Sigiriya: Lion Rock

Sigiriya (Lion Rock) is an ancient palace located near Dambulla in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The name refers to an archeaological site that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high.

Sigiriya
According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicles, the site was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital. He built his palace in the 5th century on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes.

Frescoes of Sigiriya
On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure (Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock). The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.

Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.

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