Sunday 31 July 2016. Photos and Videos.
Highlights: Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ Fortress
This morning was a simple day with a late checkout at 9.30 am followed by a drive of 2 hours to join up with the Best of Sri Lanka & Test Cricket which officially commenced last night. We were supposed to catch up at the Dambulla Rock Temple however the group had bad traffic from Colombo so in the end this temple visit was postponed. This gave me a chance to purchase a sarong (wrapped around pants) to help with the many religious site visits without having to wear heavy long length pants.
At lunch my private guide Jehan handed my over to the tour group leader Manoj and I slowly got to know the 17 other passengers for this tour. Not everyone is doing the Test Cricket part at the end, the vast majority of people are from Australia and of those the majority are from Adelaide.
Our first tour stop on the revised plan was the Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’ Fortress built over 1500 years ago and over 200 meters high this is a speculator vision amongst the jungle. We hiked up to the top which wasn’t easy and took around an hour allowing for stops along the way. About half way up with briefly view the Heavenly Maidens rock paintings.
King Kasyapa (477 – 495) selected this place for his new capital reasoning it would be harder for southern India to attack. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion for which the location gets it’s name.
Most of the group went to the top and enjoyed the wonderful views and a well earned rest.
That night we retired to the Deer Park Hotel which was situated on a lake. Apparently wild elephants are in the area but we didn’t see any today.