Sigiriya is perched on a rocky outcrop in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle and was a rock-fortress built by King Kasyapa who reigned between 477 and 495 AD. He built a gateway in the form of a lion and named the structure Sigirya, meaning Lion Rock. Sigiriya was constructed when Kasyapa seized the throne in a coup and moved the capital from Anuradhapura to be more secure. He was indeed defeated and Sigiriya was turned into a monastery. The walk up the rock includes 1202 steps and is best done in the morning or late afternoon. Half way up you will see the Sigiriya maidens, a collection of 50 frescoes. The views from the top are well worth the effort!