonnaruwa to see more ancient ruins.
PS: All photos are mine so if you are going to copy without asking me, you will rot in hell!
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1 Comment

Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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One response to “Sri Lankan Sojourn:Sigiriya

  1. Kanupriya

    December 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Hey there, read all your posts on Sri Lanka, seems like you had great fun there. Dropped in after a long time here when suddenly saw your updates in my feeder 🙂

     

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