Sigiriya was a good four-and-a-half hours away from Colombo via a single two-lane road that snaked through bustling trading towns and sleepy villages of traditional wooden houses and crumbling colonial-style cottages. It was going to be my second visit in 12 months, and it was on this long drive that I’d finally made up my mind to climb the mountain.
Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic images and the jewel of its set of eight UNESCO World Heritage sites – an impressive number for a fairly small island, with two more heritage sites being finalized as I write.
When seen from the top, its dramatic setting on a lush, virginal plain devoid of structures and stretching 360 degrees as far as the eye can manage, is truly a wonder to behold. Up close and personal, it is no less dramatic.
The kaleidoscope of colors that play on its rocky façade especially as the sun begins its slow descent for the day – turning the rock into varying hues of orange and purple – is the stuff that calendars are made of.
NOWHERE BUT UP