Sigiriya lion rock fortress in Sri Lanka hailed among seven new wonders of the world
Sri Lanka’s amazing Sigiriya lion-rock fortress is hailed as a new wonder of the world by US-based business media conglomerate Bloomberg in a piece on its luxury Pursuits website.
It compares seven lesser-known tourism newcomers with established magnets such as Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, and Petra, and says: “Just imagine what it would be like to explore world wonders few people have ever even heard of yet.”
“Some of the world’s most staggering historical sites have recently been made accessible thanks to a slew of intrepid tour operators, hoteliers, or infrastructure developments.”
They include Sigiriya, the rock fortress built by King Kassapa “atop a 600-foot-high granite boulder smack in the center of modern-day Sri Lanka”.
Says Bloomberg: “The whole thing doubled as a massive piece of sculpture: Not only did workers carve stone staircases leading all the way to the top; they also added brick and plaster work to create the illusion of a gigantic lion emerging from the forest.
“The first two flights of stairs are straddled by enormous, clawed paws; another flight emerges from the lion’s mouth. At the summit, visitors can explore what’s left of Kassapa’s palace, gardens, fountains, and ponds—but the climb is half the fun.”
Another new must-see are the 14th-century ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire in Hampi, India, where over the past two years, a handful of independently owned, small-scale resorts have opened, crowned by the recent arrival of Kamlapura Palace.
The five-star hotel is the area’s first, with 46 rooms that offer a modern-day reimagining of the area’s historic remains; local expert Victoria Dyer, of India Beat, calls it a game-changer for high-end travellers.
Meanwhile, the 1,000-year-old ruin in the Colombian Sierra Nevada is 650 years older than Machu Picchu. Built by the Tayrona people atop a mountain pass that’s dotted with palm trees, it was believed to have had as many as 10,000 residents in its heyday—but the surrounding jungle swallowed it up.
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