This UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site is an ancient palace located in the Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The spectacular rock fortress of Sigiriya, is one of Sri Lanka's major attractions which was built by King Kassapa I.
The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. The rock summit was replaced with a grandeur palace complex, which was approached through a brick – built tunnel.
According to the chronicle Mahawansa, King Kassapa I transformed the natural massive rock in to a heavenly Palace with water gardens, moats, walls and frescoes. John Still in 1907 suggested, "The whole face of the rock appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery... the largest picture in the world perhaps". The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock. However, most have been lost forever. More frescoes, different from those on the rock face, can be seen elsewhere, for example on the ceiling of the location called the "Cobra Hood Cave".