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Sigiriya, also known as Sinhagiri, is an old rock fortification in northern Matale, district in the central province of Sri Lanka near Dambulla.
The historical past
The area near Sigiriya may have been populated from prehistoric times. There is clear evidence that the multiple rock, shelters and caves the area inhabited by ascetics and Buddhist monks as early as the third century BCE.

The Aligala rock shelter to the east of the Sigiriya is the earliest indication of human habitation at Sigiriya, proving that the region was inhabited over 5,000 years ago during the Mesolithic period.
During the third century BCE, Buddhist monastic villages were founded on the western and northern slopes of the boulder-strewn hills surrounding the Sigiriya rock.

During this time, several rock shelters or caves were created. These shelters were built beneath large boulders, with drip ledges carved around the cave mouths. Many of the shelt have rock inscriptions at the drip ledges.

Sigiriya Culture

On the western face of the rock, there are frescoes and a mirror wall, which is made of brick and covered in a highly polished white plaster. The wall was believed to be able to reflect light when it was new.

Over time, visitors’ words were scrawled on the Mirror Wall, turning it into a graffiti board. Some of the messages, are known as “Sigiri Graffiti,” are from the eighth century CE.

One inscription, thought to be more than 500 years old.

By Marvellos Yunusa

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