The Vast flat-topped 200m high Lion Rock stands starkly above the surrounding countryside of the central forest with magnificent views over the Dry Zone and south to the the Central Highlands It was an exceptional natural site for a fortress, which were gets its name from the lions which were believed to occupy the caves. For many visitors, this impressive site is their favorite in the whole of Sri Lanka. The spectacular rock fortress of Sigiriya, 22 km northeast of Dambulla, is among Sri Lanka's major attractions, and is part of the Cultural Triangle. A leafy village lies to the southern side of the rock. It is the best preserved city centre in Asia from the first millennium, with its combination of buildings and gardens with their trees, pathways, water gardens, the fusion of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements, use of varying levels and of axial and radial planning. There is now a proposal to name Sigiriya as the Eighth Wonder of the world.Places to Visit
The Rock : Sigiriya is coverd by the cultural traingle round ticket. Tickets are also sold near the site entrance, and at the Rest House. Hopeful guides hang around the entrance to the site and will also approach you once you're in the site.The most significant feature of the Rock would have been the Lion staircase leading to the palace garden on the summit. Through the open mouth of the Lion had led the covered staircase built of bricks and timber and a tiled roof. But what remains now are the two colossal paws and a mass of brick masonry that surround the ancient limestone steps.
Royal Garden : The landscaped gardens around Sigiriya consist of water gardens, boulder gardens and terraced gardens. The usual approach to the rock is through the western (and most elaborate) gate. This takes you through Kasyapa's beautiful symetrical water gardens, which extend from the western foot of the rock with royal bathing pool, little moated islands with pavilions that acted as dry season palaces, and trees framing the approach to the rock. The rock rises sheer and mysterious from the jungle. A switchback series of steps leads up through the boulders at its foot to the western face, then ascends it steeply.
Cobra Hood Cave : This rocky projection camed its name because the overhang resembles a fully opened cobra's hood. Generally you will pass by this cave after descending the rock on your way to the south gate and car park. Below the drip ledge is a 2nd century BC inscription that indicates it belonged to Chief Naguli, who would have donated it to a monk. the plstered interior of the cave was once embelished with floral and animal paintings.