Sigiriya Museum

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Tags : Museum

Timings : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : LKR 5,500 per person (included in ticket to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress)

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Sigiriya Museum , Sigiriya Overview

Sigiriya Museum is at the base of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and was established in 2009. The exhibits at Sigiriya Museum are not limited to the artifacts—they include photographs depicting Sigiriya's history, several informative videos, and models of the fortress. The highlight of the museum is the stunning and accurate recreation of the frescoes found at the fort.

The museum boasts an impressive collection of exhibits that belong to various periods in history - ranging from the prehistoric period to the reign of King Kashyapa when the Sigiriya Rock Fortress was constructed. Sigiriya Museum was built with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and was completed after four years. With more than five distinctive galleries, the museum offers fascinating and unique insights into the past for visitors. Sigiriya Museum has undoubtedly been a boon for visitors unable to climb the fortress but immensely interested in exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Galleries At Sigiriya Museum

The tour of the museum begins with an informative video detailing the site’s history; it is available in English, Sinhala and Tamil. The entry to the first level of the museum is through a brick tunnel, akin to that of the rock fortress. The first floor has six major galleries depicting the prehistoric era to the Golden Age of Sigiriya, while the second floor consists of the recreation of the frescoes.

1. First Gallery: Objects of the prehistoric and protohistoric era are on display at the first gallery. These include replicas of the burial items at Ibbankatuwa megalithic tombs, an iron kiln from Alakola Wewa, and a prehistoric skeleton discovered at the Potana rock shelter; actual artefacts recovered from the areas are also on exhibit here.

2. Second Gallery: The theme of the second gallery is the Early and Late Monastic periods of Buddhism. Two dolomitic marble plaques discovered at the nearby Pidurangala stupa are undoubtedly the best feature of this gallery. Other exhibits include sculptures of Lord Buddha and plans of the monastery and Bodhi temple.

3. Third Gallery: The third gallery’s objects are related to the ‘Golden Age of Sigiriya’ under King Kashyapa’s rule. The gallery includes a miniature model of the rock fortress, a 3D animation of the reconstructed royal palace and various metal artefacts from the archaeological site.

4. Fourth Gallery: Artwork from Sigiriya is the subject of the fourth gallery. An exhibit about the famous Mirror Wall with audio recordings and frescoes of the Boulder Garden is on display here. Terracotta figurines are some of the artefacts at this gallery.

5. Fifth Gallery: The fifth gallery has jewellery, most notably a replica of the Sigiriya Earring, coins, pottery and weaponry—depicting the ‘courtly and monastic life’ of Sigiriya. Sasanian vessels on display indicate the international trade relations of the kingdom with the Gulf, Roman Empire and India.

6. Sixth Gallery: The sixth and last gallery of the first floor comprises objects related to the ethnoarchaeology of Sigiriya, and folk cultures, such as a headdress of a local chieftain and an Iberian door lock.

7. Fresco Pocket: The second floor of the museum contains painstakingly made accurate replicas of the frescoes at the site.

Tips For Visiting Sigiriya Museum

1. Complete a tour of the museum before venturing out to climb the rock fortress as it provides a better understanding of the fort and its attractions.
2. One can also visit an official souvenir shop at the museum; it mainly sells books about the country’s rich history.

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