I was inspired by today’s UNESCO World Heritage Day to post a few of my own photos – from Jamaica to Vermont to Sri Lanka – reflecting the power of our built heritage. I hope you …
As viewers gear up for one last dose of dynastic squabbling, political intrigue and looming supernatural doom, four actual locations that wouldn’t be out of place on Westeros and Essos.
From elephants to Buddhist temples, this South Asian nation offers much to discover…
When we were invited to explore Sri Lanka this year it was an easy decision to go. For one, Sri Lanka was a new unexplored country for us and we always love seeing new places. Secondly, Sri Lanka sounded and looked downright incredible full of hospitable people, tasty food, and …
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage monuments of Sigiriya on a guided tour of the rock fortress and amazing Dambulla cave temple complex. Stop at a spice garden in Matale and more.
Explore Buddhist history in this colourful South Asian nation…
Two tourists enjoying the scenic beauty from the top of the famous Sigiriya rock fort, Two tourists enjoying the scenic beauty from the top of the famous Sigiriya rock fort,…
Venetian adventurer Marco Polo described Sri Lanka as “the finest island of its size in all the world”. Sure, that was in the 13th century and young Marco hadn’t seen Tasmania but the myriad wonders of this tropical nouveau-paradise are as varied and exotic as the scents in the spice gardens of Matale and Kegalle. In short, Sri Lanka is a potpourri of unpredictable pleasures.
Once a flyover location, eschewed by travellers for years because of civil war, Sri Lanka is fast emerging from its travails, posting sharp rises in tourism since the 26-year conflict ended in 2009.
And Australians are catching on, finding Sri Lanka is so much more than the place where our tea comes from and our cricketers are bamboozled by mystical slow bowling.
Sri Lankan Airlines now operates direct flights from Melbourne, making it easier than ever for Aussies to reach its unique mix of natural and cultural marvels, pristine beaches, millennia-old heritage sites, multicultural festivals and glistening tea plantations. Plus elephants and leopards and sloth bears, oh my!
Read more from source: Why everyone’s loving this island right now
Thinking of visiting the Indian island nation? Here’s how to make your trip one you’ll never forget
1 Climb Sigiriya, the Lion Rock
If your travels take you north of the island then we highly recommend exploring the ancient royal cities and sites in Dambulla and Polonnaruwa. Get an early start and climb the rock fortress of Sigiriya Rock, the Unesco World Heritage site which sits 200 metres high. At the top you’ll find King Kasyapa’s ancient palace, but first you have to pass the giant lion gateway.
2 Explore the temples
Once you’ve finished with your rock climb, nestled away in the nearby hilltops hides the uniquely preserved Dambulla cave temples waiting for you to explore. Inside the five cave temples sit 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four of gods and goddesses as well as hundreds of intricate wall paintings. Outside you’ll find a lotus pond, stunning vistas across the country and inquisitive monkeys.
3 Travel by train
If you’ve stopped to explore Sri Lanka’s capital, Kandy, then hop on a train from there to Ella and journey through the lush, green mountains.
“To learn about planned and landscaped ancient city in Sri Lanka, a visit to archaeological site Sigiriya is a must. It is an experience worth it,” inform my kin on the last leg of their two-week visit to Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka, the spiritual city Kandy and surrounding areas are the most popular tourist destinations because of the holy Buddhist shrines, waterfalls, lakes, tea gardens, archaeological sites and spots with Ramayana connections, they inform.
It is told that in this area, Sigiriya – an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla – is visited by many tourists who believe in educative tourism. The site has a great historical and archaeological significance.
The structures here are indicative of the ancient urban planning. Moreover, the place is also related to King Ravana’s period in the scriptures.
Sri Lanka surprised me most pleasantly and I can’t wait to go back.
“Why do you want to go to Sri Lanka; isn’t it exactly like south India?” My friends bombarded me with this question in an attempt to figure out why I chose this island nation as my next destination. I had been wanting to travel to Sri Lanka for quite some time and my customary year-end vacation abroad seemed like the perfect time to do it. Like with any other place I visit, I restricted my research to the weather and public transport in the country, so that I have room left for surprises without any pre-formed opinion.
