The fourth day we went to Sigiriya. It is Sri Lanka‘s most famous monolith. Since there are the ruins of a historic fortress located. In 1982 Sigiriya was declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 AD) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of the rock and painted its sides with colorful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock a gateway in the form of an enormous lion was built. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock.
The capital and the palace were abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
After that we went to the near Minneriya national park. We went there in jeeps through the grass. It was fantastic to see so many different animals. Especially the elephants were very impressive.