Sigiriya, The ancient fortress which unveils a story full of legend, love and betrayal.
The 1500 year old Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest treasures.
This magnificent rock fortress showcase the story of it’s creator, the patricide King, Kassapa. (477-495 A.D.) Who is said to had an artist's soul.
King Kassapa was the eldest son of King Datusena of Anuradhapura, who ruled from 455 to 473. He was the first king of the Moriyan dynasty. Though Kassapa was the eldest son of the king, he was not the heir to the throne. His brother Moggallana was the son of the royal consort and the rightful heir to the throne, while Kassapa was born to a non-royal concubine. However, Kassapa sought to acquire the throne by usurping Moggallana. He was assisted by the commander of the king’s army, Migara, who sought vengeance for a disagreement between himself and the king. Assisted and encouraged by Migara, Kassapa carried out a palace coup and overthrew Dhatusena
Dhatusena was imprisoned, and Kassapa became the king of the country in 473, as the second king in the Moriyan Dynasty of Sri Lanka. However, Moggallana fled to South India, fearing that his brother would assassinate him. Migara led Kassapa to believe that Dhatusena had treasures of large wealth hidden away, and Kassapa demanded these treasures from the imprisoned king. Dhatusena took his captors to the Kalaweva, a large irrigation tank he had constructed, and told him that it was the only treasure he had. Enraged at this, Kassapa had his father murdered by entombing him in a wall (an alternate story is that he was buried alive in the bund wall of the Kalaweva.
Kassapa was disgraced among the public and the bikkhus, and he was referred as Kassapa the Patricide.
Later fearing an attack from his brother Moggallana, Kassapa moved his capital and residence from the traditional capital of Anuradhapura to the more secure location of Sigiriya.
Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is where King Kassapa built his citadel
Climbing the rock today is a breathtaking experience, when passing the walkway you climb a set of spiral steps to another gallery some 40ft above to a sheltered pocket, to be faced with some beautiful frescoes called the Sigiriya Maidens. There had been originally 500 but time and weather have left just 18 of them.