I am back from my backpacking trip across Sri Lanka. I can’t stop thinking about endless beaches, tea gardens, green mountains, coconut water and the locals with their never-fading smile.
Dating back to the 5th century, the stone fortress was constructed by King Kasyapa to avoid attacks from his brother Moggallana.
THE ANCIENT CITY FORTRESS OF SIGIRIYA is built on top of a massive 200-meter-high monolithic rock in the Matale District Central Province of Sri Lanka. Dating back to the 5th century, the stone fortress was constructed by King Kasyapa to avoid attacks from his brother Moggallana, the rightful heir.
The name Sigiriya originates from the Sinhalese word Sihagri, which translates to Lion Rock. About halfway up the ascent of the rock, Kasyapa built a giant lion gateway which is where the name derives. Kasyapa had selected this site for the new capital of Sri Lanka, and it remained so until he was defeated in 495CE.
Day 6: Sunday 10 September – Sigiriya – Dambulla – Kandy
This morning we explored Sigiriya, home to the 5th-century UNESCO World Heritage listed Rock Fortress, also known as ‘Lion Rock’. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.
Before starting our climb, we visited the Museum which told us the story of the rediscovery of the rock and the ruins. Even the museum was surrounded by water-lily covered ponds with many monkeys playing in the trees and around the rocks.
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres high.
THE chatter on the travel circuit in Sri Lanka often involves pontification on whether or not to pay with regards to Sigiriya – a Unesco World Heritage Site and an ancient city of ruins atop a vertiginous rock with a princely price tag of US$30 for foreign visitors.
Naysayers advise visiting nearby Pidurangala Rock which has a “view” of Sigiriya for a paltry fee. A bit like saying you’ve been to Paris when you’ve really just been to its airport.
Put it in perspective. You might get a better Instagram snapshot from hiking up the opposite boulder but a visit here should be about actually experiencing this scintillating citadel that exudes mystery. Just how did they drag all that stuff up such a sheer drop?
The answer may lie more in dastardly desperation than yesteryear town planning.
The Sigiriya Maidens of Sri Lanka or the Cloud Maidens can be found at the ancient city of Sigiriya; a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. If you enjoy a challenging climb of over 1200 steps, then seeing this ancient city, and these 21 magnificent frescoes are worth the effort. When we were there, it was not the climb that challenged me, but the sheer cliff walks and the height of the climb that I found a little confronting. Gordon is a lot braver than me and was able to capture the Sigiriya Maidens of Sri Lanka. You can read more about my troubles with this climb here.
How to get to Sigiriya?
Sigiriya sits right in the middle of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle made up by Kandy, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site caters to art lovers, history buffs and adrenaline junkies alike
It’s not often that a single attraction has the ability to capture the curiosities of art lovers, history buffs and adrenaline junkies. But at Sri Lanka’s Sigiriya, an ancient fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site that towers more than 1,000 feet above sea level, adventurous clients are sure to get their cultural fix — and a workout to boot.
Once an ancient capital for Sri Lankan King Kashyapa nearly 1,600 years ago, Sigiriya — perhaps most easily identified by the massive, 600-foot-tall vertical granite peak at its center — has since functioned as a palace, a Buddhist monastery, a royal residence and, now, as one of the most-visited attractions in the country.
In 2003, I visited Sigiriya while on a field study abroad in grad school. At the time, I was struck by the formal similarities between it and the Renaissance gardens I was learning about in landscape history classes, despite Sigiriya having been built more than a millennium earlier. I was also struck by the apparent ingenuity and technical ability of these ancient builders in shaping the land and hydrologic systems. The gardens not only feature fountains that function to this day, but the surrounding area, which is located on the highlands in the central part of the island, features ancient aqueducts used to capture water for agricultural irrigation.
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island nation about the size of Ireland located in the Indian Ocean just offshore from India. It’s most familiar to modern-day Americans for its long-running civil war that ended in May of 2009 and for being the cultural homeland of London-born rapper M.I.A. Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the central portion of the island.
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