Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka. Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarana on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years. Since the 3rd century BC, the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century, king Kashyap decided to construct a royal residence here. After his death, Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was abandoned.