Sigiriya Lion Rock

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Lion Rock

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Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock Sinhala: සීගිරිය, Tamil: சிகிரியா/சிங்ககிரி, pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock approximately 180 metres (590 ft) high.

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this area was a large forest, then after storms and landslides it became a hill and was selected by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 AD) for his new capital. He built his palace on top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful 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 (an etymology similar to Sinhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).

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