Sigiriya

Sigiriya, also known as Sinhagiri, is an ancient rock fort. It is located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It has an elevation of about 180 meters (590 ft). According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle Culavamsa, what used to be a large forest area, was turned into a hill after storms and landslides. In later times, King Kashyapa (477 – 495 AD) chose this region as the new capital of the state and built his palace there. This is because it is safer there than the traditional capital city of Anuradhapura. Also, King Kashyapa built a huge lion-shaped gateway on a small plateau about halfway up the rock. The magnificent rock, which is of great beauty and flocked to visitors, takes its name from this structure. Because Sīnhāgiri means Lion Rock. The capital, which was built on this region, was transformed into a complex city and fortress during the reign of King Kashyapa. Most of the elaborate structures on and around the rock peak date from this period, including defensive structures, palaces and gardens. The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the death of King Kashyapa and were used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. This rock castle, which has an interesting past, is very important from the historical and archaeological point of view. One of the best preserved examples of ancient city planning, Sigiriya is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.

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