Sigiriya Rock

Sigiriya Rock is not just a site of historical and archaeological significance. It’s a journey back in time. Its combination of natural beauty and human creativity makes it a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya Rock in 1980s
Photo taken in 1980s

Sigiriya Rock: Sri Lanka’s Ancient Wonder

Sigiriya Rock, also known as Lion Rock, is a majestic fortress and palace ruins in central Sri Lanka. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a testament to ancient urban planning, art, and architecture.

The Majestic Rock and Its History

Sigiriya stands about 200 meters high, offering breathtaking views. King Kasyapa (477-495 CE) chose this site for his capital. He built a palace atop the rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes.

Climbing Sigiriya Rock

The climb to the top is a journey through history. Visitors pass gardens, fountains, and the famous Mirror Wall. Halfway up, the Lion Gate, with its massive lion paws, marks the entrance to the summit.

Frescoes and Mirror Wall

The Sigiriya frescoes, depicting celestial maidens, are a highlight. The Mirror Wall, once polished to reflect the king himself, now holds inscriptions from as early as the 8th century.

Sigiriya Rock

The Summit and Water Gardens

The summit reveals the palace ruins and panoramic views of the surrounding jungle. The water gardens at the base are engineering marvels, with symmetrical pools and fountains.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Sigiriya is during the cooler months, from December to April. Early morning climbs are recommended to avoid the heat and crowds.

Day Trips and Nearby Attractions

Sigiriya is a great starting point for exploring Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. Nearby Dambulla features cave temples with Buddhist murals and statues. The ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura are also within reach.


There are day tours available from Colombo and Kandy. Most of the tours also visit Dambulla caves.

If you stay in Colombo, then Full Day Tour to Sigiriya and Dambulla from Colombo is a good tour. If you are in Kandy, try Day tour to Sigiriya,Dambulla & Polannaruwa (3 word heritage places) from Kandy.