Ayubowan is the greeting in Sri Lanka, which means may you have a long life. We arrived yesterday from Singapore and after a hearty Sri Lankan buffet lunch, my guide/driver drove four hours to bring us to this World Heritage Site of Sigiriya, situated in central Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya was chosen by King Kashyapa (477-495) for his capital and he built his palace atop this 200m high rock. The sides of the palace was decorated with colourful frescoes which we had to climb a spiral staircase to view, the colours obtained from the shaving powder of the local pathangi tree.
Yes, the rock is intimidating to climb at first glance. The steep rock stairs, combined with modern metal ladder clinging precariously at the side of the cliff, gave me wobbly legs. I wonder how often King Kashyapa came down from his palace to visit his countrymen.
Otherwise, I had a nice stroll to the submit, walking among flat ruins that used to house people almost one and a half thousand years ago. I could just imagine the bustling kingdom, with well behaved denizens going about their lives knowing their king is eyeing them from the top of the rock.
When I finally made it to the summit, I was greeted by a 360 degree view of greenery, with a giant Buddha statue in the distance on one side. At another end was a picturesque mountain view in various hues of green and brown forming a beautiful backdrop for a lake. With the noisy rustling of disco trees by the gusty winds, I could have just remained at the summit and soak in all of nature, but time did not permit.
Although it was nearly sunset, we decided not to risk staying long as we did not want to descend in the dark. We probably didn’t miss anything spectacular as it was cloudy. (I an a sour grape!)
The entrance to Sigiriya is UD$30 per person and there is a different exit for foreigners, which many missed their ways.
It’s an exhilarating experience indeed.