Posts tagged Sigiriya

Letters from Sri Lanka: Sigiriya, the Magic of the Lost Kingdom…

My dear travelers and lovers of unusual adventures, welcome to the new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Today’s letter will be dedicated to one of the most famous landmarks of Sri Lanka – Sigiriya. Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the National Tourism Board of Sri Lanka for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island!

The name Sigiriya itself means “Lion’s Rock” and is a symbol of this unusual island country. There is no tourist who came to Sri Lanka without visiting the famous rock that is on the UNESCO list of cultural sites of World Heritage in Asia and Oceania. What is the story that is passed down through the generations, from generation to generation?

Sigiriya used to be a kingdom at the “top of the world”, which was later turned into a Buddhist monastery. This historic landmark, a former fortification, is located in the northern part of the Matadalle District near the city of Dambulla in the Central Province. It is a place of exceptional historical and archeological significance, dominated by a massive pillar of rock about 180 meters high.

According to ancient Sri Lankan history, this area was a large forest, and after storms and landslides it became a hill and King Kashyapa chose it as the ideal place for his new capital. Legend has it that on top of this unusual scene, the king built his palace and decorated its walls with colorful frescoes. He made a gate in the shape of a huge lion on a small plateau of this rock. The name of this place comes from this word structure: “Sinhagiri” – Lion’s Rock (Lion’s City).

The capital and the royal palace were abandoned after the king’s death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Today, Sigiriya is proudly on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning of the city.

As you are used to, today I will do my best to tell you some historical interesting facts and facts related to this unusual rock. According to some historical writings, it is believed that the area around Sigiriya has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is ample concrete evidence that many shelters and caves nearby were inhabited by Buddhist monks and ascetics as early as the 3rd century BC. The earliest evidence of human settlement in Sigiriya is the shelter in the rocks of Aligala, which is located east of the Sigiriya rock, which indicates that this area was occupied almost five thousand years ago during the Mesolithic period.

Buddhist monastic settlements were founded during the 3rd century BC on the western and northern slopes of the hills sprinkled with boulders that surround the Sigiriya rock. During this period, several stone shelters – caves were created. These shelters are made under large boulders, with carved edges around the cave entrances. Inscriptions on the rocks are carved near the edges of many shelters, recording the donations of the shelter to the Buddhist monastic order as residences. They are believed to have originated between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century AD.

How did King Kashyapa come to Sigiriya? Kashyapa I, the king’s son from his non-royal wife in 477 AD, took the throne from King Dhatusena, after a coup with the help of Moggallana, the king’s nephew and army commander. The real heir, Moggallana, fearing for his life, fled to southern India.

Frightened by the attack of Moggallana, Kashyapa moved the capital and his residence from the traditional capital of Anuradhapura to the safer Sigiriya. During the reign of King Kashyapa (from 477 to 495 AD), Sigiriya developed into a complex city and fortress. Most of the complex structures on and around the rock, including defensive structures, palaces and gardens, date from this period.

Cūḷavaṃsa describes King Kashyapa as the son of King Dhatusena. Cūḷavaṃsa or Chulavamsa (Pala: “Little Chronicle”) is a historical record, written in Pali, about the monarchs of Sri Lanka. Kashyapa killed his father by walling him up alive, and then usurped the throne that rightfully belonged to his half-brother Moggallani, Dhatusena’s son from the real queen. Moggallana fled to India to avoid being killed by Kashyapa, but swore revenge.

He raised an army in India with the intention of returning and re-occupying the throne of Sri Lanka, which he considered his right. Anticipating the inevitable return of Moggallana, Kashyapa reportedly built his palace on top of Sigiriya as a fortress and palace for enjoyment. Moggallana finally arrived, declared war and defeated Kashyapa in 495. During the battle, Kashyapa’s army abandoned him and he committed suicide with his sword.

Cūḷavaṃsa and a legend passed down for generations say that the fighting elephant on which Kashyapa was sitting changed course to take a strategic advantage, but the army misinterpreted the movement as if the king had decided to withdraw, leading the army to abandon it altogether. It is said that, because he was too proud to surrender, he took the sword off his belt, cut his throat, proudly raised his sword, put it in its scabbard and fell dead. Moggallana returned the capital to Anuradhapura, turning Sigiriya into a Buddhist monastery complex, which survived until the 13th or 14th century.

After this period, no records of Sigiriya were found until the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was briefly used as an outpost of the Kingdom of Kandy.

