It is also home to the singular Chinese-looking ‘Yapahuwa Lion’ stone sculpture, the likeness of which is reproduced in the country’s newest Rs. 10 note. Historians compare Yapahuwa to the Sigiriya rock fortress but note that it was built on a much smaller scale.

Its most remarkable masterwork remains an ornamental stairway that conducted the royal palace. Surrounding vistas of breathtaking beauty enriches the climb to the top; rambling jungle, rolling hills and sunbathed rocks combine to create a picture-perfect tableau.

Yapahuwa is in the Pahala-visi-deka Korale, Wanni Hatpattu, of the Northwestern Province. Situated on the outskirts of Kurunegala, it is just three miles from the Maho railway station. For those choosing the rail option, hop off at the Maho station and either use the bus service that shuttles back and forth or, if adventurous enough, trek through the scenic countryside.

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