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Image of UNESCO's World Heritage site of Sigiriya (Lion's Rock), Sri Lanka. Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin situated in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It may have been inhabited through prehistoric times and was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees to the Buddhist Sangha. According to the chronicles as Mahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (AD 477 - 495), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.