Sigiriya – Travel guide 




Sigiriya is famous for its magnificent red stone fortress and palace ruins, surrounded by a vast network of gardens, pools, and other structures. The fort is located 200 meters above the surrounding plain (370 meters above sea level). Rock dates from the third century BCE 477 Buddhist monastery. The palace complex on the top of the rock was built by King Kashyapa (MXR, Moggallana, fled to South India. Fearing an attack by Mogglana, Kashyapa took his capital and his home from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya). In 495 AD, Kashyapa was defeated by Moggallana, who moved the capital back to Anuradhapura. Sigiriya was rebuilt as a Buddhist monastery in the 13th or 14th century.
There is a walled castle covering about 15 hectares of land around the rock. The castle presents an irregular, wide elliptical layout that defines the outer limits of the rocky slopes. The rocky hillside has been shaped into a series of terraces and the terrace garden is built around the rock. The stone gardens to the west and east of the castle also feature rock-cut tents and rock-shaped pavilions.
The area to the west of the castle is asymmetrically designed royal park or amusement park with elaborate water retention structures and surface and subsurface hydraulic systems. It is surrounded by three forts and a moat, forming a rectangle. To the east of the castle lies the 'East Land' or the inner city. Its rectangular form has a clay castle, gates, and a moat that is 700 meters from east to west and 500 meters from north to south. . The outer fortress of the Sigiriya complex is a low, eroded exploratory clay wall that defines the extent of the Eastern Residential or 'Outer City' area that has not been extensively investigated yet. This is a rectangle, 1,000 to 1,500 meters, with two east gates, a suburban settlement beyond the north wall, and man-made Sigiriya lake to the south.


One of the most striking aspects of Sigiriya’s urban style is its design mathematics and complete design concept. The city plan is based on the right square model. The layout at the top of the rock extends from the coordinates in the center of the palace complex. The east and west entrances are directly aligned with the central east-west axis. The Royal Water Gardens and the Western Ghats and forts are based on an "echo plan" that replicates the layout on the north-south and east-west axes.

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