SIGIRIYA Rock 2022 - $30 well spent | Sri Lanka CULTURAL TRIANGLE
We're Andreea and George, a Romanian couple and for the past 3 months we've been travelling in Sri Lanka In this episode we are continuing our road trip around the Central Province of Sri Lanka and we are visiting Sigiriya, or the Lion's Rock one of the elements of the Cultural Triangle here in Sri Lanka We went straight to the entrance That's just the place where they scan the tickets so we had to come back to the museum's ticket office to buy the tickets And yeah, that's the museum there You need to pay just by cash so it costs 6090 rupees per person, 30 USD And these are our tickets and they will scan it It's a QR code Here we are, the proud owners of two tickets for Sigiriya (or Lion's Rock) It's not lottery tickets - Sigiriya tickets We are going back to the entrance now where they will scan our tickets And then let's start exploring this place! So we passed the scanning point Do you want to go to the viewpoint? When we come back Yes? Alright Here we are at the Sigiriya Rock, which is a masterpiece even up to this date The first official writings about it date back to 300BC But it is said that the structure itself dates back to 4000 years ago It became famous after King Kashyapa built his Royal Palace on top of it Around 473 King Datusena was ruling the Kingdom of Anuradhapura And the capital was in Anuradhapura Kashyapa, knowing that he is only an illigitimate son (because his mother was just a concubine of the king) He knew that when the time comes, he will not be the heir of the throne And it will be Mogallana, the official son of the King So what he did is: he killed his father actually He created a plot together with the King's General it was like a coup basically The legend says that he actually walled his father inside of this structure It was very interesting becasuse we have a similar legend back in Romania for a fortress as well (Cetatea Deva) That was very fascinating for us Going back, even though he killed his father he was still not meant to be the rightful heir But Mogallana, his brother, he realised that it's not the right time for him to start fighting for the throne So he fled to India together with his men trying to enforce his army Kashyapa, being a bit paranoid himself, knowing the things he is capable of He decided it's best for him to move his palace on top of the Sigiriya Rock And move the entire capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom over here Because he had a 360 view from the top So he could see anyone trying to come and conquer Because obviously he lived in fear that his brother will come back And this obviously happened just 18 years later That's the longest he managed to be a king So Mogallana returned from India with a great tactic and he managed to take back the throne from his brother So once Mogallana managed to reconquer his kingdom He moved back the capital to Anuradhapura And the Sigiriya fortress has become a monastery A buddhist monastery again And it stayed like that until late 13th century When even the monks abandoned it Nobody knew about it actually until the 18-19th century Because the jungle all around it managed to cover the rock So except for a few locals that kept the legend going and knew about the place Most of the people didn't know that this place actually exists It was discovered by a British General But excavation work only started late in the 1980's So it's only like 40 years that it has become of interest and they started excavating and reinforcing the structures There's a bit of a crowd here I'm tempted to say it's like pre-pandemic level But we weren't here before So it's likely before there were even more people These probably have been the old stairs to it They look practicable, but I wouldn't try them right now And this is the new structure It's a bit challenging This is the Pidurutalagala Rock - am I pronouncing it correctly? (Later edit: it's PIDURANGALA) We will go there to see the sunset Yes, we are going to go there in the afternoon Grooming time Hola, chiquita! (Hi, little one)! Todo bien? (Everything OK?) Look at the king! Here we are at the King's Pool Let me show you what a magnificent view this pool has It's the first infinity pool from the ancient times and it's so well preserved As you can see it's carved in stone And it's quite impressive as a structure And probably these terraces served for taking sun I don't know if they were taking sun during those times? But this is considered to be the King's Pool Can you please build one like this for us at home? Yes but we need the big stone The thing is really, nowadays we don't build structures like this anymore It's all just concrete and metal And wooden parts.. Yeah, but only simple structures structures like this don't get built anymore Anyway, this particular one, even up to this date They don't know for sure, it's one of the mysteries of the world Not the pool itself, but the entire Sigiriya structure What was before, before the king built his Royal Palace here They still don't know how it came into life It's one of those things the Srilankans like to consider the 8th Wonder of the World And it is actually one of the few Unesco World Heritage sites here in Sri Lanka We decided we want to have a swim here Yeah, let's go for a swim! Yes, it's very .. I mean, not very hot, but I think it's like 27C Yes, something like that So please, please make sure you bring enough cold water with you At least 2 liters per person We only had like 2.5 for both of us and we are very thirsty already Just imagine back in the day King Kashyapa just going about his day, enjoying this pool Being protected by these huge walls And on this side as well It's not 100% an infinity pool but that's the idea of it But he needed these walls for protection Amazing, really beautiful! So, we are in the castle Yes, welcome to King Kashyapa's castle so basically here we are on the top floor of Sigiriya and this is said to be the Royal Palace all of it here it was the Royal Palace He was right when he decided to escape here and move the capital from Anuradhapura over here You actually do have a 360 view, so you can see your enemy coming from any side He was afraid that his brother will come back and attack he could see it As previously mentioned, Kashyapa