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There are few more iconic, let alone impressive, sights in Sri Lanka than the 370-metre-high rock citadel of Sigiriya, a protected UNESCO World Heritage site.

Also known as “Lion Rock”, it rises out of the dense jungle in all its red splendour, dominating the surrounding plains. Built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century, the cliff-top fortress took seven years to construct and was abandoned after ten years of occupation when the King, defeated by his brother, committed suicide. During its creation, beautiful frescoes were painted on the sandstone – the perfect time to see them is in low light, in the morning or late afternoon – most notably the ‘celestial maidens’ in a cave halfway up, with their expressive faces and exquisite headdresses. As well as these alfresco designs, make sure to admire the giant stone claws at Lion’s Gate as you journey up the fairly challenging climb – along steep but secure staircases – and, upon reaching the summit, soak in the phenomenal views.

Not only will you be greeted by the architectural remains of the ancient palace up here, you will also find yourself surrounded by striking panoramas over the verdant terrain, which stretch as far as the eye can see. With the help of your knowledgeable guide, learn about the various parts of the once-elaborate kingdom and look out for the ancient throne, reflective pools and relics of the landscaped gardens.

This historical landmark is a must-see for cultural travellers; after all the renowned British explorer and writer, Arthur C. Clarke, named Sigiriya his '8th Wonder of the World'! For a spectacular view of the rock itself, climb up Pidurangala rock nearby to see Sigiriya standing proud in all its jungle-shrouded glory.

While here, we recommend digging a little deeper into Sri Lanka’s cultural history and venturing on to its other significant sites; from the well-preserved Dambulla Cave Temple close by to the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Along with Kandy, these cities form the country’s renowned Cultural Triangle and are well-worth a visit. The beautiful Ulagalla is our favourite place to stay within the area  – this property is arguably the best hotel near Sigiriya – or, if you would prefer to stay closer to the site, we recommend staying at Water Garden.

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Travelling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

Client Testimonials

I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India

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