Best Sights in Sigiriya

Sights in Sigiriya

Since it is not a holy site, sarongs are not required. Expect a visit to take at least half a day.Hopeful guides hang around the entrance to the site and will also approach you once you’re inside. If you decide to use their services,negotiate very carefully.An early or late ascent of the rock avoids the main crowds and the fierce heat. Allow at least two hours for the return trip, and more on very busy days. Bring plenty of water and wear a hat as it’s often too windy near the summit to carry an umbrella. The 370m-ascent involves steep climbs, so if you’re not fit it may be tough.

Sigiriya Museum

It’s not the spectacular ruins and rock, but this new museum is a show stopper. Using detailed and engaging displays and models, exhibits provide an excellent introduction to the site and explain its cultural importance beyond the obvious
natural beauty.
The verifiable theory that Sigiriya was always a Buddhist monastery is explained here, although locals insist on the more romantic notions that it was a palace or fortress.Hence the terms traditionally used to describe the various features on the rock city assume it was once a royal palace. Among the artefacts, the large buxom stone deity stands out. The museum is near the main ticket booth, just outside the main Sigiriya site.

Royal Gardens

From the entrance, a wide and straight path arrows towards the rock,following the line of an imaginary east–west axis. This entire side of the city is protected by a pair of broad moats, though the Outer Moat is now largely dried out. Crossing the Inner Moat, enclosed within twotiered walls, you enter the Water Gardens. The first section comprises four pools set in a square; when full, they create a small island at their centre, connected by pathways to the surrounding gardens. The remains of pavilions can be seen in the rectangular areas to the north and south of the pools.

Beyond here is the small but elaborate Fountain Garden. Features here include a serpentining miniature “river” and limestone-bottomed channels and ponds, two of which preserve their ancient fountain sprinklers – these work on a simple pressure and gravity principle and still spurt out modest plumes of water after heavy rain.

The boulder gardens, closer to the rock, feature rocks that once formed the bases of buildings. The steplike depressions in the sides of boulders were the foundations of brick walls and timber columns. The cistern and audience hall rocks are impressive.

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