This rock fortress was built by king Kasyapa in the 5th century A.D. and was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. It is a complex of buildings, part royal palace, part fortified town, and water gardens on par with the best in the ancient world, constitute a magnificent and unique architectural feat of the ancient Sinhalese. In a sheltered pocket approached by a spiral stairways are the famous Sigiriya frescoes, the earliest surviving pictorial art of Sri Lanka and of the same period as the Ajantha frescoes of India. The summit of the rock with an area of nearly one hc. Was the site of the palace. It is rerated as the 8th wonder of the ancient world.