Sigiriya, an ancient palace upon a rock

An ancient palace located near the town of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. It doesn't look like anything from the distance, just a massive column of rock surrounded by greenery. To me it didn't seem as though the time spent travel to this destination was just a waste. Nothing at all impressive to behold but I was going to give it a go as the story behind it this plain looking rocking was one that captured my interest.

A long time back there was a king that went by the name of Dhatusena who had two sons. Kashyapa wasn't the kings true born as he was born by a non-royal consort. He along with the help of the king's nephew and army commander killed the king and seized the throne. King Dhatusena true born heir, Moggallana fled fearing for his life to South India. Knowing what he had done and fearing an attack of vengeance from Moggallana, Kashyapa moved the capital and his residence from the capital of Anuradhapura to Sigirya. Durning his reign, Sigiriya was developed into a complex city and fortress with most of the constructions done on the rock summit and around it which included defensive structures, palaces and gardens.

Needless to say that Moggallana returned and defeated Kashyapa's armies who abandoned their king and left Kashyapa to commit suicide by falling upon his sword.  The capital was returned to Anuradhapura and what remained at Sigirya was turned into a Buddhist monastery.

This adventure gave me an insight to a palace that must have been extraordinary when it was still standing. It left me with questions and curiosity as to how their irrigation system worked, how did they get around on that giant rock, what were the people like, how did the battle happen with the supposed declaration that there were elephants involved, who and how did the paintings occur. Questions that might never have an answer and will constantly leave the visitors in confusion and puzzlement.

1 comment

  1. I have to admit I don't know anything about Sri Lanka but after seeing these photos I really want to go. What stunning scenery. x