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It was the ancient palace build on the gigantic piece of rock that is nearly 200 meters in the middle of dense jungle. This ruin was discovered in the late 19th Century when Sri Lanka was under the British colony.

This site was used to be a place for ascetic monks during the ancient time. In the late 5th century, King Kasyapa ruled Anuradhapura between 459 and 477 who was the son of King Dhatusena and elder brother of Moggallana. Kasyapa’s mother was from the working class and his brother was from the loyal family. He controlled his power by holding his father in captivity and have his younger brother exiled to India. Later Kasyapa made his father murdered since he did not corporate with him about conveying all his properties. Because Kasyapa was afraid of his brother’s revenge, he constructed a castle on a rock that took 7 years to complete. Kasyapa killed himself after he lost the battle with his brother who invaded him from India. Mongallana contributed the palace for monks and moved the capital back to Anuradhapura.

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  • approx. 166km North East of Colombo
  • approx. 5 hr by car from Colombo


  • Province
  • District
  • Population

Key Point

  • One of the UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • The most unique ancient ruin build on the gigantic rock
  • See Sigiriya by Elephant ride
To do and see
  • Sigiriya Museum

    It was built in 2009 summer. The museum was designed to marge with the surrounding nature. This is the place to learn about the ancient history of Sigiriya in depth.

  • Sigiriya Rock

    This is where the fortress and the palace had been built.

    The palace was built on a rock by a king who was afraid of his brother’s revenge. There are many visting points on the way to the top.

    Lotus Channel:
    This was built around Sigiriya Rock and its garden. Alligators used to habitat in Channel to protect from invaders.

    Water Gardens:
    There are ruins of water and wastewater equipments from the entrance of Sigiriya to the actual rock that was constructed during 5th century.

    Cave Vihara:
    There are Mural paintings of nuns in the cave.

    Preaching Rock:
    It is a rock that has a band of many curved holes. There are two theories for its existence. This site was for scaffold by putting bricks in those holes for constructing buildings. Or it was steps for monks to go up the rock to pray. 100 of oil lamps are displayed there during Poya day, the full moon day.

    Frescoes-The Sigiriya Maidens:
    Beautiful women’s colorful mural paintings from 5th century are in the cave. It used to be 500 drawing of women, but now 18 remain.

    Mirror Wall:
    It is a 3 m high corridor. It was named Mirror Wall because it shines like a peal and it has a texture like a mirror. The wall was created to help shine the Frescoes-The Sigiriya Maidens as it is placed in front of the mural painting.

    Lion Terrace:
    The lion claws statues are at the entrance of the palace. Only the parts of lion claws remain, but it used to be a whole statue of lion opening its big moth and sitting there. Its presence was as if the lion to swallow anyone who go into the entrance.

    Royal Palace:
    After going through the lion entrance and take a long stairs, you reach to the top with 1.6-hectare area and 360-panorama view. It consists of royal palace, hut, housing, dance stage and a swimming pool.

    Stone Throwing & Elephant Rock:
    Walking up the stairs of Mirror Wall made of marvel, there is a small stair case landing. Looking down to the left from the spot, there is a rock looks like the back of elephant.

    Council Hall:
    There is a four square open space made of stones where Kasyapa held meetings. You can see the chair where King sat.

    Asana Chapel:
    This is a place where monks did meditation.

    Cobra Hood Rock:
    There is a rock from 2 B.C. has a shape of cobra that has a fading ancient mural painting.

    Entrance fee: Rs.3,900 (US$ 30)
    Hours: 7am - 5pm

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  • Elephant Ride

    There is a tour you get to see the view of Sigiriya by riding an elephant.

    Piya Special Green Track
    Tel (077) 7918257,6754595
    Hours: 10am – 5pm

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