Perched high atop a rocky plateau standing 200m above the tangled jungle is Sigiriya, an ancient palace and monastery. With fortifications, beautiful archaic frescoes, fountains, and arguably the oldest landscaped gardens in the world, the rock fortress was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is Sri Lanka’s most iconic and important national monument. A truly mesmerizing site in an enchanting location. Whether you’re looking for chic boutiques or budget properties, DHPL Travels has curated a collection of the best places to stay in Sigiriya.
Sigiriya: A Historical Marvel
Formed by the magma of an extinct volcano, Sigiriya was used as a monastery in the 3rd century BCE. By the 5th century CE, it was transformed into a royal palace. Standing stark against a backdrop of jungle and sky, the plateau is a complex maze of ruined shrines, fortifications, and alleyways. Throughout the area, you’ll find beautiful stroke paintings and frescoes. At the entrance stands the large stone lion claws, originally part of a larger lion statue that has unfortunately been lost to time. This feature explains the origin of the name “Sigiriya,” which derives from “Sihagri,” meaning lion rock.
Sweeping beneath the “lion rock” are some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. Lilypad-covered moats, mist-crested jungle, ponds, and ancient fountains make for a delightful place to explore. Don’t miss the Mirror Wall, once so shiny the king could see his face in it. Today, it is covered in ancient graffiti, a testament to Sigiriya’s popularity as a tourist destination for over a millennium, even after its abandonment in the 14th century.
What Not to Miss
- Explore the depths of the jungle by foot on a guided tour.
- Walk aimlessly around the gorgeous manicured gardens.
- Head to the top of the plateau and drink in the commanding views.
- Walk amongst the fortifications, fountains, and frescoes atop Sigiriya.
- Marvel at the ancient graffiti on the Mirror Wall!
Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an iconic Sri Lankan heritage monument rightly nicknamed the “eighth wonder of the world” by locals. Browse through DHPL Travels’ collection of the best places to stay in Sigiriya to start planning your trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the historical significance of Sigiriya?
- How do I reach Sigiriya from Colombo?
- When is the best time to visit Sigiriya?
- Are there guided tours available for Sigiriya?
- What are the must-visit attractions near Sigiriya?
- Is Sigiriya suitable for families with children?
- Can I climb the rock at Sigiriya?
- Are there any local customs or rules to be aware of when visiting Sigiriya?
- What are the accommodation options available near Sigiriya?
- Are there any restaurants or dining options near Sigiriya?
Before starting your Sigiriya adventure, make sure you have the following items ready:
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun
- Insect repellent
- A camera to capture the stunning sights
- Bottled water to stay hydrated
- A guidebook or map of Sigiriya
- Local currency for any purchases or entrance fees
- Travel insurance for peace of mind
- An umbrella or raincoat in case of unexpected rain
- A power bank to keep your devices charged
- A valid ID or passport for identification purposes
- Sigiriya is an ancient palace and monastery perched on a rocky plateau.
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Sri Lanka’s most important national monument.
- Sigiriya features fortifications, archaic frescoes, and the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.
- The Mirror Wall, covered in ancient graffiti, is a popular attraction.
- DHPL Travels offers a curated collection of the best places to stay in Sigiriya.
Next, let’s explore the monthly weather in Sigiriya to help you plan your visit.