Tailor Made Tour

Sri Lanka’s Rich Cultural Heritage – Part 3

Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is well known for its extensive and historically significant cultural legacy. A melting pot of various cultures, religions, and races, the nation has influenced the island’s history, architecture, fine arts, and food. The cultural heritage of Sri Lanka is a reflection of the island’s complicated past and lively present, from the prehistoric kingdoms of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to the colonial-era structures in Colombo. This article will look at some of Sri Lanka’s most amazing cultural legacy, including its famous temples, historic monuments, and traditional arts and crafts.

3. Ancient City of Sigiriya

Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock or Lion Mountain, is a historical location in central Sri Lanka that is home to the remains of a former fortress that was constructed on a spectacular monolithic rock pillar in the late 5th century CE. The rock rises to a height of 1,144 feet (349 meters) above sea level and is around 600 feet (180 meters) above the surrounding plain. Its top overhangs the sides because it is so steep.

On the numerous acres of land at the summit, the Sinhalese monarch Kashyapa I (reigned 477–495) constructed a palace in the form of a massive lion with the intention of defending himself from his adversaries. But in 495, the king was overthrown, and the palace was left in ruins.

However, the location quickly became a renowned pilgrimage site, and it is now a well-liked tourist destination. One of the few remaining intact areas of the palace, visitors start their final trek to the summit through the open paws of the lion. 21 paintings on rocks depicting apsaras (celestial singers and dancers) are also noteworthy. In 1982, Sigiriya received the UNESCO World Heritage designation.

The beginnings of Sigiriya can be traced back to pre-historic times, according to historical study done at the location. A monadnock with the name of Aligala (Elephant Rock) is located at the foot of the Sigiriya rock on its eastern side. Excavations in a cave below this have uncovered the remains of prehistoric human communities that were present here roughly 5,500 years ago. Additionally, there is proof that this region was inhabited by people in the ninth and tenth centuries B.C. At the Sigiriya rock fortification, a Buddhist monastery was founded in the third century B.C. At the base of the large rock, thirty drip-ledged cave shelters that can house monks have so far been found. Eight of them feature information about cave shelter donations written in Brahmi script.

King Kasyapa (A.D. 477–495), who elected to make Sigiriya his seat of government, had all the major buildings that can be seen in Sigiriya today built during his reign. Sigiriya, according to renowned archaeologist Prof. Senerath Paranavithana, reveals the sensuality of a pleasure-loving king who based the city on the legend of God Kuvera’s Alakamanda.

Sigiriya Sri Lanka