The Story of Sigiriya
In the fifth century Kasyapa I acquires his throne by murdering his father, who he plasters up alive into a wall. Unable to redeem himself with his people for this crime he abandons his capital and flees deep into the inhospitable forests of central Sri Lanka. There, in an area dominated by a massive black column of rock, he builds himself a new capital. At the center of his new city is the royal citadel, a terrestrial paradise of colorful gardens, pavilions and ponds. The once dark and foreboding rock he transforms to appear like a huge dazzling white cloud. Around its girth, like a giant colorful cummerbund, he paints an exquisite tapestry depicting celestial nymphs. Then on an escarpment half way up this sheer rock he then builds a colossal gatehouse in the form of a fearsome sphinx-like lion giving his lair it name, Sigiriya-Lion Mountain. There on its summit, hidden from view, he lives in splendid isolation tormented by fear and guilt. His city thrives for less than fourteen year. Then as quickly as it appears it disappears, abandoned, and quickly forgotten; relegated to an obscure footnote in history. This is the story of Kashyapa and his masterpiece-Sigiriya as it has never been told before.
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