Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Sigiriya - Sri Lanka's Rock Fortress and Heritage Site

Duration: Half Day

sigiriya - sri lanka's rock fortress and heritage site

Known as the “Tropical Teardrop of the Indian Ocean", Sri Lanka is renowned for its striking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, which has attracted travellers to the island for centuries. Endless coastline, lush tropical forests and majestic wildlife reserves merge with ancient capitals, temples and shrines, creating an inspirational holiday to remember. This tour will introduce you to one of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular heritage sites – the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya.

Travelling from Colombo, we drive leisurely through Sri Lanka’s beautiful and strikingly diverse countryside before reaching the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress (Lion Rock) in Sri Lanka’s central Matale District. Considered the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient world, this dramatic monument is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.

Rising majestically 600ft (180m) above the surrounding plains, the ancient palace fortress was constructed in the 5th century AD atop an enormous boulder by King Kasyapa to fend off a feared invasion. At the height of its glory it was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. Following the King’s death, it became a monastic retreat until the 14th century, after which it was abandoned. The site is particularly famous for its well-preserved frescoes of beautiful Sigiriyan 'Heavenly Maidens', which can be viewed halfway up the rock in a sheltered alcove, approached by a spiral stairway.

Visitors can climb the steps to see the ancient ruins of the fortress, which is considered one of the most remarkable creations in the world. Amongst the complex of ancient buildings lie landscaped water gardens, bathing pools, moats and historic ruins, which include the King’s throne and enormous stone lion paws at the entrance. These were once part of a Lion’s head, which is where the rock derives its name Sigiriya (the Lion Rock). Visitors would originally start the ascent to the summit through the lion’s mouth before it was left to ruin.

Another interesting feature of the fortress is the “Mirror Wall”, a 1000-year-old polished graffiti wall which reveals inscriptions of visitors’ impressions of Sigiriya in ancient times. These markings were believed to have been inscribed in Sinhala between the 7th and 11th Century AD.

The steep climb to the summit may seem difficult to some, but your efforts will be rewarded with magnificent views of the jungle and lush green countryside from the top. This awe-inspiring fortress in the sky is a must-see during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £869 per person
mermaid hotel and club + rove downtown dubai

Mermaid Hotel and Club + Rove Downtown Dubai

This resort is spread across two acres of lush coconut groves and tropical gardens by the golden sands of Kalutura...

From £869 per person
avani bentota + sheraton abu dhabi hotel and resort

Avani Bentota + Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

From £919 per person
tangerine beach + sheraton jumeirah beach

Tangerine Beach + Sheraton Jumeirah Beach

The place where "space meets light", the Tangerine Beach Hotel is a heavenly fusion of modern and ancient elegant...

From £939 per person
jetwing beach + hyatt regency dubai

Jetwing Beach + Hyatt Regency Dubai

Jetwing Beach Resort sits beside a beautiful sun kissed stretch of beach, just outside the coastal town of Negombo. The...

From £949 per person
jetwing blue + grand hyatt dubai

Jetwing Blue + Grand Hyatt Dubai

Experience a warm Sri Lankan welcome at the Jetwing Blue Hotel. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens & a golden sand...

From £959 per person
avani bentota + the ritz-carlton, difc

Avani Bentota + the Ritz-carlton, Difc

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

Talk to a specialist

shyama

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT

Related articles for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka News

Browse all Sri Lanka News

Carbon Footprint Certification awarded to nine Jetwing Hotels in Sri Lanka

Nine Jetwing hotels in Sri Lanka have been awarded the prestigious Carbon Footprint Certification from the Sri Lanka Climate Fund. Jetwing Blue, Jetwing St. Andrew's, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, Jetwing Lighthouse, Jetwing Beach, Jetwing Sea, Jetwing Lagoon, Jetwing Yala and Jetwing Vil Uyana were each recognised for their sustainable practices and energy-saving efforts.

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts launch 2017 Photo Competition in Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts has launched The Cinnamon Sri Lanka Photo Contest 2017: Sri Lanka through your eyes. The competition invites amateur and professional photographers and videographers to capture images and footage of landscapes across the beautiful Indian Ocean island, and submit them in seven categories which include Nature, Culture & People, Landscapes and Cityscapes, and Activities and Adventure.

Hotel Nippon reopens to guest in Sri Lanka following two-year refurbishment programme

Hotel Nippon in Sri Lanka has reopened to guests, following a 400 million rupee renovation programme. The hotel in Colombo is owned by four brothers, and the refurbishment project included upgraded guest rooms and facilities, as well as the restoration or original features including the 130-year-old Burma teak staircases and the 130-year-old Seth Thomas grandfather clock.