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Sri Lanka > Pictures and travelogues > Sigiriya Rock Palace, Frescoes, and Graffiti

Pictures from Sigiriya (album 1), Sri Lanka: the Rock Palace, the frescoes (Apsara paintings), and the Sigiri graffiti of the Mirror Wall. 
Sigiriya in Sri Lanka
Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress and palace. It was built by King Kashyapa in the 5th century atop a 200m. high rock boulder which is surrounded by a network of gardens and reservoirs. The place may have been inhabited through prehistoric times.

Sigiriya is famous for its ancient frescoes. It is a world heritage site (UNESCO). It is located in the Matale District in Sri Lanka, within the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka that includes five of the eight world heritage sites of the country.


Fresco in Sigiriya, in Sri Lanka (1)
Sigiriya fresco, in Sri Lanka.

Fresco in Sigiriya, in Sri Lanka (2)
Another Sigiriya fresco, in Sri Lanka.

The fresco gallery is situated in a depression on the rock face, about 100 m. above ground level. It is composed of fifth-century paintings of female figures representing apsaras or celestial nymphs. The preserved paintings were probably part of a longer painted band that may have covered the whole face of the hill.

Mirror Wall with graffiti in Sigiriya
Sigirya Mirror Wall with graffiti - the wall is situated just beyond the fresco gallery.

Originally the wall made of a kind of porcelain was like a mirror. Now it is covered with graffiti and verses, some of them dating back to the 8th century.

The Sigiriya paintings have attracted countless visitors after the abanndonment of the palace in the 6th century. Some of them composed poems to the ladies depicted in the paintings and wrote them on the surface of the Mirror Wall. So began the Sigiri Graffiti.   

Writing on the wall is now prohibited
.


 

Links

Sigiriya
This is the official site of Sigiriya with several pictures.
Ministry of culture of Sri Lanka
Introduction to the world heritage sites in Sri Lanka by the Ministry of culture.

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