Sigiriya is called Lion Mountain or Lion Rock in English.
Image Credit: Photograph by SylvainB/Shutterstock.
One of the most well-known sites in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is a granite monolith that rises above the jungle in the center of the island nation.
The sides of the rock are nearly vertical, and people who climb to the flattened summit must navigate a series of stairs that are not for the faint of heart.
The views from this nature-made tower are tremendous (as long as you do not suffer from vertigo), but the real attractions are the remnants of an ancient civilization that visitors encounter during the climb.
The most captivating relics are frescoes that date back to the 5th century. The mountain also includes a series of tiled staircases and ancient gardens.
Historians say that the monolith was site of a fortress in the 5th century by a powerful Sri Lankan king. These military structures were subsequently turned into a Buddhist monastery.