- Location: Rock Front, Sigiriya 21120, Sri Lanka
- Reason to visit: Known as "the eighth wonder of the world", Lion's Rock is the apex of Sri Lanka's "Golden Triangle of Culture" and a UNESCO world heritage site
- Our ratings: ★★★★★
- Entrance fee: 4500Rs
- Opening Hours: 07:00am-17:30pm, closing time: 17:00pm (Jan 01-Dec31, from Monday-Friday)
Lion Rock, also named as Sigiriya Lion Rock, is an aerial palace built on a solid orange Rock, making every first-come visitor stunned and amazed. Known as the eighth wonder of the world, it is the peak of Sri Lanka's "Golden Triangle of Culture" and is one of the world's most valuable heritage sites protected by UNESCO. The rock is 200 meters high, and from a distance, the Lion Rock lies on the plains in the northeast of Dambulla.
The stone likes a lion, the head of the lion was weathered and fallen, the body of the lion was left alone, the back of the lion was built a 200 meters high garden palace. Buried in the jungle for centuries, it was discovered in the middle of the 19th century by an English hunter - Bell. From then on, it has attracted the attention of the archaeological community. The Lion Rock includes a moat, a garden square, a huge rock, and a brick-red castle in the sky which was built on top of the rock.
The history of the Lion Rock
The sky palace was built by king Kassapa of the Moliere dynasty (447-495). In order to escape the revenge of his half brother Mogallana, the king kasiyab built this fortress-palace along the mountain in 18 years. Lion Rock is about two hundred meters high, with a smooth, square, imposing stone face. On this rock, a dynasty was built that lasted only seven years. The hill-top area was about two hectares. The court has the king's stone throne, cistern, banquet hall, meeting hall, king's bedroom, etc. The scale of the building was incredible. The reservoir is artificially chiseled, and the water stored is from rainwater, which can supply the palace for a whole year.
When the water level is too high, the overflow water flows from the top of the mountain to the garden. Designed to different sizes of the water hole, forming a different height of the fountain, that's very nice. A long walkway leads to the Lion's Paws Platform. After passing through the gate of the lion's claw, then climbed a narrow iron ladder close to a precipice, it's almost at right angles, visitors could feel the cold wind blowing through. Arriving at the summit, there is a 1.6-hectare platform, visitors could speculate the palace's scale and layout. The royal swimming pool is still in good condition. The water is dark green, and the pool from thousands of years ago looks just like a modern pool at first sight. The view from the top of the rock is good, the jungle is endless and green, the whole capital is in your eyes.
The highlight of Lion Rock
In the cliff cave, the Sigiriya wall painting is a must see a scene, it's colorful, vivid modeling. Entering from the west gate, we will first go through the moat. On the level ground, there are walls and pools of water. The Sigiriya Lion Rock frescoes are ancient ruins with a history of more than 1,000 years. After the reconstruction, it can't be a completely original appearance, but the surrounding environment is still very quiet. It is said that in the cliffs around the Lion Rock, there are more than 500 color pictures, now only 22. After years of erosion and human destruction, some have been unable to show the original appearance. The cave is heavily guarded and flash is not allowed when taking photos. Combining natural and human resources, the Sigiriya Lion Rock is a national treasure of Sri Lanka. Walking down the spiral staircase leads to a long, golden Mirror Wall that glows in the sun. Carved on the walls are ancient texts that record thousands of years of people's admiration after visiting Lion Rock, that's the precious document of Sri Lanka.
How to get to the Lion Rock
No.1 Coach Bus: there is a coach bus from Dambulla to Lion Rock, which usually starts at 7:00 and runs every 30 minutes for about 45 minutes.
No.2 Tuk-Tuk Car: You can also take a Tuk-tuk from Dambulla to lion rock. It takes about 30 minutes. It costs about Rs600. We advise you should negotiate the price with the driver before you take the car.
Tips for Lion Rock
♦ It will take a long time to climb the Lion Rock, and you could bring enough water.
♦ We suggest you could wear light sports shoes, since it takes a long time to walk or climb.
♦ Some local people will wait for the visitors and see if the visitors need a guide, or when you climb the mountain, some local people will come to hold you, if you don't need, you should say No, thanks, since all these services are not free, you have to pay them.
♦ There are many monkeys in this scenic area, so we advise you don't hand the food and feed the monkey since the monkeys may grab your food.
♦ The recommended tour for you: 7 Days Classic Sri Lanka Tour