marvel of 5th Century AD)
The main bus stop is close to the bridge by the south entrance but those without a Cultural Triangle Permit have to walk round to the main West Entrance to bye their tickets. Those visiting by car may avoid the long walk from the South Entrance. There is an unofficial car park inside the inner moat.
The gate to the site
opens at 0600 but the ticket office only opens around 0700. If you wish
to make an early start (avoiding groups which start arriving by 0800)
buy your ticket on the previous day if you arrive in time.
There are over 60 licensed guides here so competition is fierce; it is worth getting one. Charge, about Rs 300 for hrs.
Hieroglyphs suggest that
it was occupied by humans from very early times, long before the
fortress was built. The Royal citadel (477-495 AD) was surrounded
by an impressive wall and double moat; the city had the Palace and
quarters for the ordinary people who built with the royal pavilions,
pools and fortifications. The top of the rock has a surface area of 1.5
ha built on the precipitous edge.When the citadel ceased to be a palace, it was inhabited by monks until
1155, and then abandoned. It was rediscovered by archeologists in 1828.
The Mahavanasa records that King Kasyapa, having killed his
farther to gain the throne, lived in terror that his half-brother, who
had taken refuge in India, would return to kill him. He did come back,
after 18 years, to find that Kashyapa had built a combination of pleasure
palace and massive fortress. Kasyapa come down from the hill to face his
half-brother's army on elephant back. Mistakenly thinking he had been
abounded, he killed himself with his dagger.