Strong, dry breezes ruffle the quiet serenity as you enter one of many ancient stone ruins in Sri Lanka, the Yapahuwa stone ruins. Overhead looms the great Yapahuwa rock fortress, standing tall over 300-feet with a history dating back to the 13th Century.
Once Sri Lanka’s seat of governance and home to the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, today Yapahuwa is one of the country’s most unique and important sites of historic interest. Its likeness is compared to the Sigiriya rock fortress, Although Yapahuwa was built on a much smaller scale its allure remains the same.
Traces of ancient battlements and remnants of King Buvenekabahu’s kingdom lures thousands of travellers, while its ornamental stairway remains its centrepiece. Masterfully crafted, this long steep staircase is flanked by intricate rock carvings. As you make your way to the top, surrounding vistas of breathtaking beauty enhances your trek as you glance over the sprawling jungle, rolling hills and precipitous rocks.
Atop the stairs is a large stone door way, skirted by big walls and two exquisitely carved windows. Known as the jewel of Yapahuwa’s Ancient Stone Ruins, the elaborately constructed window has been compared to the tracery work at the Taj Mahal in Agra. Standing as a reflection of medieval stone carvings, each carving is different from the other and includes Bacchanalian figures, women, swans and images of other animals.
When you travel to Yapahuwa, Sri Lanka you will also have the option to explore the caves at the base of the rock. Traverse through each cave – where you will find a shrine with Buddha images, intricate Brahmi script inscriptions and a Buddhist shrine located at the southern base of the rock along with a fortification with two moats and ramparts.
Closest Domestic Airport – Sigiriya Domestic Airport