Trying to capture the splendor of this lion shaped rock; the Sigiriya Museum is considered the most attractive in South Asia. Staying true to the fortress the design of the museum was done in such a way that it gives visitors the feeling of visiting an extension of Sigiriya itself. Rising from water and built around trees it is aesthetically marvelous while also being a green building.

Located in three levels, climbing to each storey of the museum through the wide staircase gives one a feeling that is parallel to climbing to the summit of the rock. The lobby offers a short history of Sigiriya, almost preparing visitors for what’s to follow. The atrium in the lobby almost frames the majestic rocky fortress offering a splendid view. Also etched in glass is the thrilling story of King Kashyapa as told by a monk in the 13th century AD.

One enters the museum through a brick tunnel; a replica of the excavated tunnel entrance to the Rock. Symbolically it also represents travelling back in time to the 5th century. The first area is the Prehistoric Gallery. Numerous iron tools, terracotta figurines and pottery are displayed here. The iron melting Kiln also on display suggests that the metal was used a lot in this region.

The second area represents the Buddhist Monastic Period while the third is dedicated to the King and his achievements. The experience in this section is remarkable with visitors walking o glass panels viewing first the water gardens, followed by the mirror wall, the lions paw and the summit of the Rock, replicated to scale.
The mirror wall in the 4th section is a copy of the kuruttu kavi or scribbled poems section of the fortress. The fifth floor is dedicated to the history and archaeological findings of this region. Climb to the final mezzanine floor and there is a replica of the famed frescos.

There are many hotels Sigiriya to cater to the hordes of visitors from all over the world. One that offers a view of the fortress from within its walls is Hotel Sigiriya.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+