picked Sigiriya to build his Royal Palace and move the capital from Anuradhapura over here because there is a full 360 view and he assumed he will see the enemy coming, which in fact he did When his half brother, the rightful heir to the throne returned King Mogallana they actually engaged in battle, and it is said that the reason why Kashyapa actually got defeated is that his elephant made a sudden turn in front of an obstacle and the army of Kashyapa thought this is a sign of retreat And the troops scattered, which left kasyapa unprotected And when he realized that he's in danger and he doesn't have troops to defend him anymore He he pulled his dagger out and he basically slashed his own throat to make sure thathe will not be killed at the hand of Mogallana He decided to kill himself! So it is pretty dramatic, just as it started! So this is the hallway, the entrance of the palace basically it's on. (counting) one, two, three, four, five layers so the fifth layer was probably the bedroom The master bedroom master bedroom The lover boy's nest From my understanding he was quite a lover boy That's why he was hiding here There she is We found the princess of this castle How about the rest in the Royal Castle? Here we are in the southern part of the palace like a few floors lower With a wonderful view towards those mountains I vote they are Knuckles, but apparently the map shows That the Knuckles Mountain range is a bit behind the main mountain ridge that we can see right now They are a bit on the left side But it's so beautiful, I would love to have this view when I wake up So we're looking for the path for going down What? We're looking for the path to going down Do they sell water here? No, I think it's just a resting spot As i said before, they're actually still reinforcing and maintaining and in a good shape Wow, a very strange lizard! Smaller one, but it has like a yellow line it's a cutie! Oh, he's gone now i wonder what this place serves for Maybe observation point? Yeah for sure Even the swamp here might be It's again one of those places which I thought it's overrated But it's really, really beautiful soI think it's worth paying the 30 dollars for it (6000 rupees) Because it's a it's actually well maintained and most most things have English inscription as well Compared to Dambulla..
So this part where we are right now is the Audience Hall So probably there were shows and theater and.. Whatever kind of entertainment they were doing Entertainment, exactly! That's why, I'm not sure you can see exactly On the rocks there's like layers over layers so probably people would sit there It's amazing to believe that this was an entire city so there were probably thousands of people living here I don't know, I have no idea how many But, yes, that's pretty much.. But they should have lived on the rock, no question about And over here we have the throne here he was sitting during the shows Which these cheeky monkeys now claim as their own This one here, it's quite it's quite large Big sized throne, so probably the wife - or wifes? were sitting right there with him And here everyone else was watching the show from here and here on the left side you can still observe the old walking path As you can see the footsteps are carved in the stone So down there at the entrance you're actually climbing the stairs into the lion the lion's paws, you can see his paws on the left and right side Another fun fact or another reason why it's called Lion's Rock Is because it's believed that the grandfather of the king was a lion That's the legend So all the ponds in the gardens they are in mirror, they say that they are the same structure Yes, nine or five, not sure They say that it's symmetrical, so whatever is on the left side is gonna be on the right side too So they are identical on both sides And here's the biggest pond of the garden But this one doesn't have the structure anymore This is not preserved, the structure is preserved, but the water is still here and it was like this So here we are in the gardens of Sigiriya just at the base of the Rock There are huge gardensand they have quite interesting irrigation system even to these days they are considered quite a wonder of engineering Because they don't knowhow they built these systems Some of the locals still believe that the water is coming from the top ponds But actually it's a reservoir it's a water tank water tank water A water tank that is situated outside of Sigiriya And it's on a higher elevation and the water is coming actually from there The have a hydraulic system Yes they built some hydraulic system and they use the power, the force of the water and the gravitation to bring the water over here They also say like a tiny portion of the water on top of the rock it does come down through the crack systems, when the rainfall is too high and then the ponds and the pools upstairs get filled and then through the cracks and little canals the water will come down here it's very green i'm so hungry i'm gonna go grab some food so that's a that's a wrap, guys, this was the trip to Sigiriya I hope you enjoyed it with us, we definitely did enjoy it It took us a bit longer than expected, but we enjoyed it And we have seen all the place Yes, if you're not taking videos and you're here only to to visit and take some pictures I think in two hours you should be okay Yeah, you should do it Now we are heading to buy some water Because we are so thirsty, so make sure you bring enough! Do you like the pumpkin soup? I think it's the best one I had so far I think it's like fried garlic inside Delicious! And then this is the chicken vegetable curry - so many curries here! one, two, six this is coconut, potato Chicken, I think that's Okra, I tasted one I couldn't resist Or eggplant? Eggplant And this is beans And now my kottu is on the way Do you want to ask her if you can take a video? This is how the Kottu is done After our delicious lunch we returned to our beautiful accommodation Where we shortly realised that it's too late now to make it for the sunset hike on Pidurangala Therefore we decided to do the sunrise hike instead the next morning and we spent the afternoon chilling by the pool So stay tuned, we're gonna take you with us on a sunrise hike on Pidurangala in the next episode. See you!