Sigiriya Facts


  • Country:  Siri Lanka
  • Region: Matale District
  • Major Attractions: Elephant Orphanage, Lion Rock, the Ancient City of Sigiriya, the Dambulla Cave, the Sigiriya Museum, the Ruins of Polonnaruwa, the Ancient's 1st Capital City Anuradhapura etc.
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Sigiriya, Sri Lanka's old capital city, is located on the 200-meter-high "Lion Rock", about 170 kilometers northeast of Colombo. Sigiriya is famous for its Sigiriya murals, which are the only secular murals handed down in Sri Lankan history. It was built during the 5th century, as famous as Borobudur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Ajanta Caves in India.

It should have long been recognized as one of the wonders of the world. Now it has been officially proposed as the eighth wonder of the world. As the best-preserved urban center in Asia for thousands of years, the ancient city of Sigiriya is home to traditional Sri Lankan architectures, such as gardens, paths and waterside pavilions. Symmetrical and asymmetrical architectural elements complement each other. The variable-end plane, axis and radius design are perfectly integrated. A 200-meter-high stone center rises from the city. In the east and west of the city, two moats and three walls surround two rectangular urban areas.

More and more tourists are coming to visit the Sigiriya, for it has a rich history and culture, beautiful natural scenery and simple folk customs. Popular attractions in Sirigiya include Elephant Orphanage, Lion Rock, the Ancient City of Sigiriya, the Dambulla Cave, the Sigiriya Museum, The Ruins of Polonnaruwa, the Ancient's 1st Capital city Anuradhapura etc.


The Ancient City of Sigiriya

The history of the ancient city of Sigiriya can be traced back to ancient times, 7,000 years ago. From the 3rd century BC, it was a mountain monastery with elaborate caves donated by Buddhist converts. From 477 - 495, the monasteries built city gardens and palaces, and they were the living quarters of monks until the 14th century. It is 3 kilometers long from east to west and 1 kilometer wide from north to south, revealing the great and exquisite urban planning of Sri Lanka in the 5th century. A moat runs through the entrance to the western part of the city, in line with the mountains in the distance.

The city gate is made of wood and stone, with a tiled roof. The southern half of the city's garden has been unearthed, while the northern half of the same structure remains to be excavated by archaeologists today. The symmetrical layout of the water park in the west of the city, it demonstrates the most sophisticated hydraulic technology in the world since ancient times. It not only meets the needs of home gardening and agricultural production, but also has unique features in surface drainage, corrosion prevention, decorative and recreational watercourses, protection facilities and system cooling.

A small water park in the inner wall of the west side consists of waterside pavilions, ponds, reservoirs, courtyards, fountains and waterways. The clear water flows slowly on the cobblestone or marble, which is not only a practical refrigeration facility, but also brings people beautiful audio-visual enjoyment. Visitors only have to stop for a moment to notice the river.

The largest water park contains an island surrounded by water and connected to the main city by water. The history of the park is more than five centuries longer than that of Angkor, the ancient capital of Cambodia, or the gardens of India's Mughal Empire. On the central island stood a huge pavilion; The water in the four L-shaped ponds is piped at different depths to control different water levels.

There is a large swimming pool in the pond to the southwest, and you can pick up steps in a tunnel made of wood. In the middle of another, smaller pond stood a rock on which stood a small brick pavilion. The fountain park looks very long and narrow, with a meandering stream that murmurs until it disappears into two deep ponds in the western half. The fountain is built on the stream and gushes all year round. On the other side of the fountain are four large north-south islands that cut off the central axis of the water park.

The stone forest park, which is higher than the water park known as the beautiful, is a completely different architectural style. It incorporates many asymmetrical concepts, such as curved paths and uncarved boulders. Almost every rock in Shilin Park has a brick or wood structure, and large reservoirs of granite are in the park. A number of miniature terra-cotta statues have recently been unearthed in the ancient city of Sigiriya. They are exquisite artifacts that imitate the paintings on the stone walls of Sigiriya. They were intended to be sold as a souvenir to visitors to the city, and some of them are now on display at the Sigiriya Museum.


The History of Sigiriya

According to historical records, King Kashyapa and his brother King Mogallana fought each other for the throne. The throne was supposed to be inherited by King Mogallana, but King Khasapa seized power by force. He feared that King Mogallana would take it back. In order to secure his throne and protect himself, he built this rock fortress.

However, King Mogallana eventually defeated King Khasapa, after which the rock fortress was destroyed. After the palace was destroyed, it became a Buddhist Temple. Later, Sigiriya was discovered by Europeans in 1831. Many historians and archaeologists began to excavate the rock fortress, and it was through these excavations that people discovered the rock's past history. On top of the rock, it is a castle with gardens and parks. Sigiriya is a huge rock that was built for conservation, and its layout and planning techniques used in Sigiriya were remarkable.


Tourism of Sigiriya

Best Time to visit: from December to March of next year is the best time to visit Sigiriya.

Best Place to visit: Lion Rock, the Ancient City of Sigiriya, the Dambulla Cave, The Ruins of Polonnaruwa, the Ancient's 1st Capital city Anuradhapura, etc.


Transportations of Sigiriya

How to get to Sigiriya?

There is no airport in the Sigiriya, so you need to transfer from other cities to Sigiriya.


There is a direct coach from Colombo to Dambulla every day. It takes about 4-5 hours driving from Colombo to Dambulla. Then you could take the bus or Tuk-tuk from Dambulla to Sigiriya, and it takes about 40mins driving.


You could take the bus from Kandy to Sigiriya, and it takes about 2 hours driving.


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