Sigiriya Kindom In Srilanaka
Sigiriya was no mere fortress, gloomy and forbidding. At the brief height of its glory-it was a royal citadel for more than 18 years, from 477 to 495 A.D. and one of the loveliest that have graced this land.
There are many interpretations of the Sigiriya period, history replete with legend, love and betrayal. But one story remains, the story of Kaspaya (477-495 A.D.) its creator, King with an artist's soul. Bards have written about him and plays and film have tired to capture his personality.
Kasyapa left Anuradhapura and built for himself at Sigiriya, a palace and city modelled on the mythical abode of "Kuvera" God of Wealth. He gave form to his dreams of grandeur. Eighteen years later, his half-brother Moggallan challenged him with an army. By one of those momentary mistake of judgement that changes the course of history. Kasyapa thought he was alone in battle, raised his dagger and slew himself.
In a sheltered pocket on the western face of the Sigiriya rock, approached by a spiral stairway, are the famous frescoes. Epigraphical evidenced refers to the existence of 500 such portraits, but only 19 remain today.
On the western and northern sides of the steep rock face runs a gallery or pathway which provides access to the seemingly inaccessible summit. Shielding this pathway is a 9 1/2 ft. plaster wall, so highly polished, that even today, after fifteen centuries of exposure to sun, wind and rain, one can see one's reflection in it. Hence the name "Mirror Wall".
On the polished surface are the Sigiri Graffit recorded by processions of visitors to the rock in the past.
The summit of the rock is nearly three acres in extent. The outer wall of the palace which is the main building was constructed on the very brink of the precipice. There were gardens, cisterns and ponds laid out attractively.
The pleasure garden of the western side of the rock is studded with ponds, islets, promenades and pavilions. Some underground and surface drainage systems have been discovered during excavations. The wall abutting the moat encircling the fortress is one of the most arresting features.