The Chaaya Village Hotel in Habarana was our base in the “Cultural Triangle”, from here we visited Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambula, took a game drive in Minneriya National Park and rode on an elephant along the banks of the lake.
Sigiriya is a 200m high volcanic plug rising from the surrounding jungle plain. The caves at the bottom were home to Buddhist monks for nearly 2000 years. In the 5th Century King Kassapa built a royal palace on the top of the rock to use as a fortress after killing his father.
The medieval capital of Sri Lanka built by King Parakramabahu I, but abandoned at the end of the 13th Century and consumed by the jungle. Re-discovered by archaeologists at the end of the 19th Century.
Successive generations of kings have turned the caves halfway up Dambulla Rock into a series of Buddhist temples which are now some of the most sacred in the country. At the foot of Dambulla Rock is the modern Golden Temple.
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