In a trip to Sri Lanka always includes a visit to Sigiriya Rock

Sigiriya is a place of extraordinary beauty. See Sigiriya Rock, the remains sigiriya-rock-sri-lanka-eden-travels.of the noble palace and the frescoes of the girls (Apsaras), still a mystery as built, is a good reason to go to Sri Lanka.

No one, neither locals nor foreigners, remain indifferent to the sight of this huge rock in the middle of a vast plain of several kilometers. 
It is said that Sigiriya exudes a very particular energy that makes everyone attracted to this monument, declared by the UNESCO heritage of humanity in 1982.

Sigiriya hides a story of betrayal and revenge …

In the fifth century the Kingdom was founded in the Centre North of the island. 
I must say that Kassapa father, King Datusena, was one of the main promoters of urban hydraulics and what was then the development of the Kingdom of Anuradhapura.

Murder and dethronement of King Datusena was devised between Migara, the king’s nephew and in turn also army commander and Kassapa, son of the King and a concubine, all following a family quarrel.

The result of the killing of the king and father of Kassapa, caused the transfer of the Kingdom to Anuradhapura, the purpose was to build a new one outside the sphere of influence of Buddhist monks.


To understand this we must know that in Buddhism there are three unforgivable sins: to kill your father, kill your mother (parricide) or kill a Buddhist monk.

To understand this we must know that in Buddhism there are three unforgivable sins: to kill your father, kill your mother (parricide) or kill a Buddhist monk.

Eight years was enough for the construction of Sigiriya

The most impressive thing about the building of the palace and the citadel is that they were built in just 8 years. 

You can imagine? Today this remains a great mystery difficult to explain, taking into account the era in which it was made, between 473 and 481 AD

Contrary to what many say, King Kassapa I was an artist who tried to capture in Sigiriya the same hydraulic and urban structure that his father developed in Anuradhapura.

The paradox is that this King ruled only in Sigiriya for 18 years, from 473 to 491. 

His reign ended when his brother Mogallana, legitimate heir to the throne, returned from exile final-battle-between-Kassapain India to regain the throne.

Final battle between Kassapa and the legitimate heir to the throne

King Kassapa I did not commit suicide by jumping from the Rock of Sigiriya as many “urban” legends have said. 

The truth is that the armies of both brothers were prepared for the battle the old way, one in front of the other, both with Reyes on each of the two elephants and the separate troops waiting behind the order to attack.

The battle would take place in the rice fields that surrounded the Rock. 

Both Reyes, one against the other, moved slowly on their elephants, when all of a sudden, King Kassapa’s elephant found a large puddle (very common in rice fields) and suddenly retreated before this obstacle.

This gesture of the king over the elephant was understood by the troops of King Kassapa as a sign of surrender and reversed.

However, King Kassapa, in such a situation decided to go ahead and take his own life with dignity with his sword to the astonishment of everyone present.

What happened next with the Palace?

Sigiriya rock had been inhabited by Buddhist monks before the occupation of Kassapa, who commanded the adjacent rock, Pidurangala, during the 18 years of his reign in the area.

Thus, the monks returned to occupy the Rock to do their meditations. 

They are said to have removed many frescoes with women and other images that hindered their meditations.

As far as is known, there were more than 500 frescoes of women on the west face of the Rock.


Today there are only 23 figures or apsara in a cave that was protected from the time and reach of humans.

The monks remained until the XIII – XIV century who abandoned the meditation on the Sigiriya Rock. 

I don’t know very well why. If from malaria or another disease that made the transfer of the monastery recommendable.

The British rediscovered the Fortress of Sigiriya

And so he remained abandoned until in 1831 the British Major Forbes introduced him to the company.

How is the citadel designed?


The square-shaped project measures 3 km (from east to west) for 1 km from (north to south).


Opening time:

From 8.30 to 17.30, 365 days a year

What time is best to visit the Sigiriya Rock?

For reasons of temperature and weather conditions, it is always better to climb the Rock early in the morning or late afternoon, when the heat is less intense.

Physical conditions for climbing the Rock

It takes about an hour to reach the top of the Rock.

You have to walk a few hundred meters and then climb about 1200 steps, perhaps the latter is the heaviest part.

You don’t need to be an athlete to reach the top, but the truth is that the climb can be complicated for people with knee problems.

Everybody climbs the Rock, old and young, with more or less difficulty, nobody wants to lose the 360 degree view and the remains of the building that teach us what was a period of splendour and beauty in Sri Lanka.

The panoramic view

The views from the top of Sigiriya are absolutely incredible.

We will see the hydraulic system of the citadel and, beyond, the rice fields, coconut trees, Pidurangala and the infinite green that dominates this wonderful country that is Sri Lanka.