Sigiriya Rock Fortress, also known as the Lion Rock, is an amazing archaeological site in the central Matale District in North Central Sri Lanka. The main attraction of the site is a nearly 200-meter high massive column of granite rock. At the summit of the massive rock is a fortified palace built during the 5th century by King Kasyapa. Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka and has become a popular tourist destination in the country.
King Kasyapa built his palace on the top of the massive granite rock and decorated its sides with colorful frescoes. There are the two moats of the lower city at the foot of the rock surrounding the palace complex. The moats are defended by a massive wall and are decorated with terraced gardens and various pools. Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a world heritage site and the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.
The palace is accessible through a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the rock. There is giant pair of lions paws about half the way to the top and the evidence shows that the lion structure was originally much larger and extended. The royal palace was abandoned after the king's death in 495 and the ruins of various chambers, stairways and pools remain today.