Sigiriya - amazing city on a cliff
• Sigiriya - amazing city on a cliff
They feel the pioneers who moved the branches of the jungle after months of searching suddenly see an abandoned ancient city? Although it has everything and everywhere in the world have opened, but as an avid traveler, I feel a childish delight at the sight of ghost towns in remote natural locations.
Sigiriya (which means "lion rock"), Sri Lanka. Here the city is built right on top of a rock in the middle of relatively flat terrain. Sigiriya - rock plateau, towering 370 meters above sea level and 170 meters above the surrounding plain in the heart of the island of Sri Lanka. Since 1982, Sigiriya is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
In the last quarter of the V century BC. e. King Kasap arranged on a rock a fortress and its palaces, around which were are drawn filled ditches with water. Before and after the reign Caçapa on a rock existed a Buddhist monastery.
On the way to Sigiriya you encounter monkeys. It's pretty only at a great distance. Generally the monkey - is arrogant and cunning animal. Be alert for hotels near Sigiriya. Always close the balcony and windows in the room.
... and bathing elephants ... It's cute:
The existence of the fortress became known to Europeans only in 1907 when the British explorer John Steele described "a huge art gallery" Sigiriya - "probably the largest painting in the world." We are talking about the Hall of Mirrors, primarily lined with porcelain, with numerous frescos, which extends for 140 meters in length and 40 meters in height. A favorite motif of Sigiriya frescoes - nude female dancers.
Kasap I had a younger brother Moggallana, who became the legitimate heir to the throne. However Kasap he wanted to ascend to the throne, and in 477, he seized power and immured alive father. Mogallanu managed to escape that haunted his older brother. From then on he lived in constant fear of possible revenge Moggallana. Then he chose the impregnable rock of Sigiriya, on top of which he established his residence.
Climb the cliff could be the stairs, which starts at the foot of the cliff between paws of a giant lion carved in stone (the lion - the symbol of Sinhalese people, he is also depicted on the state flag of Sri Lanka). Unfortunately, only his powerful legs have survived:
On top of the rock king built a palace, where seated on a stone throne, watching the concubines dancing, surrounded by fountains and pools.
Around the rocks were broken endless gardens, in which they beat perhaps the world's first fountains:
Moggallana, gathering an army, went back to Sri Lanka to regain the throne. Kasap went out to meet the enemy, descending from a cliff. However, it turned out that his elephant was cut off from the troops and Kasap, not to surrender to the enemy, killed himself.
At the entrance to the complex there is information center and a museum:
Map of the complex.
Local infographics. "Noise can cause bees to attack":
"Refrain from swimming: Circle crocodiles":
After exhausting walks with 30 and high humidity of course wants to relax somewhere with a view of the Sigiriya ... One of the places - pool overlooking the Sigiriya. But as to pay for a hotel with a swimming pool $ 170 - it's unwise. This is absolutely the space cost for Sri Lanka. The usual cost of hotels here - 20-40 dollars for a double room with breakfast. Then you need to carefully read the guide Lonely Planet, which says that the entrance to the hotel is $ 170, but for the purpose of a swim in the pool will cost only 2-3 (!) Dollar per person (towels included).
I drove in both of the hotel and chose the one where Bassin nicer. We spent a wonderful evening in the "Sigiriya Village" in the pool with views of the Sigiriya rock, but I was without a camera. There are two swimming pools - for adults and children, they are beautifully lit at night. The cost of food in the restaurant a little higher than the average of tourism and it was very tasty.
It was a short story about the amazing city on the cliff top.
Highly I recommend a visit to anyone who likes the unusual natural and urban places. How can you think of to build a city on a rock ?! Around the completely flat terrain and jungle.
P.S. But Sri Lanka is beautiful! I almost did not meet there obsessions and beggars there nice and kind people and clean unlike India. But its mass of authenticity: