Sigiriya Civilization in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya in Sri Lanka is considered to be one of the most amazing and a very beautiful place to visit in the country. This place has been considered to be one of the Wonders of the Ancient World and its name has been proposed to rank it as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Sigiriya is also known as the “Lion Mountain” in Sri Lanka. The ancient architectural tradition of Sri Lanka has been portrayed here beautifully. This place has been preserved from the first millennium with its buildings, gardens, trees, pathways, water gardens and others. This city reminds the glorious fame of Sri Lanka’s past.

Sigiriya mountain

About Sigiri Rock

The most significant feature of this place is considered to be the Rock which acts as a “lion staircase” to the palace garden which is situated on the summit. This staircase has been visualized to be a “gigantic figure which towers against the majestic granite cliff and is simply awe- inspiring. There are a number of paintings and carvings on the surface of the rock but some of them have worn out with the passage of time. The paintings depict the earlier surviving examples of a school of classical realism in Sri Lanka. Other paintings of eminence lie at the foot of the rock. The painting on the roof of the Cobra Hood Cave is of major significance. This painting has been recognized to date back to the pre- Christian era and has a “combination of geometrical shapes and motifs with a free and complex rendering of characteristic volute or whorl motifs”. This painting is considered to be one of its best in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya rock in Sri Lanka

About Sigiri Gardens

The Sigiri Gardens is considered to be the gateway to the “Lion Mountains”. This garden has an “inner house made of timber and brick with a tiled roof”. This place is truly beautiful because this place has been planned elaborately and with technologies which date back to the Early Historic Period. The Water Garden inside the compound of the Sigiri Gardens is an ultimate spot for the tourists who visit this place.

Sigiriya gardens

Water Gardens

The Water Garden is considered to be the most amazing place to visit in Sigiri Gardens. This garden is smaller than the Sigiri Gardens and has many pools, water pavilions, courtyards and water courses. The largest water island is believed to have a central island which is surrounded by water on all sides. Also, there is a fountain in the garden which has two shallow limestone cisterns.

Sigiriya Water Garden

Boulder Garden

Another place to visit is the Boulder Garden in Sigiriya. The Boulder Garden is situated at a higher level from the “symmetrical water garden”. Other major places to visit here is the Cistern Rock, and the Audience Hall Rock.

Boulder garden Sri Lanka

Terrace Garden

The Terrace Garden is situated at the ultimate base of the rock, and is carved out of a natural hill. This garden has been made with “rubbled retaining walls”. Each of the terrace’s has a concentric circle which runs around the rock.

Terrace Garden

History of Sigiriya

Sigiriya is not considered to be a fortress which is gloomy and forbidding. The Sigiriya period has a lot of history attached to it. It is believed that the “history is replete with legend, love and betrayal”. The history of this period dates back to somewhere around 7,000 years ago.

This garden city and the palace is said to have been built by the King Kaspaya between 477 and 495 AD. Then after the demise of the king, this place was converted into a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.

History of Sigiriya

This place is simply amazing and is a great place for those visiting Sri Lanka to experience the rich cultural past of the country. Visiting the Sigiriya Mountains, you will be reminded of civilizations like Mohenjodaro and Harappa.

The Sigiriya Mountain is an ultimate place to be in. There are plenty of tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, and this is one of the main attractions in the country for the tourists visiting from other parts of the world.

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  1. Jazz says:


    I am researching on the Sigiriya civilization and have studied that the Sigiriya paintings have the same art history as that of the paintings at Ajanta caves in Aurangabad,Maharashtra, India.

    It’s amazing how civilizations are intertwined by their culture and artistic traditions..

    It’s an exciting part of discovering a civilization associated with another one this way!

    And is truly remarkable in history of the ancient world!

    Thanks for the great post!

  2. Rutherford says:

    Hi Jazz,

    I’m an archeology researcher and find this, a very fascinating part of our job!

    The landscaping and the natural fauna make this places remarkable and peerless!

    Thanks for sharing the information about the connection of the two civilizations!


  3. Evan says:

    Sigiriya’s graffiti is the oldest known in the world!

    Once upon a time ,the rock wall had so much dazzle that it was called ‘Mirror Wall’.

    The Mirror Wall is on the opposite side of the paintings and close by..

    It holds some of hundred oldest known graffiti in the world influenced the eternal beauty of the nymphs dating as early as 6th century & till 14th century providing linguists with vital insight into the evolution of the written & oral Sinhalese language.

    700 poems express the thoughts & emotions of ancient visitors to Sigiriya, provide not only revealing comments on the paintings themselves but also an insight into the in-born & cultivated sensibilities of the time & its appreciation of art & beauty.

  4. Samantha says:

    Wow, that’s cool information.

    Sigiriya, is one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions.
    The spectacular ‘Lion rock’ fortress, stands majestically overlooking the luscious green jungle surroundings.

    Kasyapa fearing an invasion by his step-brother built this impregnable fortress at Sigiriya.

    Sigiriya later became a monastic refuge, but eventually fell into disrepair.

  5. Fischer says:

    Before extensive tourism spread here there were about five to six hundred frescoes out of which round about twenty three are remaining, when I went there about a year ago..

    Thanks for the post! :-)

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