Believed to have been built in reminiscence of Alakamandawa, the legendary palace of Kuvera, the treasurer of the gods and a mythical king of Lanka, Sigiriya is a palace and a pleasure garden built atop a 200 meter rock in the Fifth century AD by King Kashyapa.
Having seized the power after killing his father through a coup, Price Kashyapa, the son of King Dathusena born to a non-royal consort, chose to establish his kingdom in Sigiriya, away from Anuradhapura, the seat of power at the moment. Fearing military threats by Price Moggallana, the rightful heir to the throne, King Kashyapa, chose to build his castle on a strategically beneficial position, on the top of 200 meter tall Sihagiriya.
The grounds around the rock had long being the premises for Buddhist monasteries but the new king established himself on Sigiriya in the most fashionable manner. His castle on the top of the rock was a unique creation consists of landscaped gardens with ponds and wall murals. The palace complex includes a an upper palace sited on the flat top of the rock, a mid-level terrace that includes the Lion Gate and the mirror wall and a wall filled with frescoes, the lower palace that clings to the slopes below the rock, and the moats, walls, and gardens that extend to hundreds of metres out from the base of the rock.

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