This monument was built almost 1600 years ago and is the largest single construction in ancient Sri Lanka. The history of the fortress goes back to the King Kasyapa who, tormented by his past deeds, escaped to the forests of Sri Lanka. In an area that featured a menacingly high black rock, he built a new capital for himself. He made the menace of a rock to look like a massive white cloud. Around the circumference of the cloud like structure, he got painted celestial nymphs that are now known as the Sigiriya Frescoes. He also built a gateway resembling a lion which gave this its name, Lion Mountain. The city thrived for the next 14 years till it was forgotten with time. It is a 60 to 90 minute climb and open to guests from 7 am to 5:30 pm.