Sigiriya is a rock fortress. It was built by King Kashyapa I. He killed his father King Dhatusena. So. Kashyapa built a rock fortress to be protected from his angry brother Moggalana.
Around the Sigiriya Fortress, there is a deep moat. There is a bridge to cross the moat. In Sigiriya there are beautiful gardens, fountains and ponds. On the top of the rock, King Kashyapa built his citadel.
The Sigiriya frescoes are world famous. The Sigiri Damsals are drawn very beautifully on the walls. The Mirror Wall has poems and songs called "Sigiri Graffiti" written by ancient people who came to see Sigiriya. To go to the top of the rock, we have to go through the "Lion's Paw" staircase.
Not even local visitors, but also foreign tourists visit Sigiriya. We can be really proud of our ancient sites like Sigiriya.
By Ghazzali Awad (5 years), Belvoir College International
My dad is S.H.M. Awad. He gets me lots of things. He is an accountant. He is an old boy of Ananda College, Colombo. He helps me with my homework. My brother and I go for Fei Quando – Karate with dad. He drives a red Chevrolet. I pray to God to keep him well and happy always. I love my dad very much.
By Asma Fouzan (11 years), Ilma International School
My sister's name is Aimen. She was born on April 5, 2009. She is 1 year and two months old. She is beautiful and naughty. She loves to put bracelets inside her mouth. She has a colourful parrot and she likes to talk to it.
She is always sick because she likes to visit the doctor but she thinks that the thermometer is an injection. She has nice curly, wavy hair. She likes to pull others hair.
She loves watermelons and oranges. She doesn't like her food. She likes to watch Tom and Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker. She knows her nose, tongue and head. She likes the swimming pool and likes to swim (even though she doesn't know how to swim!) She doesn't like to come out of the pool.
She has two elder brothers and two elder sisters. She likes her Akka – her nanny. I love her very much and she loves me too.
My favourite author
By Stephanie Peiris, St. Lawrence's Convent, Wellawatte
My favourite past time is reading. Reading helps to improve my knowledge in English grammar,
comprehension and vocabulary. It also gives the opportunity to imagine a story and be a part of it, which enables me to enjoy the creativity of the author.
From all the novelists, my favourite is Anthony Horowitz. He is one of the world's most popular authors. His books 'The Power of Five' and 'Alex Rider' have become bestselling novels. His most successful 'Alex Rider' series has helped him achieve numerous accolades and awards such as the 'Booksellers Association/ Nielsen Author of the Year', 'Children's Book of the Year' and 'Red House Children's Award'. His first book 'Stormbreaker' has been made into a blockbuster movie.
His supernatural series 'The Power of Five' has also won many awards. The series consists of four books, Ravens Gate, Evil Star, Night Rise and Necropolis. They each tell the different stories of five children who have been chosen to save the world from evil forces. His most successful books also include the hugely funny and popular 'Diamond Brother Mysteries'.
Anthony Horowitz also writes TV scripts, which include the 'Midsomer Murders' and 'Poirot'. His drama series 'Foyles War' has won him the 'Lew Grade Audience Award' in 2003.
He was born on April 5, 1955, in Stanmore, England and lives in London with his wife Jill and two sons Nicholas and Cassian. I have always enjoyed reading his books as I have found them to be very
interesting, creative and adventurous.
My brother's 1st birthday
By Shalomi Fernando (Grade 2), Ladies College
My brother's name is Shannan Aaron. Now he is one year old. On my brother's birthday, we didn't have a party at home. My thathi, ammi, malli, achchi and I went to Methmihira School in Moratuwa.
I met the disabled aiyas and akkis. I played with them. They ate birthday cake and rice. They gave a birthday card to my brother.
They were happy because we gave food for them. I had a nice time. When I came home,
I prayed for God to heal them.
My best friend
By Afzal Amsudeen (12 years), Aba beel International College
My best friend is Azam. He is 10 years old. He is studying in my class. He is very smart. He studies well. He lives in Wellampitiya. He comes to school by auto.
His father's name is Nizam. He has one brother. His favourite food is pizza. His favourite subject is English. His favourite colour is black. I am lucky to get a good friend like him forever.
He helps me in many ways. His favourite cartoon is 'Sonic'. His favourite cricketer is Malinga. I love him very much. He also loves me too.
In this essay, I outline my impressions, based on facts and observations – including observations of some things that are unexplained in terms of what we are familiar with in the 21st Century. As these are simply my impressions, I would appreciate comments (and, perhaps answers) to any questions my own comments and observations give rise to. My visit to Lion's Rock made me realize that this place is more mysterious than commonly known, and worth more serious attention than I ever expected. So, let's begin!
