The Eighth Wonder of the World - "The Lion Rock"
Enormous Lion Claws and Fountains..
Enormous lion claws, lakes, hydraulic systems, canals, dams and fountains are a rare combination in an ancient location discovery. This selection of items would by a wild guess belong to a very modern museum designed by the world’s greatest architects.
This craftsmanship however was achieved as early as the 3rd century BCE. Sigiriya, a derivative of the name Lion in Tamil, is a rock outcrop formed by an extinct volcano in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Previously known as Citra Nakuta, this is an ancient rock fortress for a radical ruler known as King Kashyapa.
Towering 200 meters, Sigiriya has the most mind boggling view in Sri Lanka. Besides a taunting past, Sigiriya rock fortress is a now both a tourist attraction and an area of study. Dating to the 3rd century and playing different roles in Sri Lanka’s government business, a lot about the fortress is still being uncovered.
This culminates to the ultimate tourist attraction site. As a tourist with an interest in history, a love of heights, architecture, ancient artefacts, engineering, government policies, human settlements or modern tourism Sigiriya is a rock fortress of many hats.
The Tale of Sigiriya
The different narratives that tell the tale of Sigiriya barely does the fortress a favor in describing the scenic location. Characterized with ponds, lakes, canals, alleys and fountains Sigiriya magnificence is barely describable.
The systematic layout of the different water features and the landscape architecture that occurred in the ancient years before Christ, puts modern architecture to a test. While hiking to the top of the rock, the logistics and hard work of curving the lion’s claws and the said lion’s head will challenge your imagination.
Almost as fate, the head of the lion is said to have crumbled as the original occupant King Kashyapa committed suicide. With the rich history, unique engineering and scenic features, the rock fortress was inevitably regarded as a UNESCO world heritage site as well as the eighth wonder of the world.
This accolades are not easily attained, certainly not by being ordinary. King Kashyapa was a man of this caliber. King Kashyapa come to power by usurping the throne. The leadership which is recorded to rightfully belong to his brother Moggallana was attained by him by walling his father to death. The fortress is said to be a pleasure location as well as a fortification from his brothers who had fled to India.
This capital was abandoned after King Kashyapa passed away and has been used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century where it is now, is one of the world wonders and a UNESCO listed world heritage site in the world.
The fortress has paintings of 500 women whose identity is yet to be discovered. The paintings spread across the rock and as recorded by John Still, this would probably be the world’s largest picture gallery. Besides this, the King in his extremist life had the wall polished to the extent that he could see himself as he walked past. Along this wall are inscriptions that were written by visitors that date back to the 10th century. The fortress remains an exciting location with evidence currently indicting possibilities of settlement around the fortress during the same era. Sigiriya rock fortress and the lion claw therefore, besides the taunting history, earns its place as a world wonder and is truly a magnificent place to explore.
Important to Remember
- If you do suffer from vertigo better to skip climbing to the top.
- You need to purchase a ticket to climb Sigiriya which costs around $30.
- Wear sturdy shoes.
- Avoid the heat during the noon.
- The place is a little prone to warrior bee attacks. Be cautious.
A Sneak Peek With Chasing the Bliss
If you are planning to go there don’t forget to visit from Pidurangala where you can witness an unforgettable view. This rock fortress is located near the town of Dambulla and Pidurangala is also located close by. The recommended route is to visit the Pidurangala first and Sigiriya next.
Sigiriya rock fortress and lion rock is known as one of the world wonders and it is truly a magnificent place to explore.