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The Mirror Wall in Sigiriya

Sigiriya said to be the capital of a 5th century monarch of Sri Lanka is noted as one of the best preserved examples of urban planning anywhere in the world. It is also known for its frescos, water, boulder and terraced gardens and the mirror wall. In its heyday this wall is said to have been so highly polished that the king could see a clear image of himself in it.

The mirror wall is by a two meter wide walkway leading to the main entrance and through it to the top of the rock. It is protected from the elements by a rocky overhang. The wall also protects the outer edge of the narrow walkway. The lime, plaster and brick masonry wall, burnished to a high degree was apparently built to reflect the frescos on the opposite wall. It remains burnished to this day with surface texture, colour and evenness of paint applied long ago remaining almost intact. The wall is also perfectly vertical and smooth and its curvature hardly noticeable, that it looks flat to the casual observer. While the techniques used to achieve the sheen and its quality of construction are highly appreciated, its value is in the verses scratched on to it by the many ancient visitors who wished to leave some record of their trip to a fabulous historical site.

The first verses were apparently scratched on to the wall between the 6th and 7th centuries CE. A total of 1500 writings have now been deciphered and they include jottings all the way up to the 14th century. These casual writings are now considered some of the earliest works of poetry in Sinhala and are of outstanding literary value. They also offer a commentary on society through the centuries and a record of the people who wrote them, the language and modes of expression. Many of the writings are dedicated to the ladies in the frescos while others are about those who came to Sigiriya to view the art, architecture and garden design. It is interesting that as long ago as 1400 years Sigiriya was considered a special place well worth visiting.

Stay in a site redolent with history at one of the hotels Sigiriya while having easy access to many of the country’s other cultural gems. Enjoy spacious and modern accommodation at this hotel in Sigiriya and facilities and services that include relaxing ayurvedic spa therapies, dining on locally sourced fresh produce, onsite leisure facilities and a range of outdoor activities that include elephant treks and hikes through rural landscapes and hot air ballooning. As one of longstanding and prominent hotels Sigiriya guests are assured of comforts and services that are second to none.