|Facade of the Sigiriya|
Then he says something that caught my eye. Zurga explains that as the men dive, the priestess will stand "on a rock", praying and singing above them.
|Wouldn't this make a perfect temple for prayer?|
Well, GUESS WHAT? I think I found it - no kidding!
On the island nation of Sri Lanka (the modern-day name for old Ceylon), there is a natural wonder called the Sigiriya. It's a massively huge rock-ish thingy formed eons and eons ago from volcanic magma; a "magma plug", I'm given to understand... whatever that is...
|Ancient fresco of Nadir and Leila (maybe). Wow- she's HOT!!|
Visiting the Sigiriya is quite the touristy thing to do in Sri Lanka and, as the photos on this page indicate, for good reason. As the centuries rolled on like Ol' Man River, various civilizations (some Hindu, some Buddhist) transformed the Sigiriya into a combination fort, city, art gallery, and anything else they could dream up. There are frescoes adorning the thing It was the Royal Citadel of one King Kasyapa, who ruled Ceylon from 479-496 A.D. Artisans from centuries ago carved staircases into caves; the main entrance of the ruined castle of the Sigiriya is flanked by giant carvings of a lion's paw. This so-called "Eighth Wonder of the World" (I thought that was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, but never mind... never mind...) featured a complex network of gardens, reservoirs and who knows - probably the ancient equivalent of a food court. Quizno's has been around longer than you'd think...
My thinking? This would make a totally cool, very functional temple for a priestess like Leila! For one thing, it certainly serves as the rock mentioned by Zurga; for another, anyone atop the Sigiriya would feel they were whispering in the gods' ears, so to speak. Ancient people believed that the higher your altitude, the greater your proximity to Divinity, and thus the greater your own divinity.
|Big rock... big, big rock...|
It is now a well-documented fact (this is me documenting it right now) that Leila, Hindu priestess and heroine of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, scaled The Sigiriya for her temple of prayer on Ceylon. The matter is settled.
(NOTE: All images courtesy of Bernard Gagnon)
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