There are other legends where King Dhatusena has the main role of the builder of Sigiriya, and Kashyapa finished the work in honor of his father. Other stories describe Kashyapa as the playboy king, with Sigiriya as his palace of pleasure. Even Kashyapa’s final destiny is uncertain. In some versions, he is killed by the poison given to him by the concubine, while in the official “braver” version, he heroically cuts his own throat when he deserted in his last battle. There is some research that has come to some evidence that this place is the work of a Buddhist community, without a military function. This location may have been important in the competition between the Buddhist traditions of Mahayana and Theravada in ancient Sri Lanka.

Professor Senarath Paranavithana’s book “The Story of Sigiriya” says that King Dhatusena listened to the advice of the Persian Nestorian priest Mag Brahman on the construction of his palace in Sigiriya. According to Paranavithana, during this period over seventy-five ships carrying Murundi soldiers from Mangalore arrived in Sri Lanka and landed in Chilaw to protect King Dathusena.

In the middle of the 19th century, Major Jonathan Forbes of the 78th Highlanders of the British Army, while returning on his horse from a trip to Pollonnuruwa, came across “the forest-covered peak of Sigiriya”. Sigiriya was in the special center of attention of the antiquarian because of the unusual precious objects, and later also the archaeologists. The first archeological works in Sigiriya began at the end of the 19th century on a smaller scale. H.C.P. Bell was the first archaeologist to conduct extensive research on Sigiriya. The Cultural Triangle project, launched by the Sri Lankan government, focused on Sigiriya in 1982. As part of this project, archeological works on the entire city began for the first time. A lion’s head was sculpted above his feet and paws near the entrance, but unfortunately his head collapsed many years ago.

Sigiriya consists of an ancient citadel built by King Kashyapa during the 5th century. The Sigiriya site contains the ruins of the upper palace located on the flat top of the rock, the middle level terrace which includes the Lion’s Gate and the wall of mirrors with its frescoes, the lower palaces hold the slope below the rocks. The moats, walls and gardens of the palace stretched several hundred meters from the foot of the rock. The site was both a palace and a fortress. The upper palace at the top of the rock includes cisterns that are cut into the rock itself.

Sigiriya is considered to be one of the most important urban sites of the first millennium, and the plan of this impressive site is considered to be very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally connect the geometric and natural forms of the man-made environment. On the west side of the rock is a park for royal families, set on a symmetrical plane. This park contains water retention structures, including sophisticated surface / underground hydraulic systems, some of which still operate today.

To the south of the rock is an artificial reservoir; these were largely used from the former capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. There are five gates at the entrances. It is believed that the more complex western gate was exclusively reserved for royal families.

There is one part of the rock that is painted with beautiful frescoes which unfortunately cannot be photographed, there are guards who keep the frescoes and making photos is not allowed, the frescoes are amazing and really worth visiting and enjoying the beauty of art made by man almost 5,000 years ago… Frescoes cover larger part of the western side of the rock, an area about 140 meters long and 40 meters high. However, a large part of the frescoes was lost forever and a small part remained, which can be seen today during a tour of Sigiriya during the descent from the rock.

After the great symbol of Sri Lanka, I would like to present you an amazing camp in nature where you can stay during your visit of this magical island. Situated among rolling hills, lush greenery and exceptional nature, the Wild Glamping Knuckles offers a completely different experience of atypical luxury camping in the central plateau of Sri Lanka.

With ten highly designed luxury tents ideally positioned amid the misty hills, the campsite allows guests to indulge in the beauties of nature while enjoying the modern comforts of camping. There is no internet or network telephone signal, so all you have to do is enjoy nature and the fantastic specialties prepared by the staff of this hotel from products that they grow or procure from local farms.

This unusual camp belongs to the group of hotels Theme Resorts & Spas, where you will always receive a special personalized exceptional service with a welcome smile. During my stay, I had a feeling of adrenaline because I had the opportunity to stay in tents, which I have not practiced for years.

In this luxury camp located in the Knuckles mountain range in Sri Lanka, there is an idyllic place where you can find refuge among the beautiful hills of the Central Province. The picturesque and secluded surroundings of Wild Glamping Knuckles offer its guests the opportunity to experience the adventure of the Knuckles mountain range and the surrounding wild flora and fauna, while enjoying the harsh and cold climate and the serenity of the rainforest and mountains.

Dear adventurers, we have come to the end of this special post about the most famous symbol of Sri Lanka – Sigiriya (Lion Rock) and an unusual camp, which would not be possible without the selfless help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners like Wild Glamping Knuckles. to feel the spirit and beauty of the Knuckles mountain range and Sri Lankan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Sigiriya and Wild Glamping Knuckles? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka before? Share with me your experiences, I am would be glad to hear!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story from Sri Lanka!

Warm greetings from Sri Lanka,


This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and Wild Glamping Knuckles camp which is a member of Theme Resorts and Spas group. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.


