Atop the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Sri Lanka #26
Facing south from the ruins of King Kashyapa’s palace, with the northern foothills of the Central Highlands and the Kayanwala Tank visible in the distance. Built in the 5th century by King Kashyapa of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya is a 200m high flat-topped rock on top of which is a ruined palace and gardens. Sigiriya, and the city below it functioned as the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom until Kashyapa’s death and the defeat of his army; after which the capital returned to Anuradhapura. Sigiriya became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was abandoned. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the rock served for brief periods as an outpost of the Kandyan Kingdom before being abandoned again. In 1831, it was discovered by Maj Jonathan Forbes of the 78th Highlanders.