Sigiriya the 8th Wonder of the world
The palace and rock fortress is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains.
The construction of such a monument on a massive rock approximately 200 meters higher from the surrounding landscape required advanced architectural and engineering skills. The gardens of Sigiriya are among the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.
Sigiriya has water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and also terraced gardens. They are located in the western part of the rock and are with a complex hydraulic system, which consists of canals, locks, lakes, dams, bridges, fountains, as well as surface and underground water pumps. In the rainy season, all channels are filled with water, which begins to circulate through the whole area of Sigiriya. Fountains of Sigiriya built in the 5th century, perhaps, are the oldest in the world.
The palace and fortress complex is recognized as one of the finest examples of ancient urban planning. Considering the uniqueness of Sigiriya, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1982. Sigiriya is an unmatched combination of urban planning, water engineering, horticulture and arts.