Sri Lanka: The Island Where Dreams Live…

Hello guys, I hope you’re good and this nice time helps you to get through this working week so easily. There is still a little time left to the weekend, so the countdown can start now slowly! I think this is a perfect time to start a new series of posts and to discover all the beauties of a little paradise island country. Let me introduce you to one of the  most beautiful island – Sri Lanka!



When I received a mail from Sri Lanka’s tourism board, I couldn’t have read it all because of the excitement which I felt in that moment! The only thing I read was a sentence that I repeated in my head for a few minutes until I have finally come to myself and realized that I have the chance to visit such an exotic country: “Mark, are you ready for an adventure? Sri Lanka is calling you!”.



For a moment, I thought it was some early brilliant prank for April Fools’ Day, because the start of the trip was planned on April 1st and I just didn’t give up some importance. Of course, as always I just can’t sit like that so I checked with my colleagues bloggers.  I realized that it was time for the little Marko to visit Sri Lanka! My happiness in that moment I just can’t describe with the right words, there were tears of joy, my mom wanted to go with me, and there was a real mini drama in the house for a couple of days… After few days my mother, who as you know is my photographer, she forgave that I wouldn’t take her with me on the Sri Lanka’s trip.



The days have passed, the time for the journey was getting closer and closer, and I was secretly hoping that it was not a prank and I would really go to one such trip like that…

Three days before the trip I got my flight tickets and of course again you can just imagine me how I’m running through the house and screaming with joy, because that was the sign which I was waiting for…



The first day of the April, the unusual morning crowd in the downtown of Belgrade I hardly managed to get out and with a couple minutes of delay I checked on my flight and finally I’ve started my new adventure. That day I will remember, that is for sure! I didn’t feel the tiredness of the previous trip or the cry of frightened babies. I just couldn’t have missed reading of “professional travel literature” – Guide: How to survive Sri Lanka and some old issue of Hello magazine…



Well, landing in Doha it didn’t get to be scary as I was in India recently, so I acted like a true “professional” traveler and I went straight to the boarding gate for the Colombo.

After 11 hours of reading some “interesting” literature, few naps and 2 movies, Little Marko arrived to Colombo. First Impression: “I will die, here it has almost 37 degrees outside and it’s 4 am… God what’s waiting for me all those days!” I must admit they have very interesting airport. You wouldn’t expected to find a nice house technique at the airport itself! My mom still can’t forgive me when I told her how cheap the washing machine is. She has almost a heart attack because of sadness why I didn’t buy her a new Candy washing machine… of course it’s a joke! She was very happy when she saw a new pair of earrings, like any other woman! ?



The flight from Doha to Colombo was very interesting, although it was early in the morning and there was a lot of light there, so there was no feeling of how much hours you really traveled…

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is a real pearl of the Indian Ocean. The next day was interesting, together with my colleagues instagrammers and youtubers  I had the opportunity to enjoy in the magic of the Colombo. Just imagine walk the coast of the Indian Ocean and the temperature 37-degree, believe me it’s a real adventure. I was pretending that I’m hero just for two hours. I must admit that walking was worth because I’ve got a nice tan. 🙂



Sigiriya… The city of kings, a city that intrigues visitors with its history. Whether you are a lover of history or art, Sigiriya is the perfect place for you. And even if you just want to see more on Sri Lanka, Sigiriya for sure will stay in your memory for a long time.

Sigiriya or “Lion Rock” as a term or word is not widely known to people, but when someone shows the image of Sigiriya everything is changing. Almost everyone knows about the existence of this geological formation that the mighty Kings of Sri Lanka have turned into a fortress. Sigiriya is often called by people an eighth world miracle. Whether or not we will leave it to someone else to decide but it is certain that this natural formation and building is one of the main reasons for traveling to Sri Lanka. I would like to take the opportunity to say big thank you to Sigiriya Hotel for hospitality and kindness.  It’s a warm recommendation from the heart! On the picture below you can see that amazing Lion Rock from the Sigiriya hotel, isn’t it just wonderful?



The “Lion Rock” is a volcanic origin. It emerged as a hardened magma of long ago active volcano, which in the course of time has gained the shape that we now have the opportunity to see. Due to its position and natural shelters, the Lion Rock was inhabited since the prehistoric times. People who lived on and around, they left their stamp by building many caves and shelters. Since the end of the 20th century Sigiriya (Lion Rock) is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.



Since Sigiriya has no epithet of a religious building, you do not have to worry about dressing. It is very important that you know that when you visit religious buildings on Sri Lanka, regardless of the temperature for men it is important that they have to wear long trousers, they are allowed to be made of linen or some other light material for summer. Women are allowed to wear skirts or trousers just below the knee.