My visit occurred on December 6, 2012, while on holiday with my wife, and Sigiriya was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. The complex appears to be a grandiose construction, placed on five levels. There were neither buildings, nor ruins – just terraces, gardens, and ponds. Such lovely gardens! Eden! Paradise! However, what seemed obvious to me regarding the complex is that there was nothing resembling a palace or royal chambers. There also seemed to be no space for any of the 'Royal Helpers' one would expect a king or queen to require. There are no cook-houses, no security towers or lookouts, no warehouses for food and other supplies, no place for a harem, no sheds or stables for animals, etc. In short, there seem to be no remains of any type of structures one would expect to find, if one followed strictly the official version of what Sigiriya is supposed to have been.
All existing man-made constructions built by bricks and stones have complete view, they do not look like the "foundations" or ruins.
As I explored the site, the sense I had was that the entire complex was designed for aesthetic pleasure. From simple contemplation of its beauty, to bathing in the numerous pools, Sigiriya seems to invite serene relaxation. The upper part of the complex, built on top of the Sigiriya rock, appears as a ramped pyramidal structure with a flat top.
|One more aerial view - photo of Sigiriya rock plateau or Lion's Rock, Sri Lanka|
Dimensions of the top pyramid platform are approximately 17 meters length and 11 meters width. There is a plate with description "Palace" installed there. This would make it a Palace with total area of 187 square meters - a Lilliputian Palace by any standard!
From the foot of the mountain to the top of mystery rock, the following can be observed:
1. Lower or First level: "The Water Gardens" - Here is a complex of gardens, terraces and ponds with fountains in a beautiful cascade, and landscape design that is surrounded by a wide stone moat with crocodiles (the reptiles live in it to this day). The length of the cleared part of the moat - which is the section available for tourists - is about 2.4 kilometers.
Staircase steps are made of white marble. They are original, that is native ones, installed during the construction of the object in ancient times. I made this conclusion on the basis that the bottom (level 1), and the very top of the rock (5th level) have the same stairs made of white marble at the same size, shape and appearance.
By the way, their appearance is not good. Their surface is corroded, notched and dented, they seem very ancient. It is quite amazing because firstly: there is no frost in Sri Lanka (annual temperature variation + 4 centigrade's… Equator!), so, there cannot be any thermal shock damages, caused by expansion of frozen water; secondly, despite the fact that their age is about 1500 years (according to the official version), we can compare their appearance with another well-known to us objects of the same age, for example from ancient Greece, which have a better appearance.
Impression: stairs and slabs of white marble much older than 1500 years.
Here are some interesting panorama photographs of the Water Gardens:
2. Second level: well-protected foot of the Sigiriya rock, "The Boulder Gardens" and "The Terraced gardens". Visually begins behind two giant boulders, which form narrow passage-arc to the foot of the rock plateau.
The width of the passage is so narrow, that no more than two people can comfortably walk shoulder-by-shoulder. There are no other ways to reach upper level. It is an ideal place for organization of defense. One weapon emplacement upstairs - and millions of attacking troops will not pass through this entrance. The level ends by steep stairs leading to the slope of the rock.
The level also consists of several large boulders linked by winding pathways. There is a couple of interesting spots on this level. I am listing below the most interesting:
a.Throne Room or Reception Hall (as a guide said) - plain outdoor area, fully cut in the huge granite boulder with everything on it – "throne" and other stuff.
Imagine huge granite boulder cut to half horizontally and then cut from sides, forming square with dimensions about 6 by 6 meters in vertical projection. After that ancient masters had carved from the whole, unbroken granite body everything on this place – "throne" (much similar to sofa), ideal smooth and flat ground before the "throne" and semicircular barrier around. It seems that they cut granite as easily as butter, having no problems with its processing. I would say more, the quality of cutting is shocking. Those are ideally flat surfaces, even plains, radiuses, and angles. There is no splitting or other defects. My strong impression is that it was done by machine granite cutting.
Understand one important thing – all the same "thrones" and "grounds" (there are also more of them) had been cut from the whole, unbroken body of huge granite boulders. It means that the ancient masters had only one attempt. If they made any defects, it would not be possible to correct them. Most likely that splits and damages of the "throne" surface are the result of vandal/monks activities. There are no damages on "thrones" and other objects on the summit, where vandals could not reach.
