11 Februari 2012

Ancient Wonders - Sigiriya Water Gardens

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Sigiriya an ancient rock fortress and palace surrounded by beautifully planned and landscaped gardens dating from about the 5th century CE, is one of the best examples of eco friendly garden design anywhere in the world. The three types of gardens, namely boulder, water and terraced gardens form an integral part of the design of the whole complex.

The three sections that comprise the water garden form the central section to the west. The first section is a flat area that was originally surrounded by water. It is connected to the main area by four causeways. The second section has two long deep pools on either side of a pathway fed by two narrow streams. Fountains that still function are also found here as are two islands with remains of pavilions and courtyards amongst a network of now defunct pebble lined shallow canals with a very gentle gradient designed to move water slowly. There are also remains of ponds and cisterns. The third water garden is at a higher elevation and features a large octagonal pool with a podium and is near the eastern edge of the inner rampart. The areas are connected to the inner and outer moats of the complex and the manmade lake to the south of the Sigiriya Rock by a series of rectangular clay pipes laid underground that conveyed water to the shallow waterways, fountains, ponds and pools in the gardens.

Visitors can approach this attraction from the western, northern and southern entrances; but the most commonly used entrance is the one from the west. The water gardens are yet to be fully excavated. A smaller garden comprising of several small pools and shallow waterways to the west of the first water garden has been found recently. It is thought to have been built between the 10th and 13th centuries.

Located near the famed Sigiriya Rock which is reflected in its swimming pool, Hotel Sigiriya offers spacious contemporary accommodation with traditional Sri Lankan touches. Guest services that include exciting excursions, an Ayurveda spa and dining options featuring oriental and international cuisine which combined with friendly service makes it one of the best hotels Sigiriya. The attention to detail that puts the wellbeing of guests’ at the forefront make this hotel in Sigiriya a great place to stay to enjoy the many cultural attractions of this iconic location.