Gardens of Sigiriya


Sigiriya in Sri Lanka a UNESCO listed World Heritage Centre , is an ancient rock  fortress near the town of i Dambull in  Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high.

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicles the site was selected by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with beautiful  frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock

Sigiriya is considered to be one of the most important urban planning sites of the first millennium, with an elaborate and imaginative site plan. The plan combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally combine the man-made geometrical structures with the  natural forms of the surroundings. On the west side of the rock lies a park for the royals, laid out on a symmetrical plan; the park contains water-retaining structures, including sophisticated surface/subsurface hydraulic systems, some of which are working today.

The Gardens of the Sigiriya city are one of the most important aspects of the site, as it is among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. The gardens are divided into three distinct but linked forms: water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.

The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death in the late. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.

The actual site of Sigiriya has  been inhabited since prehistoric times with evidence of human habitation from nearly five thousand years ago  There is clear evidence that the many rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were occupied by Buddhist ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BCE.


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