The untold history of Sigiriya 

An Ancient City Built by the Gods? The Lost City of Sigiriya | Ancient Architects

hello everybody and welcome to ancient architects  now to the latest ancient history news and independent research from around the world breathtaking spectacular or inspiring spine-tingling and magnificence are just a few of the words that people have used to describe Sigiriya


an ancient city built on top of and around a giant granite outcrop that rises out of a plane in a remote region of Sri Lanka human occupation aside this is a stunning natural geological wonder but the fact the entire rock was turned into a palace adds another fascinating dimension to its beauty it is located in the Mattel district of the central province of Sri Lanka and was designated a World Heritage Site back in 1982 and although

The untold history of Sigiriya
The untold history of Sigiriya

there has to be a great deal of archaeological work at the site much of it remain shrouded in mystery experts say the region has been inhabited since prehistoric times due to the discovery of a rock shelter to the east of Sigiriya that displays evidence of human occupation at least 5,000 years old

also, many of the rock shelters show clear evidence have once been occupied by Buddhist monks and they date back to as early as the 3rd century BC which is apparently older than the age of the ruins that we see on and around the rock these ruins are believed to date back to the fifth century AD when the brutal King

Kassiyapa transformed the natural wonder into a palace-fortress and pleasure garden he was brutal because he arranged the assassination of his own father and then usurp power from his brother Mughal honor the rightful heir to the throne it is said that the city of Sigiriya was built as a fortified palace because he feared his brother’s vengeance and although

we can’t say many positive things about the king you could say he knew how to make an incredible fort looking at photographs of these sites and it’s impossible to think how anybody could overrun it and defeat King Kassapa but amazingly that’s exactly what happened in the year 495 AD he lost a major battle at Segovia and then cut his own throat allowing his brother to rightfully take the throne mogul on earth returned Sigiriya to the Buddhist monks and the site became a monastery and stayed that way to the 14th century so this city has certainly had a colorful history

but to this day it remains one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning and according to ancient origins nets in a brilliant article written by April Holloway that is linked below in the description it shows techniques and technology for more advanced to believe possible for the time as the article says the city layout combines concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings the city isn’t just the buildings on the rock itself but a large area surrounding aids it contains a park for royalty which is symmetrical in plan and contains water

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retaining structures with sophisticated surface and subsurface hydraulics some of which still work today some 1,500 years later there is a large man-made reservoir to the south and smaller reservoirs dotted around the site’s water could be released from these reservoirs to fill the most and these are the functions that still work to this day there was also a large monastery in the city there were and still are fake defensive walls ran past and most surround the sides and five gates surrounded with the elaborate

Western gate thought have been reserved for the king through the main entrance to the site to the start of the ascent up to the palace on the rock you pass through terraced gardens with fountains water courses pebbled floors and polished marble visitors today get to the palace on top of the rock through what would have once been an entrance on the north side and this entrance was nothing short of spectacular there was once head shoulders and front paws of an enormous lion projecting from the rock and you access the palace by walking through

his huge open jaws artist’s impressions are like something from Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider the – calf paws still remain to this day though the head and shoulders have collapsed the pores do give us some idea of the scale of the lion it is no surprise that in English the Manya is known as lion rock but as well as palace water features fortifications and gardens there are also a number of caves with beautifully painted scenes of women one fresco is apparently 140 meters wide and 40 meters high making it one of the largest murals in the world although only 22 female figures have survived to this day some estimated the more than 500 women

were once depicted shown like celestial beings descending from the sky it is known as the maidens of the clouds the detail is spectacular but the meaning of these murals is unknown to reach these frescoes you have to tackle a narrow brick staircase and then up a winding iron staircase that has been added to the rock

some say that these murals date back to when the city was built whilst others say there are hundreds of years older although we have the historical version of events regarding how and why the city was built local legends say something quite different they say that Sigiriya was created by the gods who descended from the sky a model deer on the mythical abode of Kuvera the god of wealth

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who lived in a palace of the sky with that in mind all the women in the murals goddesses related to this legend or are they were some archaeologists believe of courtesans of King Kassapa maybe the ancient legend of a palace in the sky actually originated from the murals the site also has a section of the wall that was once so highly polished that the King could see himself horse walking alongside it was like a giant mirror

it is made of bricks and was covered in highly polished white plaster archaeologists have noted that 685 verses have been written on this wall like ancient graffiti that dates back to the 8th and 10th centuries each verse is like a poem about such things as love irony and various other life experiences one also attempts humor writing I am Badal I came with hundreds of people to see Sigiriya since all of those wrote poems I did not and that’s all he wrote the whole city is a mystery because of the incredible level of effort that went into building it especially the palace on top of the giant rock it’s one thing building a fort on top of rock but another to have an astonishing level of planning and engineering as seen in the detail of the city

yes it was built for the protection of a king I get that but does that justify the inconceivable amount of work which includes dragging all the building materials to a height of 200 meters maybe but maybe not some say that this actually wasn’t originally built as a palace for the king but was actually a former ancient city that was rebuilt and refortified by casaba in the same way that people think that Machu Picchu was reused and be occupied by the Inca of Peru ancient traditions say

the buildings on top of high mountains was a way for people to reach the heavens and so as April Holloway says in her article a hilltop palace was probably viewed as a gateway between our world and the world of the gods but I still have to ask just how old is Sigiriya

archaeologists didn’t visit the city until the early 1800s and although a number of excavations have taken place large parts of the city remain undisturbed fines from the summit do place its construction in the fifth century AD so we have no reason to doubt the official age but I’ll have to wade through the old archaeological reports to find out more about the finer details of the architecture Sigiriya really is yet another ancient wonder of the world and many people know very little about it it is a truly breathtaking archeological site.


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