Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument – Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

A contribution to Monument, which is the WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge this week.

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, has fascinated me since the first postage stamp was issued by Sri Lanka with the famous Sigiriya Frescoes.

Sigiriya Rock is the hardened magma plug left behind by an eroded, ancient volcano. But it is more than that. It is the site of an ancient fortress which was surrounded by landscaped gardens. The remnants of both the fortress and gardens can be seen, and the site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

1 Sigiriya Rock

2 Sigiriya Gardens-wm

3 Ancient Steps-wm

The landscaped gardens are cool and almost magical in the morning light. Awe-inspiring to think that the steps we climb and the walls around us are, according to tradition, over 1600 years old.

4 Sigiriya Maidens 1-wm

5 Sigiriya Maidens 2-wm

Part-way up the steep face of the rock, in a protected area where one finally encounters the Sigiriya Frescoes or Maidens. Scholars are not in total agreement over who or what the Frescoes represent. Only 19 maidens survive the original set of 500. Painted in the style known as “fresco lustro” and carefully restored, the colours are vibrant, surviving the ages and even a vandal attack in the last century.

6 Lion Staircase-wm

Further up the rock is what was originally the impressive formal entrance to the fortress – Lion Entrance. The huge forepaws and steps remain.

7 At the top-wm

Finally a little bit of the view from the top. Sigiriya definitely does not disappoint.





Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

Now that the 52 Weeks Flickr challenge is over, I am on the look-out for another challenge that will keep me creating images. Someone pointed me in the direction of the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress’ Daily Post. Last week’s was ‘Horizon’, and I am weighing in a little late (as often happens), with some images of the beautiful Port Willunga jetty ruins.

Jetty Ruins

Jetty ruins

Port Willunga used to be a grain port, but is now a popular tourist spot. The old jetty was destroyed in a storm in 1915 (I think). I love the way the jetty pylons form a contrast against the sea and sky, breaking up the horizon.

Slow-motion sea and Jetty Ruins

Slow-motion sea

We get some awesome sunsets in South Australia:

Sunset over jetty ruins