Discovering Sigiriya is a matter of a days excursion for any tourist. Other than climbing up and traipsing around the rock there are quite a few things to do around Sigiriya as well.
- Adore the Architecture
The city of Sigiriya has set an important milestone in the history of Sri Lanka not only under the context of planning an urban city but also as one of the most mathematically and statistically built ancient cities. Despite passing through many centuries, some of the famous structures of the city, although almost worn away, still prevail.
The palaces in the Sigiriya have an uncanny resemblance to Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, India, with respect to the designs and paintings i.e. the frescos. Despite being similar in many ways to the Anuradhapura style of paintings, the ones over here were quite unique and different than those of Ajanta caves. However, time wasn’t able to retain the exquisiteness of such art and so many of the paintings have vaporized.
- The Mirror Wall
A wall, so well polished that one could see their clear reflection, was once the king’s most favorite. And why wouldn’t it be? A magnifier of beauty and personality is something probably everyone would relish. Unfortunately, the time has again shown its ugly side and taken away much of its grandiosity, leaving behind, just a rock. However, knowing that it was something significant and important, the wall is still a hot photo spot and also the most favorite scribble board for the tourist.
- Fly With The Butterflies In The Gardens
Sigiriya mountain in Sri Lanka is surrounded by vast spaces of centuries-old landscape gardens. During the thriving days of the city, these gardens were planned accordingly and then divided into –water gardens, terraced gardens and boulder and cave gardens.
These gardens are the oldest surviving models of an ancient form of gardening called Char Bagh. The cave and bouldering gardens were often used by the army to roll down huge stones and rocks from the Sigiriya mountain in order to keep their enemies away.
- Visit the Golden Temple in Dambulla
After completing a tour of the ruins of the fortress, one can always visit the Golden Temple in Dambulla which is just 20-25kms away from Sigiriya. The Dambulla cave temple is said to be the largest and the most complex cave temple in entire Sri Lanka. The whole area contains almost 80 caves that have been documented along with statues and paintings, most of which represent Gautam Budh while some have been interpreted as God Vishnu and Ganesha. Near the cave complex, is a graveyard which has buried within it human skeletons as old as 2700 years. This leads on to the interesting fact that in these caves lived the prehistoric Sri Lankans before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
- Safari in Minneriya National Park
Just at a distance of 27-30 km, is the Menneriya National Park, which is the has the world’s largest gathering of the Asian elephants. Exposed to the receding waters and ever perennial greenery, one never goes with a broken heart, for not being able to see an elephant in the national park. Apart from elephants, this National Park also houses many varieties of birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, and fish.