This rock fortress was built king Kasyapa in the 5th century A.D. and was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. In a sheltered pocket, approached by spiral stairway, are thesigiriya famous frescoes. The summit of the rock with an area of nearly one hc. was the site of the palace, the outer wall of which was built the very brink of the precipice. The UNESCO - sponsored Central Cultural Fund has restored Sigiriya's 5th century Water Gardens to their form glory.
The Complex consists of the central rock, rising 200 meters above the surrounding plain, and the two rectangular precincts on the east (90 hectares) and the west (40 hectares), surrounded by two moats and three ramparts. The plan of the city is based on a precise square module. The layout extends outwards from co-ordinates at the centre of the palace complex at the summit, with the eastern and western axis directly aligned to it. The water garden, moats and ramparts are based on an 'echo plan' duplicating the layout and design on either side. This city still displays its skeletal layout and its significant features. 3 km from east to west and 1 km from north to south it displays the grandeur and complexity of urban-planning in 5th century Sri Lanka.