Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. This is a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high bearing historical and archaeological significance.

In 477 CE, Kashyapa I, the king’s son seized the throne from King Dhatusena, following a coup. Afraid of an attack by the rightful heir, Moggallana, Kashyapa moved the capital and his residence from the traditional capital of Anuradhapura to the more secure Sigiriya.

He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. The gateway to the palace is in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place, the Lion Rock, is derived from this structure. This complex city and fortress consist of defensive structures, palaces, and gardens. 

Frescos Painting:

John Still in 1907 wrote, “The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery… the largest picture in the world perhaps”. The paintings have covered an area 140 meters long and 40 meters high. There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings

The Mirror Wall:

It is said that originally this wall was so highly polished that the king could see himself whilst he walked alongside it.


The Gardens of Sigiriya city are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The gardens are divided into three distinct interconnected forms: water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.

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