Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Sigiriya
Sigiriya is a famous and nearly impregnable natural fortress, at whose base the parricide Kasyapa built a palace where he lived from 477 to 511 in fear of his brother's revenge. It came, and the fortress proved of little use: in the heat of battle, a wheeling movement by Kasyapa was interpreted by his own troops as retreat. They fled, leaving him to kill himself. The palace and refuge were abandoned.
Two hours north of Kandy: the main Sigiriya approach road on Christmas Day, 2000.
A palace moat, around the palace at the foot of the granite tower.
And the tower itself, the Lion Rock, approached by thousands of Sinhalese on holiday. Rain was threatening...
A more complete view.
The line grew solid up the approach steps and then along the catwalk that climbs the tower.
The wall is an ancient one, supplemented by the modern catwalk and the spiral staircase, which deadends against a wall of frescoes.
The rain grew serious.
It became a deluge, compounded by cascades from the summit.
The crowd took it all in good-naturededly, except for some vertiginous and claustrophobic German tourists.
Midway, famous lion paws.
...and still more steps.
Up top, not much is left after 1,500 years.
A pond is replenished by the rain.
From another angle.
A view down to the palace--and the same approach walk seen earlier from below.
Coming down, the upward flow continues.
The paws from above.
Rain on a palace pond, down once again on the surrounding plain.
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