Our time in Sri Lanka has been jam-packed with activities, both genuinely authentic and touristy, and by the end of the day we are all exhausted. We have gone from city to city and village to town learning a lot and meeting some amazing people. I will post more as the time comes, but for now I will share what we did today.
We drove to the town of Sigiri to climb Sigiriya Rock. Around the years 477-495 this site was used to build the capital for King Kasyapa’s society. The palace was built on the top of the rock and decorated with frescoes and cave paintings. About halfway up the rock he built an enormous lion to form the gateway to the rest of the palace and the name Sigiriya comes from the word Sihagiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and royal palace was abandoned after the king’s death and was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
It took about an hour to climb to the top, including time to stop and take pictures. The rock is 660 feet tall and included multiple sets of white marble staircases with a total of 1202 steps. It was a somewhat treacherous journey, including wind gusts of probably up to 50mph, steep swaying staircases, and massive nests of deadly wasps. Despite the danger, dehydration, and general feelings that death was upon us, we made it to the top and back in one piece. And it was completely worth it.