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Cave Fresco Detail, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka - Stock Image

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Description
Sigiriya (the Lion Rock) is an ancient palace located in the central Matale District near town of Dambulla of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archeaological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. The site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion.

Although the frescoes are classified as in the Anuradhapura period, the painting style is considered unique; the line and style of application of the paintings differing from Anuradhapura paintings. The lines are painted in a form which enhances the sense of volume of the figures. The paint has been applied in sweeping strokes, using more pressure on one side, giving the effect of a deeper colour tone towards the edge.

The true identities of the ladies in these paintings still have not been confirmed. There are various ideas about their identity. Some believe that they are the ladies of the king's while others think that they are women taking part in religious observances.

Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, Asia.
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