Sigiriya, an ancient palace, built by a Sri Lankan king, sits atop a mountain top. Well, its not really a mountain, more like a large column of rock. It’s a strange sight to see in a mostly flat landscape, this colossal chunk of rock jutting out from ground, climbing Lion Rock is a must!
The rock is well-maintained and stairs remain that permit a steep climb to the summit. Just be prepared to exert a lot of effort to climb to the top, sweat will happen!
I was too full of fear to come back down!
There are two entrances: one for foreigners who come by busloads; a second for locals who also come by busloads. We stayed 100m from the local entrance and came in that way.
Wild elephants still roam freely around this area and there is signage around the park advising guests to take care after dark – who knows when an elephant may just stroll by? We didn’t see any elephants, however the excitement was still abound.
A gentle stroll through the lower ramparts of the palace brought us to the base of the rock. More than a hundred steps carved into the rock face awaited. Prepare for sweatiness – even I was not immune.
As we climbed the stairs, I could see an iron spiral-staircase ahead – in fact, there were two next to each other. I had recently climbed a spiral staircase on the exterior of our hostel and nearly got stuck at the top because I was too full of fear to come back down!
I braved the staircase as I climbed, going up is easy. I saw original frescoes from the time of rule, though now cracking and peeling and exposed to the elements of wind and moisture.
The next step was the climb down, I braved the descent all the while shaking in fear. But this was still only halfway to the top!
This wall once shone so brightly you could see yourself in it, much like a mirror! Except that it was simply polished stone, amazing!
A few more flights of stairs and then arrived at the mouth of the lion! Photos in the next post.