Amazing ancient ruins and stunning views
Sigiriya is an ancient palace-fort complex located on top of a massive rock which towers over the humid jungles near Dambullah, Sri Lanka. The caves found throughout the rock were originally used by ascetic monks as far back as 3,000 years ago, but the site didn't take on its role as palace-fort until the reign of the flamboyant King Kasyapa in the 5th century.
The site itself is really divided into three sections: the lower gardens, the middle landing (where you'll find the famous Lion's Gate), and the palace located at the very top of the rock itself. As you make the sweaty and, at time, vertigo-inducing hike to the top, you'll pass by manicured gardens studded with ancient pools, caves containing the famous Sigiriya Frescoes, the imposing Lion's Gate, and an endless amount of small side trails leading to unknown caves, hidden relics, and stunning lookout points.