One should not miss the breath-taking experience of Sigiriya, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. The rock of Sigiriya is located 22 kms North-East of Dambulla in the North Central Province. From the third century BCE, Buddhist monks occupied Sigiriya, but it said that it was only after King Kasyapa seizing the throne in 487 AD the palace and gardens were built and the rock fortified. (Debated)

         Once you enter this Asia’s oldest landscape garden, you will see the well-kept balanced Water Gardens consisting of the remains of four L-shaped pools either side of the main walkway, which were once used for bathing, each one connected by underground channels. Surrounding them are four fountains, still active during the rainy season, which are fed by gravity from the moats and reveal the early sophistication of the design here. Other features you will pass on the way up are Octagonal Pond, Boulder Garden, Audience Hall, Cistern, the beautifully painted Sigiriya frescoes. There are 22 frescoes today out of the original 500 frescoes which have been protected in a depression in the rock from the wind and rain. The paintings are believed to be of Apsaras, heaven-dwelling nymphs.

         The Mirror Wall; It was once clearly covered with graffiti; their poems and thoughts written by visitors dating from the sixth century, though a lot has faded now and some of the wall has broken away. This has been very important for experts studying the development of the Sinhala language over the years.

         The huge lion’s claws through which there is a stone staircase to continue your climb, is possibly the most significant feature of Sigiriya, and gives the rock its name. From the summit you can observe the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of Pidurangala Rock, the Sigiriya Wewa and Mapagala Rock.

         On the summit lies the ruins of the Royal Palace built for the King Kasyapa. Although few ruins still remain such as a pool, an eastern, sunrise-facing throne constructed from solid rock, and remains of other buildings and royal gardens. It is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Sri Lanka and the world over. However this is how the colonial historians make up their story.