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. Before you attempt the climb, your chauffeur-guide will take you around the water gardens at the base of the rock and explain the incredible engineering that went into keeping them filled and point out the vast moat which was once filled with crocodiles. Halfway up you will see the Sigiriya maidens, a collection of 50 frescoes. Once you reach the summit, which will take approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on your preferred pace, you will be rewarded with utterly awe-inspiring views across the rugged plains of the Cultural Triangle which are particularly picturesque at sunset or in the early morning light.