Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Ancient Origins
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

The Ancient Rock City of Sigiriya: Fit for a King and Built by the Gods

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


Rising majestically 650 feet (200m) above the Sri Lankan landscape, Sigiriya is an ancient city built on a megalithic rock that has puzzled visitors for centuries. This remote wonder, located in the Matale District, is designated a cultural World Heritage Site and continues to intrigue experts who seek to unravel its mysteries. From the fortress and palace to the pleasure garden, Sigiriya’s history is steeped in intrigue, making it a fascinating site for research, study, and speculation.

5,000 Years of History

Archaeological evidence indicates that the area surrounding Sigiriya has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with rock shelters dating back almost 5000 years to the Mesolithic period. Moreover, many rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were used by Buddhist monks and ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BC. Despite this rich history, Sigiriya is perhaps best known for its transformation into a palace, fortress, and pleasure garden by King Kashyapa in the 5th century.

The Rise and Fall of King Kashyapa

King Kashyapa was the cunning son of Dhatusena. Kashyapa’s thirst for power drove him to engineer the assassination of his own father and overthrow his rightful heir, Moggallana. Fearing retribution from his vengeful brother, Kashyapa retreated to the towering rock of Sigiriya, where he built a seemingly impenetrable palace fortress. But his reign was short-lived, as Moggallana’s forces overtook the fortress in a battle that saw Kashyapa take his own life. After his demise, the site was returned to the peaceful hands of Buddhist monks and became a monastery for centuries to come.

Advanced Engineering at Sigiriya

The engineering and construction techniques at Sigiriya were far ahead of their time. The city was built with a highly sophisticated water management system, using surface and subsurface hydraulic systems to supply water throughout the palace and gardens. In fact, some of these water-retaining structures are still functional today, a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the builders.

Another remarkable feature of the city layout is the way it combines symmetry and asymmetry to interlock man-made geometrical forms with the natural surroundings. The west side of the rock, for instance, features a park designed for the royals, laid out on a symmetrical plan. The park is adorned with beautiful water features and fountains, which were supplied by the water management system. The overall effect is one of harmony between man-made and natural elements, which creates a sense of serenity and tranquility.

The south side of the rock contains a man-made reservoir, which was extensively used in the past capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The reservoir demonstrates the advanced engineering skills of the builders, as it was constructed to collect rainwater from the surrounding hills and store it for use during the dry season. The reservoir was also part of the city’s water management system, and it helped to supply water to the palace and gardens. The overall design of the city reflects the importance of water management in ancient Sri Lankan society and showcases the sophisticated engineering and construction techniques used at Sigiriya.

The Lion Rock

Known as ‘Lion Rock’ in English, the name of the monument indicates the way in which visitors used to begin their final ascent to the top – through the open jaws and throat (‘giriya’) of a lion (‘sinha’).  Various caves surround the site, intricately painted and depicting scenes of hundreds of women, the meaning and purpose of which remains a mystery.   The frescoes once covered an enormous area some 460 feet (140m) wide and 130 feet (40m) high, making it one of the largest murals in the world. More than 500 women were once depicted, some shown like celestial beings descended from above on clouds.

Built by the Gods

The legend surrounding Sigiriya adds to the mystical aura of the ancient site. According to local belief, the rock citadel was not just a feat of human engineering but a divine creation, modelled after the mythical abode of Kuvera, the god of wealth, and called the “Palace in the sky.” This story reflects the awe and wonder inspired by Sigiriya’s towering rock and the architectural marvels atop it.

Archaeologists still don’t know why such a massive effort went into building a city on top of this giant rock. While many have argued it was for protection, others have maintained that it still doesn’t justify the mammoth and near impossible task of dragging building materials to a height of 200 meters.  In ancient traditions, building on top of high mountains or rocks was in line with the concept of reaching to the heavens. A hilltop palace was probably viewed as a gateway between our world and the world of the gods.

Rising majestically 650 feet (200m) above the Sri Lankan landscape, Sigiriya is an ancient city built on a megalithic rock that has puzzled visitors for centuries.

Section: – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Humic & Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex

HerbAnomic’s Humic and Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex is a revolutionary New Humic and Fulvic Acid Complex designed to support your body at the cellular level. Our product has been thoroughly tested by an ISO/IEC Certified Lab for toxins and Heavy metals as well as for trace mineral content. We KNOW we have NO lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum etc. in our Formula. This Humic & Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral complex has high trace levels of naturally occurring Humic and Fulvic Acids as well as high trace levels of Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Potassium and more. There is a wide range of up to 70 trace minerals which occur naturally in our Complex at varying levels. We Choose to list the 8 substances which occur in higher trace levels on our supplement panel. We don’t claim a high number of minerals as other Humic and Fulvic Supplements do and leave you to guess which elements you’ll be getting. Order Your Humic Fulvic for Your Family by Clicking on this Link , or the Banner Below.

Our Formula is an exceptional value compared to other Humic Fulvic Minerals because...


It Always Tests at 9.5+ pH

Preservative and Chemical Free

Allergen Free

Comes From a Pure, Unpolluted, Organic Source

Is an Excellent Source for Trace Minerals

Is From Whole, Prehisoric Plant Based Origin Material With Ionic Minerals and Constituents

Highly Conductive/Full of Extra Electrons

Is a Full Spectrum Complex

Our Humic and Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex has Minerals, Amino Acids, Poly Electrolytes, Phytochemicals, Polyphenols, Bioflavonoids and Trace Vitamins included with the Humic and Fulvic Acid. Our Source material is high in these constituents, where other manufacturers use inferior materials.

Try Our Humic and Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex today. Order Yours Today by Following This Link.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.