What to Expect from the Sigiriya Museum

What to Expect from the Sigiriya Museum

If you are planning to visit the majestic Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka, you should not miss the opportunity to explore the Sigiriya Museum as well. The museum is located near the main ticketing booth and is included in your entrance fee to the rock fortress. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day².

The Sigiriya Museum is a treasure trove of information and artifacts that reveal the rich cultural, technological, and archaeological value of Sigiriya. It showcases the results of over three decades of archaeological research on the site, dating back to prehistoric times up to the 10th-century CE³.

The museum is designed to blend with the natural environment and to reflect the sophisticated architecture of Sigiriya itself. It has three floors that correspond to the levels of the rock fortress: the lower city, the middle city, and the upper palace³. To enter the museum, you have to walk through a brick tunnel that resembles the archway of the Sigiriya citadel³.

The first floor of the museum displays exhibits related to the prehistoric and protohistoric transformation of Sigiriya, as well as the early and later Buddhist monasteries that existed on the site before and after the royal period. You can see tools, pottery, coins, sculptures, and a human skeleton that were unearthed during excavations³.

The second floor of the museum focuses on the royal city and the golden age of Sigiriya when King Kasyapa (477-495 CE) built his magnificent palace on top of the rock. You can learn about the urban planning, water systems, garden design, art, and architecture of Sigiriya through models, drawings, photographs and information panels. You can also admire replicas of the famous Sigiriya frescoes and graffiti that adorn the rock walls³.

The third floor of the museum covers the courtly and monastic life and foreign trade of Sigiriya after King Kasyapa’s death. You can see ceramics, coins, and sculptures that were imported from India, China, the Gulf, and the Roman Empire, as well as courtly items that reflect the lifestyle of the elite³.

The Sigiriya Museum is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the history and culture of Sri Lanka. It offers a comprehensive and engaging overview of Sigiriya’s past and present, as well as its connection with the local community and sustainable tourism. It is also a great way to prepare yourself for climbing the rock fortress or to refresh your memory after descending from it.

Here are some tips for visiting the Sigiriya Museum:

  • Plan to spend at least an hour or two at the museum to fully appreciate its exhibits.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes as you will have to climb stairs and walk through terraces.
  • Bring a bottle of water and a hat or an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun or rain.
  • Respect the rules of the museum: photography is prohibited inside, as well as touching or damaging any artifacts.
  • Enjoy your visit and share your experience with others!

Works Cited:
(1) Sigiriya Museum. https://sigiriyatourism.com/
(2) Sigiriya Museum – Central Cultural Fund. https://www.ccf.gov.lk/destinations/sigiriya-museum/
(3) Sigiriya Museum | Attractions in Sigiriya | Love Sri Lanka. https://www.lovesrilanka.org/sigiriya-museum/