Sigiriya is famous for its palace ruins on top of a massive 200 meter high rock surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures. The rock itself is a lava plug left over from an ancient long extinct volcano.
Temple and Elephant
Approaching the temple
It is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescoes), which are like those found at Ajanta Caves in India. It is generally agreed, however, that the Sigiriya Frescoes exhibit a uniquely Sri Lankan style. Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times.
It was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees of the Buddhist Sangha. Sigiriya Museum shows photos of the excavation of Sigiriya, reproductions of the frescoes, examples and translations of some of the graffiti on the Mirror Wall, and artifacts excavated from the site.
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