You can’t miss Sigiriya. This rocky outcrop is one of the most dramatic things you’ll see in your time here, near-vertical walls that rise to a summit where you’ll find the ruins of an ancient civilization and one ridiculous view.
Built in the 5th century, Sigiriya is an astonishing feat of engineering and construction. The most striking portion of Sigiriya, a terracotta and grey core of rock set in the cultural heart of Sri Lanka, rises a sheer 200 metres above a forested plain. A series of moats, ramparts and water gardens — remnants of an ancient city — spread out on two sides of the rock, with the remains of a pair of giant stone lion’s paws still guarding the staircase that leads to the summit, once occupied by a royal palace.