The Eighth Wonder of the World
One of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is renowned for its 5th century pre-Christian frescoes. It has also been declared by UNESCO as the 8th Wonder of the World.
Situated Matale district, in the middle of Sri Lanka’s famous cultural Triangle, Sigiriya (Lion's rock, Sinhalese - සීගිරිය) is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs. Sigiriya is also renowned for its 5th century pre-christian frescoes, which are reminiscent of the paintings of Ajanta Caves of India. One of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka, it has also been declared by UNESCO as the 8th Wonder of the World.
According to the chronicles of Mahavamsa, a historical poem written in the Pali language, about the kings of Sri Lanka, the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (AD 477 – 495), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century.
The Cultural Triangle Project, launched by the Government of Sri Lanka, focused its attention on Sigiriya in 1982. Archaeological work began on the entire city for the first time under this project. There was a sculpted lion's head above the legs and paws flanking the entrance, but the head broke down many years ago.
The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery.The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock, There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, many more are lost forever, having been wiped out when the Palace once more became a monastery, so that the paintings would not disturb meditation.