I’m not a trekker, not even close to one. I have a morbid fear of descents (that I spoke about), and I am not in the best shape physically either. I am not a slow trekker, but I am a reluctant one at best. I don’t enjoy climbs very much, but I am a sucker for the view from the top. This is the Sigiriya rock fortress, and is an ancient monastery of sorts. Sigiriya is considered to be one of the most important urban planning sites of the first millennium, as it is very elaborately and imaginatively designed. The climb is laced with meditation points and shallow caves where Buddhist monks were know to take refuge. There is a spiral stair structure that takes you to a cave full of paintings by these monks too, which is a welcome breather in the vertical trek. The rock is about 660 ft high, and the view from the top is breathtaking. The peak is known to resemble a lion’s head (Sigiriya is derived from Sīnhāgiri, the lion mountain); you enter from the lion gate (which has lion paws sculpted on either sides) and looks over the five gates and the three gardens: water gardens, cave and boulder gardens, and terraced gardens.