Sigiriya (Lion's rock, Sinhalese - සීගිරිය) is a place with a large stone and ancient rock fortress and
palace ruin in the central Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains
of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination,
Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta
Caves of India. It is one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountain
monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees of the Buddhist
Sangha. According to the chronicles as Mahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa
(477 – AD 495), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century.