Published: September 29th 2007September 29th 2007
Sigiriya Rock Fortress - Is it a world Wonder??
My wife & I just got back from a hike to undisputedly one of the World's Greatest Wonders - The Sigiriya Rock Fortress
, in Sigiriya Sri Lanka. Although I had the priveledge to climb the fortress when I was small, I couldn't recall it clearly and we didn't have a guide back then.
We started our climb very early @8am on 28-Sep (Fri) morning with a Guide who we met at the bottom of the rock. It was a great day for hike with cool breeze & not much Sun. First thing we saw was the royal garden by the foot of the rock, which held us breathless. It was filled with some amazing architectural wonders that you wouldn't believe was possible 1000 years ago. First we were shown an intricate drainage system to supply rain water from top of the rock to the garden filling some 100s of ponds, pools and flower beds. Water fountains several feet high still operates during rainy seasons! A complex water filter system was in place to supply water to the pool and fountains. The King - Kasyapa, has made some amazing swimming pools, which are larger & more designer than the pools in the 21st century. The massive royal pool in the shape of an Octagon carved into the rock is a true wonder.
As we started our climb, we were exposed to more treats of the ancient kingdom. The King's resting place near the parliment area has an intricate air cooled Air Conditioning system. The lake water was pumped into a huge water tank resting on a large rock. A trench was cut on the side of the rock to let water fall on either side of the rock, cooling the rock and making the king's resting place inside the cavity of rock cooler!! The Royal Parliment and executioners rock was classic.
The beautiful Frescos drawn on the face of the rock is breathtaking. Although only a few of them are spared, still you can get a very close look. The mirror wall along the frescos is ingenious, reflecting the frescos and letting the ancient travellers see the paintings on both sides.
The summit has the ancient ruins of the Royal Palace and a well preserverd royal swimming pool and few rooms. All in all the entire journey to the top was mesmerizing and quite amazing. Take a good guide with you and start early in the morning. Be on the watchout for Wasp Attack Warnings as certain times of the years the wasp attacks can happen!