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.
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.
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.
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.
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.