One of joys of traveling is finding parallels of sites, culture, history, and cuisine, and more in various countries throughout the world. For instance, dozens of countries have dragon myths, including China, Vietnam, Spain, France, Romania, Mexico, and others. I always get excited when I discover one, and it often gets me thinking. When I first visited Egypt, my mind was spinning as I saw similarities between Egyptian and ancient South and Central America pyramids.
I discovered my latest travel parallel during a recent research trip to Sri Lanka. Arguably the biggest attraction in this beautiful country is the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. Even without knowing any of its history, anyone who is a fan of Machu Picchu is going to see instant similarities. Here are my top ten…
- The biggest is that both are ancient cities perched at the top of a mountain or rock formation, high above their surroundings. Sigiriya, however, is about 1,000 years older, and yet more is known about it than Machu Picchu.
- Both were swallowed by jungle and lost for hundreds of years, only to be rediscovered within the last 200 years by some white dudes.
- Both ruins were ancient citadels. Sigiriya was built by King Kashyapa during the 5th century. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century for the Inca emperor Pachacuti
- Climbing to the top of both is a killer butt workout. Once at the top, you are rewarded with amazing commanding views.
- Both are very green.
- Both mingle with the clouds on occasion, adding a mystic quality.
- Masonry is taken to a whole new art-form at each location, with incredible granite carvings. Stones came from considerable distances and at incredible heights to build a variety of structures.
- Both have a random tree in a grassy courtyard/meadow. If you’ve been to Machu Picchu, you know the tree I am talking about.
- Both have different areas for guards, royalty, etc.
- Spirituality is a strong visible force throughout each citadel.
If you loved Machu Picchu, you will undoubtedly become fascinated and enchanted by Sri Lanka’s Sigiriya.