With close to 1,500 steps to the top, this was a warm up for our Adam's Peak hike. The fact that our legs were a bit tired once we made it to the top had us a little concerned for the 7,400 steps to the top of Adam's Peak
Although there is a bit of disagreement between local legend and arachaeological evidence, it seems that Sigiriya was an ancient monastery (beginning in the third century B.C.), then a palace (in the 5th century A.D.), and then a monastery again. The rock formation itself is the lava plug of a volcano that disappeared long ago. It has many natural caves surrounding it, and archaeological evidence shows that these could have been lived in as long as 6,000 years ago.
On the hike up you can see some gorgeous frescoes dating from the 5th century A.D. and because they are shielded from the sun and elements, they are still in amazing condition. Just outside the caves is the Mirror Wall which is filled with ancient grafitti from visitors in the 6th to 13th centuries A.D. The graffiti documents the feelings of the locals about the paintings they had just seen. Sigiriya definitely was the highlight of our tour through the ancient cities of Sri Lanka.
|Lion's paws flanking stairs to the top of Sigiriya|