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Exploring Sigiriya

Sigiriya, along with its neighbouring towns and villages is amongst the most culturally significant sections of the island. With a history that is almost five thousand years old, the region offers a wealth of captivating things to do in Sigiriya.

The area which was initially known as “Rajarata” or “The King’s Land”, subsequently came to be known as the Cultural Triangle, an area also encompassing Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, which today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Anuradhapura located nearby is the epicentre of this Cultural Triangle and was the island’s capital from the 3rd century BC to 993 AD. The vast metropolis whose elaborate ruins loom large even today, is a popular site for spiritual devotion, pilgrimage and worship.

The surrounding area is also liberally dotted with shrines, dagobas, monasteries, royal palaces and water tanks that might as well be great lakes. Much of the art and architecture from the era has been preserved and most of it is available for public viewing.

The island’s second capital Polonnaruwa lies a short distance away, more contained as a city, yet offering a unique window into the island’s past. Other places of interest include Dambulla for its cave temples and copious cultural curios. Mihintale for its exceptional frescos, especially paintings depicting the arrival of Buddhism to the island and a host of other ethnic nooks, which offer a perspective on one of the ancient worlds great centres of civilisation.

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