Facilities at Sigiriya need upliftment | Sunday Observer

Facilities at Sigiriya need upliftment

16 January, 2022

Sigiriya Rock fortress renowned as the UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka reveals the glory of our golden history.

Foreign and local tourists fascinated by the panoramic sceneries and historical significance of Sigiriya never miss out the opportunity to visit Sigiriya. The historical value of Sigiriya cannot be limited to the rock fortress built by the king Kashyapa.

No doubt the surrounding sites such as Mapagala, Millagala, Pindurangala, Pothana, Aligala, Ibbankatuwa and Kaludiya Pokuna bear testimony to its unrivalled history. Indeed, Sigiriya Rock Fortress brings pride to Sri Lanka. But unfortunately, it causes heartburn to us to witness the pathetic situation in the vicinity of Sigiriya.

Not only local tourists but also foreign tourists face many difficulties caused by problems such as the inadequate sanitary facilities, lack of parking spaces, accommodations in poor condition, and overcrowding.

As a result, most tourists express an unwillingness to visit Sigiriya. As noted by residents of the area, foreign tourists cannot find even a proper place to have their meals.

The Central Cultural Fund issues tickets for local and foreign tourists on the pretext of developing the infrastructure facilities. However, regrettably, those at the helm have failed to take steps in this regard.

Responsibilities of the Central Cultural Fund

When the ‘Youth Observer’ contacted the Director General of the Central Cultural Fund, Prof. Gamini Ranasinghe said that they have taken measures to uplift the infrastructure facilities as soon as possible.

“I have to stress that we have taken decisions to uplift the infrastructure facilities of the area. It is true that many tourists are facing various problems. Some ask me why we avoid taking steps to control the number of stray dogs. I personally don’t like to kill or harm animals in the name of development. It is an offence. We don’t have a right to kill animals. However, we have already taken steps to solve all these problems,” Director General Prof. Gamini said.

Those responsible should take steps to provide crowd-holding areas, better accommodations and sanitary facilities in order to attract more tourists.

Coming to its historical significance, in the 6th and the 7th centuries AD, Sigiriya had become an adobe of Buddhist monks. Structures such as Stupa, Image House had been constructed. In the 19th century Sigiriya was abandoned.

In 1832, a British Military Officer Jonathan Forbes brought Sigiriya out of its obscurity. In 1982 the Central Cultural Fund took the responsibility for preserving Sigiriya.

If we discuss the aesthetic values of Sigiriya, we have to focus on many areas such as the water garden and landscape gardening of Sigiriya, Lion Rock, Sigiriya graffiti, Lion’s paw entrance, hydraulic engineering and management, mirror wall and fresco paintings of female figures which stay in the sacred place of our hearts. Sigiriya graffiti written on the surface of the mirror wall at Sigiriya gives an insight into the history of Sigiriya. Indeed, it is the duty of the public and the government to preserve Sigiriya for our next generation. [email protected]