It was built between 477 - 495 AD, during the reign of King Kassapa. It's most significant feature is the lion staircase, towering against the granite cliff. The Sigiriya rock is actually a long-eroded volcano, which hardened in time. It rises 370 meters (1,214 feet) above sea level, which makes it visible for miles.
The site plan is very elaborate and it is considered an important urban planning site of the first millennium. The Gardens are the most important aspect of Sigiriya and it is among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. They contain water retaining structures and hydraulic systems that still work today.
Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings. It is believed that the frescoes on the western face of the rock covered an area of 140 meters long and 40 meters high.
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