Sigiriya, Sri Lanka - 2010

‘She dwells multiplying herself again and again in a thousand places to increase everyone’s contentment’. Sigiriya has been used since mesolithic times before being used by devotees to the Buddhist Sangha,and later becoming a stronghold known as the Lion Mountain that was built about the 6th century on on a remarkable rock pillar. The rock, which is so steep that its top overhangs the sides, rises 1,144 feet (349 m) above sea level and 600 feet (180 m) above the surrounding plain. On the several acres of ground at the summit, Kashyapa I built a palace in AD 477 as a safeguard against his enemies and the remains give a clear vision of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. It is also known for its frescos which are reflected upon a 'mirror' wall which forms a tunnel on part of the ascent. Some say the images of beautiful women that constitute these frescoes are of the Kashyapa's 500 concubines; others that they are of Heavenly Beings. The final ascent of the rock is through the open jaws and throat (giriya) of a monumental lion (sinha), thus Sigiriya. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. [Text by Charlotte Rodgers]

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