8th wonder of the world
Sigiriya (166 km from Colombo), the stupendous 5th century A.D. rock-fortress citadel of a fugitive king, where history merges with melodrama.
The Royal Pleasure Gardens are considered to be one of the earliest extended landscaped gardens in Asia. It is evident that these gardens have been geometrically planned and the ancient hydraulic system which supplied water to the fountains in the garden was discovered recently and restored by local engineers. The fountains are now functioning as smoothly as they did 1500 years ago.
A gallery of frescoes of shapely be-jewelled maidens still glows with vibrant colour and the water. It is believed these paintings depict the "apsaras" or goddess and some say it represents the lightning and clouds.
Another distinctive feature of Sigiriya is the Mirror Wall which is located just below the paintings. The surface of this wall is well polished and covered with writings known as "Sigiri Graffiti" which are a form of poems.
The Lion Staircase leads to the summit and the special feature of this is the massive Lion Paw which carved out of rock. The brick wall is still preserved in original form.
Sigiriya is being currently excavated and restored by UNESCO under the Cultural Triangle Project and according to sources is most likely to be declared as a wonder of the world.
Things you can do
- Go for a walk through the naturally landscaped surroundings that leads to the near by villages, with an awesome view of paddy fields and vegetable cultivations. A little further down you can admire the man made irrigational tanks, filled with lotus and other wild flowers, swaying in melodious harmony to the music of the birds.
- National Parks : Minneriya, Kaudulla, Echo
This is an excellent ride in the jungles around Habarana. These highly protected national parks are full of evergreen fauna and flora, famous for large herds of elephants, sometimes this goes up to about 200 or and even more in a single herd. Generally Minnerlya is best visited from the end of April to mid October, KauduIIa from October to December and Echo Park from November to May.
Sigiriya, also known as the 'Lions Rock' was the ancient kingdom of King Kassapa in the 5th century AD. It is world famous today for its historical frescoes and for its wonderful water gardens. Sigiriya is considered as a world heritage site by UNESCO. While climbing up you will find a cave filled with frescoes, on the peak you find the rock kingdom with its ruins of its ancient palace. Enjoy the panoramic view over looking the thick forest which is abundant with wild elephants.
- Dambulla Rock Temple
One of the most visited and venerated temples in Sri Lanka, built in the 1st century BC. Famed for its wall paintings and its hundreds of Buddha statues added subsequently in each era of Sri Lanka's rich history. The temple is also known as the Golden Rock Temple.
Visit the countries oldest city dated back to the 5th century BC, walk through the ruins
And discover the ancient remains of an old civilization, adorned with beautiful man made lakes. The area is plentiful with all species of birds and monkeys. It's in Anuradhapura where you can see the most historical tree in the world. It belongs to the 3rd century BC. The Bo tree is venerated by thousands of Buddhist all over the world.
A famous archeological site known as a 'forest hermitage complex' situated about 18 kilometers from Habarana, once it was a monastery for Buddhist monks. The area is a well protected nature reserve where wild life is plenty. It is abundant in wild elephants, leopards, bears and a large number of birds. When visiting you will discover the ruined lodgings of monks, ancient Ayurveda centers, water tanks and natural caves with Brahmin inscriptions from the 2nd and 3rd century BC.
This marvelous site belonging to the 5th century is situated near the magnificent man made lake called "Kala wewa" ,Built by King Dathusena. Aukana is known for its 14 meter high Buddha statue which is one of the finest in Sri Lanka. It is carved out of a single rock face and is a superb example of ancient craftsmanship. You can admire the beautiful country side too that surrounds this statue while in the area. Aukana and Saseruwa can also be visited on the way to Anuradhapura.
Polonnaruwa is undoubtedly one of the major tourist attractions of the Sri Lankan cultural triangle. This marvelous ruin is now covered by the jungle and is beautifully located, along side the huge man made tank named Parakrama Samudra. The tank was named after the king who commissioned it and developed Polonnaruwa as the medieval capital of the Island in the 12th century. It is also one of the renowned archeological sites funded by UNESCO.
Today you can visit the well preserved Hindu and Buddhist monuments that belongs to the same era, giving evidence of the proud local history. Do not forget to spend a few moments at the Gal Vihara temple, where you can see the marvelous Buddha statues carved in a single rock.
- Medrigiriya Vatadage
Vatadage is a unique architectural building which completely housed the ancient Stupa (temple dome). These buildings were constructed in the very early periods as the Stupas in this time were quite small. Medirigirya is built on a small rock and belongs to the 2nd century BC. Among the ancient remains you will find the well preserved Buddha statues carved out of stone, along with ponds, hospitals, bath rooms and stone inscriptions as well.
In order to view this object you need Flash Player 9+ support!
copyrights © Nkar Travels & Tours (Pvt) Ltd. ® 2011