Sigiriya Pillar of Rock What is Sigiriya Rock Made Of?

Sigiriya volcano formation

Photo: Cross section of a volcano show magma flow

The massive rock at Sigiriya composed of solid granite and is approximately 180 meters (590 ft) high. It is the the remains of a hardened magma plug of a an extinct volcano. Sigiriya rock was formed over two billion years ago when this area was rife with active volcanoes. As a result, hot molten lava from the earth’s inner core spewed out onto the surface and cooled, forming numerous mountains of varying sizes.


Story of Sigirya book cover

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Sigiriya in this beautifully illustrated book. In Part 1 travel back in time and meet the key players who shaped the rock fortress's history. Part 2 contains a comprehensive Site Guide with hundreds of photographs and descriptions of the ruins.

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Over time, volcanic activity ceased, and wind and rain slowly eroded the outer surface of the volcano, leaving only its solidified magma core. The 180 meter exposed rock is only the tip of a solidified lava shaft that extends deep into the earth’s surface.

Sigiriya volcano formation

Photo: Sigiriya rock was formed from a magma plug

The numerous scattered granite boulders around Sigiriya are the remnants of the lava that once flowed from this volcano.

Pidurangala Rock, less than a kilometer away from Sigiriya, was also formed by the same process.

Related Article: Sigiriya: Complete Guide