Sigiriya is a nice stop on the Cultural Triangle, at only 20 kms from Dambulla. It is an ancient royal palace located on the top of a huge monolith 392m hight.
King Kasyapa built this palace on Vth century for his new capital and decorated the rock’s sides with beautiful frescoes. The palace was abandoned after the king’s death and then the site was used as Buddhist monastery until XIVth century.
To get to the top I needed to climb 1.202 stairs and this was a hard job with that heat. Halfway up, there were some frescoes inside a long gallery, which made a nice pause for my knee.
The final climb needs to be done through a gateway in the form of an enormous lion (the Lion’s Gateway). Today you can only see its paws but still it is very impressive and a popular spot for a commemorative picture 🙂
On the top, I could enjoy nice views of the surrounding jungle. There is not much left of the monastery, apart from some foundations, so a guide can be helpful. I just admired the landscape and the ensemble of remains without trying to guess what was what.
Unfortunately I did not have time to visit the gardens at the foot of the rock because I wanted to leave to Polonnaruwa that same day. It was a pity because these gardens are amongst the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Still, they are so huge that I could admire them from the summit of the rock.
Back to Dambulla, I took my big backpack and headed to Polonnaruwa by bus, where I arrived just before the storm.
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Quirky explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, I am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to help you plan your dream World Tour!