If you look at the Throne Room from the site of leading there stairs, to the lower right we can see one more "throne"-sofa, carved entirely from sticking out of the ground rock.
Impression: this platform is too small to be the throne room. If I were the King, I would have cleared the football field underneath the throne room for thousands of my subjects, so they would be able to fall prostrate in front of me at once. But in reality there is enough space just for a couple of dozens of people maximum. Not serious. Given the enormity of the complex as a whole, too primitive, not cool.
b.The pool wholly carved at the top of the boulder overlooking the Throne Room with evidence of machine processing, made by the ancient civilization.
Just as the throne room, in spite of thousands of years, the pool is beautiful and luxurious, perfect in form and execution (stone cutting). They cut out a pool in the rock surface of the top of the boulder. Notice that they left the edges of the pool untouched, they did not make them even.
Look at the picture, at the split in further wall of the pool, right above the stairs. It shows us the main difference of ancient principles of construction from modern ones. So, the split just shows us an uneven surface of giant boulder, dividing further wall of the pool on two parts: lower – the body of the boulder; higher – a granite curb, which is forming a barrier around the pool. Ancient builders didn’t bother to make a surface of pool edges flat. They just cut undersides of curbs equally to upper surface of boulder on the pool edges, and so adjusted curbs firmly to this uneven surface.
We would never do this way now. We would make a flat surface of the edges of the pool, then placed there flat and standardized curbs of the same size and shapes.
In fact, the difference in the principles of constructing is amazing. I would say that ancient principle of constructing may be called “no standards”.
There can be no other, more reliable way (technology), for building construction and more durable materials at hand that would ensure the operational terms of thousands years with no loss of performance and without need of repairing. They built, knowingly ensuring the service life of objects in thousands of years.
On this photo you can see how granite around the pool was processed, this suggests that it was machine processing. Anyhow, long thin bulkheads (shoulders, indicated by arrows) might not have occurred if granite has been gouged by hand with a hammer and a chisel. It would be extremely difficult to make them by hand, in purpose to deceive ancestors about its origin and makes no sense. It looks like "scrapers" of some cutting tool, which cut granite layer in one pass, depth up to 10 cm. Neighboring "scrapers" were made at different depths (the difference is millimeters) and formed long "bulkheads", looking like lane line between passes of the cutting tool.
What tool was able to do so, that is the question. In my opinion, traces of processing look like as if flat blade (width shown on photo) of the tool was submerged in granite and dragged sideward, cutting off a smooth layer of granite as the "chisel". As you look at the photo, direction of tool dragging was from the right to the left. This processing had been done after the top of this rock was cut off and there flatness was formed (where is girl staying). This is quite logical because if we have a deal with machine processing, top of the rock was cut with one passage of huge tool (circular saw blade, for example), ensuring positive tolerance for the next cutting. After that, with more accurate (and smaller) tool, granite flatness had been cut with more passages for precise placing of curbs (barrier). Curbs surface fitting was accomplished "on site", as in case of polygonal masonry, when separate blocks didn’t produce previously in separate quarries.
Especially I would like to note "naturalness" of design of this pool and others similar to it objects. The careful handling of smooth surfaces of walls, stairs and railings of the basin is in harmony with the natural surface of the rock. The pool's "barrier blocks" were installed on an uneven, "natural" surface of the boulder and adjusted to the form of its surface. It seems that harmony of natural stone surface was more important for ancient constructors than right angles and grinded surfaces. They have not seen any problem in this; on the contrary, they felt perfect of the natural beauty of the stone, stressing this by their man-made objects.
Creating masterpieces of stone architecture, they deliberately build them for the Millennial age, at the same time not bothering themselves with attempts of complete processing of everything around, as this would do our contemporaries. By the fact, this technology is completely different from our modern one.
What it was the tool? The modern and known to us analog might be technology of plasma cutting or the other, based on instantaneous heating and evaporation/spraying of molten rock. High-temperature plasma in use causes a decent torch of heated gas, vaporized granite, etc., so it is impossible to use it without protecting.
Assumption: this "tool" could have possibly been known as "vajra" (described in the Sanskrit epics of ancient India) that could be used as a weapon and as a tool for building (stone processing, in ancient treatises written that they used it for "building the mountains"). "Vajras" were different in sizes - manual and stationary, mounted on large machinery (for example, on "volatile chariots" called "vimana"). Well, or it could be named differently. Judging by the treatises, they had many different types of tools and weapons.
