Sigiriya in Matale – Sri Lanka

Sigiriya in Matale – Sri Lanka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is part of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle covers other UNSECO World Heritage Sites: Anuradhapura the Sacred City, Sacred City of Polonnaruwa, Ancient City of Dambulla and the Sacred City of Kandy.


Sigiriya in Matale – Sri Lanka is located within the Central Province of the country, approximately one hundred and sixty-nine kilometers from Colombo; ninety-two kilometers from Kandy and twenty-four kilometers from Dambulla.

Getting There

There are buses that leave Colombo, Kandy and Dambulla going to Matale. You can also reach Matale via railway but the trains only have routes from Kandy and Colombo.

What to See

The Ancient City of Sigiriya in Matale – Sri Lanka has an incredible rock fortress covered in magnificent frescoes. Upon reaching the site, you will be greeted by beautiful gardens.

From the base of the rock fortress, you will go up a long staircase which will take you to the Mirror Wall called as such because during the prime of the fortress, the wall were so polished that the King could see his reflection.

From the Mirror Wall, you will see another staircase that will lead you to the frescoes. As you go further up, you will reach the top of the rock from which you can see a magnificent view of he landscaped gardens and the surrounding areas.

Brief History

The rock fortress and palace of Sigiriya in Matale – Sri Lanka was built by King Kashyapa back in the fifth AD. There are a few stories making the rounds as to the real history of the rock fortress.

One states that the fortress and palace were actually started by Kasyapa’s father King Dhatushena but was completed by King Kashyapa to pay homage to his father.

When King Kashyapa passed away, the site was converted into a Buddhist monastery. Owing to this fact, a huge portion of the frescoes were removed as these were deemed as a distraction for prayer and meditation.


The cost to visit Sigiriya in Matale – Sri Lanka is US$25 for adults and US$12.50 for kids.

For tickets to visit all of the sites included in the Cultural Triangle, these cost US$50 for adults and US$25 for kids. These include entries to the Sacred Cities of Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa as well as the Ancient Cities of Dambulla and Sigiriya.

Other Information

A tour of the fortress and its gardens will take approximately one hour and thirty minutes. You can purchase your tickets at the Central Cultural Fund right in Sigiriya.