Sigiriya , The Lion Rock, was a rock fortress-cum-royal palace complex of the 5 th century created by king Kasyapa , who transformed the natural rock in to a heavenly abode like unto the Palace of Kuvera , the God of Wealth. Every little space of land and rock and boulder was landscaped into water gardens, island pavilions, courtyards and building sites
The rock summit was replaced with a grandeur palace complex,which was approached through a brick – built tunnel entered through a gaping mouth of a lion built on the plateau.
The western face of the rock was once covered with a painted surface. The remaining paintings within a cave depicts heavenly damsels (apsaras) or ladies of Kasapa's court.
These classical rock art depictions are reckoned as vieing with the famous mural painting of Ajanta in India .
The Sigiri graffiti scribbled on the mirror wall by the ancient visitors display the poetic skills of the Sinhala poets over the centuries between the 6 th and the 13 th century period.
Sri Lankan architectural tradition is well displayed at Sigiriya, the best preserved city centre in Asia from the first millennium, with its combination of buildings and gardens with their trees, pathways, water gardens, the fusion of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements, use of varying levels and of axial and radial planning. The Complex consists of the central rock, rising 200 meters above the surrounding plain, and the two rectangular precincts on the east (90 hectares) and the west (40 hectares), surrounded by two moats and three ramparts. The plan of the city is based on a precise square module. The layout extends outwards from co-ordinates at the centre of the palace complex at the summit, with the eastern and western axis directly aligned to it. The water garden, moats and ramparts are based on an �echo plan� duplicating the layout and design on either side. This city still displays its skeletal layout and its significant features. 3 km from east to west and 1 km from north to south it displays the grandeur and complexity of urban-planning in 5th century Sri Lanka.
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