Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sigiriya – The 8th wonder of the World

Sigiriya is a major archaeological site in North Central Sri Lanka. At Sigiriya we find the ruins of an ancient palace complex built during the reign of King Kasyapa. It has been ascribed by UNESCO as one of the seven World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. Probably the most recognizable feature in Sri Lanka is the spectacular rock fortress of Sigiriya. Originally built in 477 A.D. as an impregnable fortress and palace, Sigiriya was later used as a monastic refuge in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The rock dramatically rises 200 meters above the surrounding plains and it is a wonder to imagine how they managed to carry up the materials necessary for its construction. At the base lies the remains of the royal rock and water gardens in what once was the lush pleasure gardens of the royalty. The most significant feature of the Rock would have been the Lion staircase leading to the palace garden on the summit. Lion staircase leading to the palace garden on the summit of Sigiriya Rock. Based on the ideas described in some of the graffiti, this Lion staircase could be visualised as a gigantic figure towering majestically against the granite cliff, facing north, bright coloured, and awe-inspiring. Built in the 5 century AC this magnificent complex of geometrically laid gardens, pools, fountains (still working today) as well as oldest surviving murals of maidens has been a palace of the King Kasyapa.
The pleasure garden of the western side of the rock is studded with ponds, islets, promenades and pavilions. Some underground and surface drainage systems have been discovered during excavations. The wall abutting the moat encircling the fortress is one of the most arresting features.The full original article of this can be found here.

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