Se7en Stages of Defense at Sigiriya, Sri Lanka – Part I


Hey guys, today we are going to take a look at this giant rock called Sigiriya. On top of the rock, there are mysterious ancient ruins which have not been fully explained by archeologists. How did ancient builders create such extraordinary structures on top of a rock, which is 660 feet tall? But there is an even more important question: Why did anyone choose to build these structures on an impossible location? All experts agree that construction on such an isolated, inaccessible location means there was something very secretive going on here. Whoever built this, clearly did not want anyone to come up easily and find out what is going on.
In a previous video, we saw what was on top of the rock – in this video, we are going to see 7 stages of obstacles created by ancient builders to prevent enemies from reaching the top of the rock. Today, when we say Sigiriya we usually mean this giant rock, but Sigiriya actually stands for the entire ancient complex which consists of many lines of defense.
The very first, outermost obstacle you face when entering the Sigiriya complex is the water gardens. This actually looks like a welcoming place and looks beautiful, and archeologists have named this as water gardens, but the truth is, this entire set up was designed to kill and destroy people who entered without permission. If you look at the ancient plan of Sigiriya, it is almost completely covered on all sides with water, like a fort with a moat, everything you see in blue is water.
In fact, even today, we enter Sigiriya only through bridges to cross over the moat. Of course, outside the moat, there is another line of defense, it is actually the first line of defense which is the brick wall. If you look at the aerial view of Sigiriya, we realize that an enormous outer wall, a rampart has been built for protection. I am not going into explain this wall because I have not studied it fully. Now, going back to the Water gardens: the water gardens, utilizes a very complex ancient hydraulic system. The water gardens can be flooded at will by manipulating the system, and even today, we can flood the water levels and completely stop everyone from entering this place.
When you enter Sigiriya complex, you will see a series of tanks, brick walls, and strange constructions which look like a bunch of random structures which don’t make any sense. But when I went to the top of the rock, and then looked at the bigger picture, it is astounding because the area looks like a circuit board, built by the gods. There are 4 tanks, 2 on each side of the walk way. And there are four fountains symmetrically built, 2 on each side. These fountains still work today. These fountains are connected to the moat. Using the principle of gravity and pressure, water is pushed from the moat, into the fountains, through underground channels. This will activate the fountains which will in turn fill the tanks, and these tanks are all interconnected at the base, so there will be uniform water level in all 4 tanks. This snake like structure was also created to control the movement of water, water cannot flow straight, and will have varying speeds at different points because of the curves. Notice how everything is connected, and this is just a very small part of the water gardens, so you can imagine the complexity of this entire system.
Now, how did ancient builders flood this entire area? There are massive water tanks created all around Sigiriya complex and most of them are at an elevated position. There is a large artificial lake to the South of the Rock called Vava, which is connected to the moat and the fountains, and water can be released from it, at will. This will cause the moat’s water level to rise and cause flooding all around Sigiriya. We can also flood specific areas, without affecting the other areas, we can specifically flood this entrance alone. If we push some small obstructions through the conduits to the water fountains, the fountains will not be able to close, and will continue to keep releasing water, and will flood the entrance.
If we explore the ground level, we can see many tanks which collect rain water, and they have conduits which can be opened for flooding the area. And each tank is different and has some extraordinary feature. Remember, in Sigiriya, ancient builders used nature as a part of their construction.

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