Facts: Note that on the most ancient Sumerian bas-reliefs, gods keeping a bag in their left hand and tool in the right hand. I will describe why it is important little bit later.
c.King's Chamber or Meditation Room, in which, according to the guide's story, Kashyapa had a fun with numerous beautiful women in various poses.
Chamber represents itself as a niche in a rock, in which (from the body of the lower cliffs) cut already familiar to us "sofa" and sides-fence design. Ceiling (semicircular arch top rocks) hanging over so low, that me with my height of 1.85 meters had to bend down.
Granite ceiling is plastered, long time ago there were frescoes with half-naked girls painted on plaster (as at third level, on the vertical part of the Sigiriya rock, at a height of 50 meters away from the base, of that I'll tell later), but now there are remains only. The frescoes were destroyed by the monks, who were embarrassed by the view of naked women. Seemingly, they also damaged the "sofa". I was very confused by the fact that I do not know the recipe of plaster, which is able to stick on granite firmly within one and a half of thousand years, outdoors, under conditions of unsanitary, hot and humid climate of the tropics.
And there is one more, or rather two strange things – deepenings', carved in granite floor on either sides of the "sofa".
Deepenings' have irregularly shapes, they shallow (about 5 centimeters deep) with steep sides and a flat bottom, in form resembling a cross between a boot footstep and an infusorium. Left and right deepenings' have slightly different forms. The guide claimed that they were used as flower vases. I think it is nonsense because of firstly: they too shallow for a vase; secondly: a vase would be done by regular shape - circle, square etc for aesthetic reasons.
Impression: they were used as sockets for inserting something (some devices?) of the appropriate form, to which could be possible easily reach from the sofa.
Assumption: above I drawn your attention to some tools, which ancient gods held in their hands. Thus, these niches possibly might be designed to set there: in the left – "bag" (power supply); in the right – "tool", which could be plasma (or emission) source.
Early I drew your attention on a fact that this "room" is located to the right side of the path (on the way uphill from the first level to second protected level), a short distance further from the narrow passage-arch, formed by two large rocks (where more than two people can hardly walk shoulder-by-shoulder). "Room" is specially built face to passage-arch entrance so that somebody, sitting on the bench, was sitting face to the second level entrance.
Thus, apart from meditation, this room could be used as an outpost (weapon emplacement). I can authoritatively declare that sitting there gunner (armed with machine gun for example :-) could alone stop any number of attackers, moving thru the passage between the rocks. From the left, back and top this room protected by solid granite bedrock, so that sitting there was invulnerable to attack from the outside (from the lower level of the complex) with a primitive weapon. At least, he could effectively cover a retreat, holding up anyone for a long time to let the rest of his "companions" go to the top fifth level (top of the rocky plateau), which was at 100% is inaccessible (unless, of course, the attackers had no aviation).
Here, of course, raises the question of the real age of the Sigiriya rock. After all, my assumptions moving the date of its construction back to 4-th millennium BC or even earlier. At least, to the times of Sumerian living gods…
Facts: scientists determine the Sigiriya by the age of Mahavamsa Chronicle - the "Great Chronicle", biography of the Kings. Original Chronicle (original version, a set of documents written in Pali) covers the period from 543 BC to 300 AD. After that the Chronicle has been additionally written many times by Buddhist monks (in Sinhalese). According to some recent recordings, Sigiriya complex was built by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 AD).
Assumption: obviously, like any other Chronicle, it could be written or rewritten many times in favor of a particular ruler (king). There are no other evidences of age of Sigiriya.
You can read a continuation here:
Chapter 2. Sigiriya - what is it? A 'Garden of Eden', or The Fountains of Paradise? More mysteries of Sigiriya:The Mirror Wall, frescoes in the sky, balanced stone of thousands of tones weight, reptilian paws of Ishtar Goddess, miracle inhuman pool and pyramid on the top of a rock with unexpected guards.
Chapter 3. What Pidurangala is – a monastery in caves or an ancient Over-the-Horizon Early Warning Radar next to the Sigiriya "Lion's Rock"?
Chapter 4: New mysterious riddles of Sri Lanka. What unites the ancient civilization of the Indian subcontinent with Africa, Atlantis and South America? Mihintale, Sigiriya and Yapahuwa: mysterious triangle of sacral objects, memory of whose went through the Millenniums. Masonic symbols before the Buddhist era. Ancient cosmodromes.
The ramped brick terraces have a flat, smooth, finished surface; there is not even the slightest sign of walls, buildings, structures that could have been built atop of them. Therefore, these remains (ruins), in my opinion, are indeed simply terraces, not foundations.