Sigiriya- The Lion Fortress Sri Lanka’s Single most dramatic Sight

Sigiriya or The lions Rock is Perhaps Sri Lanka’s Single Most Dramatic Sight. If you visit Sigiriya, You can see the ruined fortress rising above the forest from miles away. This Rock fortress tangled with the story of a king who murdered his father and brother to take the kingdom. This short-lived kingdom attracts tourists from all around the world due to its archeological value and dramatic sight.

  • How to Get there – From Colombo take a bus or private vehicle to reach Dambulla town. From there take Innamaluwa-Sigiriya Road to reach Sigiriya. Opening Hours – 7.00 am to 5.30 pm Start Climbing in the morning, to avoid crowds and heat.
  • Time Duration For the trip – 2-3 hours
  • Distance Of the trek – 600 meters high
  • Ticket Price – Free 
  • Best time to visit – May to August (Dry Season)

What is Sigiriya famous for?

Sigiriya archeological complex contains ruins of an ancient city built in 15th century AC. This City includes some rare features like moat and wall fortifications, Landscape gardens, monasteries, and a fortress build on the summit of 350 miter Rock. This site was selected by king Kashyapa for his capital between 477-495 AD. 

How to get to Sigiriya? – Directions 

First, you have to land at Colombo International Airport. From Colombo, you can take your vehicle or Bus to reach Dambulla town of the central province. From there you should take Innamaluwa-Sigiriya road to reach Sigiriya. If you are a biker, you can easily rent a bike from Colombo and travel thereby on your own. If you like to ride vintage cafe racer to an ancient city, that will be a whole new experience. Check here to see how to rent a cafe racer in Sri Lanka. But I must warn you about the warm weather conditions of the northern parts of the country. The temperature of the northern area of the country could reach up to 30C. 

Things you should know before visiting Sigiriya

How Much is the Ticket to Enter Sigiriya Archeological Site? 

To Enter the Sigiriya Archeological site you have to buy a ticket of $35 USD. Sri Lankan government has fixed this price So no one should ask you more than that. You can buy a ticket from the entrance. You don’t need to book a ticket in advance.

Check the Sri Lankan Government Website Here

How Long does it take to reach the summit of the Sigiriya? 

Climbing to the top of Sigiriya is not that easy. you’ll have to climb series of vertiginous staircases attached to the wall. The climb could take about 2-3 hours depending on your fitness and crowd. If you are Acrophobic like me, you’ll find it more difficult. Normally central parts of the country have sunny warm weather. When Sun peaks, Rock staircases become heated and it makes it more difficult to climb. So, make sure to arrive at the site as early as possible to avoid heat and crowds.

Is it safe to Climb Sigiriya? 

Climbing Sigiriya is not that easy, But unless you are having health condition you’ll make it. But when climbing Sigiriya be careful not to make noise, that could provoke hornets living on the rock.

What should I wear to climb Sigiriya? 

Some Historic sites in Sri Lanka, like Temple of tooth relic required to wear white clothing to enter. But the Sigiriya site has no restrictions like that. You can wear anything you want. But make sure to wear foot ware suitable for hiking. Wear light clothing suitable for warm temperatures and also bring a hat and sunglasses so you won’t get beaten from the sunlight and warmth.

The Legend of the King Kashyapa 

Sigiriya was built by the fifth-century king Kashyapa, Who was the younger son of the family. He killed his father to take the throne. His older brother “Moggallana”, the legal heir to the throne fled to India. Fearing an attack by his brother, Kashyapa decided to move the capital from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya. He Constructed his royal palace on a high rock to make sure it will not be invaded by anyone.

The Palace Sigiriya was constructed using most advance technologies at the time and was richly decorated with art. Mirror wall, Sigiriya Lion Paws, Painted Damsels are some examples. 

Making his fears come true,” Moggallana arranged an army and invaded the Sigiriya. In this battle, King Kashyapa was killed and that was the end of the Sigiriya kingdom.

Things To see in Sigiriya 

Sigiriya Lion Paws 

At the northern end of the Sigiriya, a narrow pathway emerges on to a large platform with large lion paws. Once a gigantic brick lion sat at this end of the rock. The entrance to the fortress was led between lion’ paws and into his mouth. The Lion Symbolize and reminder to the devotees that buddha was “Sakya-Sinha” (Lion Of the Sakya Clan) and the truths he spoke were powerful as the lion’s roar.

Damsels Bringing Flowers – Sigiriya Frescoes paintings 

Sigirya Frescoes’ paintings are famous around the world. Lovely damsels 

that reside in the Sigiriya paintings have dressed their hair piled up high to show their oval face of lustrous complexions. They have heavy breasts and their eyes express moods from vivacity to serenity. They wear elaborate jewels on their hair, ears, and arms. Large hooped earrings dangle from their ears and they wear armlets as well as bangles. Numerous necklaces.

The Royal Garden Of Sigiriya 

Once Sigiriya Was a fortress, A palace to a Great king. And as Everything in the universe, the kingdom falls with the invasion of the “Moggallana” and death of the King Kashyapa. Then it was home to the Buddhist monks until the 14th century. At this time the capital city of Sri Lanka was moved more inside of the country and these old kingdoms become ruined and vanished in the wilderness. After Serious digging and preservations and reconstructions today we can still see functioning royal gardens of Sigiriya. 

Nearby Places you can visit


Pidurangala is Adjesent Rock to Sigiriya Rock and best viewing spot of Sigiriya from distance. Pidurangala Is Famous for its 360-degree views when the sunrise. When the sunrises you will see an unforgettable scenic view of Sigiriya and the valley below.

Minneriya National Park

If you are interested in local wildlife or if you are a wildlife photographer, this is a great destination for you. You can do safari inside the park and you will see hundreds of elephants feeding fresh grass in the valley and also leporids and bird species.

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