Sigiriya, internationally renowned as the eighth wonder of the world, consists of an ancient King’s palace and a fortress which is built on a solitary rock in the dry zone. UNESCO marked it out as a world heritage site of Sri Lanka due to the greatness of built it displays in each of its square feet. It belongs to the Dambulla District and is about 169 km away from Colombo. The Sigiriya mountain had been used by buddhist monks as a place for meditation before the time that the ancient king Kashyapa built his palace complex around it.
The remnants of the king’s palace can be seen on the summit of Sigiriya mountain which is about 200 m higher than the plain that surrounds it. There is a pond at the top which had been filled with water from a lake on the plains below, with the use of advanced irrigational techniques known by our ancient citizens that have marveled even the modern engineers. Steps have been made to climb up to the summit which have been repaired during the recent times, not spoiling the ancient ruins. The water canal that has been built around the area still remains along with the four gateways on four sides that had been built to provide entrance to the vicinity.
The palace complex consists of water gardens, boulder gardens and terraced gardens that are spread around the base of the rock. Remnants of some paintings of frescoes that had been painted in the ancient times can be seen in about two crevices of the rock. One of them can be viewed by climbing up a narrow stairway which is of recent build. The Mirror Wall, a polished wall which had built by the king had been used after his time by visitors over the years to write verses about the beauty of Sigiriya and the frescoes.