Guys, my advice for you is to go as early as possible on an excursion, there is a possibility that you will stay out of the crowd for a long time and the temperatures can be very high. Also the information you should know before you go on a trip is that there are more than 1200 steps on the Lion Stone, so whoever plans to climb to the very top should be in very good condition. I’ve reached the top, I really don’t even know how I did it. I thought of myself as a Rambo with that famous music from the movie, but I think I looked like a fallen mountain hiker who got lucky to get to the top! I’m honest at least! 🙂



At almost all of our excursions we met a lot of pupils from elementary schools, there were even pre-school children who always greeted me with the smile and with the famous question: “Where are you from?”. Very kind and nice children, they were really cute, even they were in a better shape than me! Whatever I am proud of myself, I have managed to climb this tall rock! 🙂





The view from the top was unbelievable, but I was most delighted when we got back to our van! ? The Lion’s rock is a real challenge for alpinists and for people who just love hiking, this was a great success for me and as I’m writing this post now, I just feel the same muscle pain which I had during this adventure. The blogging crew continues their journey and the next destination was the Kaudulla National Park. It’s time for safari guys!



Safari in Kaudulla National Park is the best activity on Sri Lanka that you shouldn’t miss. This is a unique opportunity to see the wild Asian elephants in live. This is the only place in the world where you can come this close to these wonderful animals. You can see their daily activities like eating, drinking water and swimming. Believe me it’s very interesting place.



It is very exciting when you have the chance to see elephants in their natural environment and at least feel the wild life of nature for a moment. Elephants move freely, we had a chance to see their mating…

I think they wanted to have a public! I thought for a moment to watch some reality TV show! But here the main actors are animals! ?



Third day on Sri Lanka’s adventure was slowly approaching to the end, a blogger crew came back to the hotel. Some people from the crew still had more energy to spend so they made a party. But for little Marko this day was too much and he went to sleep a little… I know, sometimes I’m very boring person!

Rise and shine sunshine! New day is up, little Marko has filled the batteries, and he has also prepared the batteries of cameras, so everything is ready for the action! Or maybe not ?! Maybe I’ll just chill a little and take another nap!



Finally, it was time for the beach! The east coast on Sri Lanka was not explored so much and we were the first group of international online media, which was visited this part of Sri Lanka. That was a great honour for us and this way I would like to thank the Sri Lankan tourism board on this amazing journey.

This was a very exciting trip, very fun when you have a good company everything is different! I was in the crew with the famous youtuber! He is well known in Canada, America and the Philippines, and he has millions of subscribers because he has multiple channels on the You Tube. His name is Mikey Bustos.

He is a very positive person, even I became a fan of vlogging now (Vlog – is making the videos of daily activities that would be interesting to the audience, a lot of bloggers and youtubers are doing that).  You can see me in his vlogs. It was so fun to make videos with him and Raquel and RJ (Romeo). Raquel and I just found out on this trip that we are real soulmates, why? We both have many interesting thing in common and both of us love photography.

Mikey, Raquel and Romeo were my companion with whom I spent most of my time in Sri Lanka. I can’t wait to see them again! Maybe we will catch up on my trip to the Philippines. Beside us, there were also professional photographers from Turkey and I aslo learned a lot of useful tricks! Thanks guys! ?



The ocean, the sun, but there is no more time to rest. Our break on the beach are interrupted by our guides and they remind us that it’s time to go on tour of the Hindu temple dedicated to the God of Shiva.



This is also one of the largest Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to the Shiva, a god whose role is to destroy the Universe at the end of the existence of the world. The symbol of the Shiva is a phallus, which is an indicator of the male role in fertility and birth. Shiva is also a god of good and evil at the same time. It is easy to calm him down and at the same time it is very dangerous and very easily reveals its wrath…


The temple is very interesting and on the walls of the temple you can see God Siva in various situations. It was not allowed to take the photos in the temple, but you have the opportunity to see the diversity of colors on the photo above. I hope I have shown you this beauty and the vividness that this temple has.



After visiting the temple, we had the free time to explore the area and after that we were tired, but very happy and we returned to the hotel to charge our batteries for the new day.

Guys, we have come to the end of this first post from this series of posts about my adventures from Sri Lanka. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed and I would love to hear your opinion. Have you been in Sri Lanka? Are you planning to visit this tropical paradise? We’ll see next week what Sri Lanka has to offer us and we continue this amazing adventure! ?

If you have any questions, comments, suggestion or message for me you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as you know, you can always contact me via mail or social media, and you can find it on the CONTACT page.



I would like to thank Sri Lanka Tourism Board for this amazing adventure, as well I would like to say big thank you to hotels: Movenpick, Sigiriya Hotel and Nilaveli Beach Hotel.



This post is sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism Board and Sony. This photos are made with the little help of Sony Alpha 7r and Sony RX100 Mark V.