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Deraniyagala Cave

Sigiriya Address

3 reviews of Deraniyagala Cave

Ancient frescoes

The Deraniyagala Cave is one of the most famous sights found in the sprawling Boulder Gardens built among the rocks which lie at the feet of the imposing Sigiriya rock. The cave itself, which is actually more of an overhanging rock ledge, was a shelter once used by monks and actually pre-dates the Sigiriya fortress.

The cave's main claim to fame are the faint and now barely-visible paintings of aspara (a sort of heavenly nymph reminiscent of the famous Sigiriya frescoes found in a cave on the rock itself) which were created around the 2nd century BC. Like I said, the paintings are very faded and at first glance you won't notice them. Take some time to really examine the cave walls and you'll suddenly begin to notice arms, breasts, and feet in what you first thought were just natural stains on the rock.

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Painted caves

Similar to the first painted caves, the Deraniyagala caves are on the itinerary on the descent from the ancient imperial city of Sigiriya. They are not as impressive as the first ones because the paintings have not survived so well. It was Dr. Deraniyagala who discovered and investigated them, giving rise to their name. You can see some faces, if you look closely, representing the king's wives. The caves were even more damaged by all the sun they get, while the main cave paintings are sheltered from the sun and the rain, and are more cared for. This cave was an old hermit retreat, but in the 5th

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