History of Sigiriya



sigiriya dates back from over 7,000 years ago,through pre-historic to 
proto-historic to esrly historic times,then as a rock-shelter mountain
monastery from about the 3rd century BC with caves prepared and 
donated by devotees to the sangha.

the mahavamsa,the ancient historical record of sri lanka,describes
king kasyapa as a parricide, who murdered his father king 
dhatusena by walling him up alive and then usurping the throne which
rightfully belonged to his brother mogallana.to escape from the
armies of mogallana,kasyapa is said to have built his palace on the
summit of sigiriya,but mogallana finally managed to get to kasyapa and he 
committed suicide.

however, there is also another version of the kasyapa story, related 
by one of the most eminent historians of sri lanka,prof.senerat
 paranavitana.he claims to have deciphered the story of sigiry.written
by a monk named ananda in the 15th cent.ad this work had been
inscribed on stone slabs, over which later inscriptions had been
written.till to date no other epigraphist has made a serious attempt to
read the interlinear inscriptions.

the two conflicting versions have been the basis for the historical
novel kat bitha by daya dissanayake,published in 1998.the book
won the state literay award for best english novel in 1999

sigiriya is also the location for arthur c clerks "fountains of paradise


            A pool in the garden complex

The gardens of Sigiriya, as seen from the summit of the Sigiriya rock

                                The Lion Gate and Climbing Stretch

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