Adam’s Peak, also known as Sri Pada, is a mountain located south of the central highland, standing 2243m tall. This summit is considered to be one of Sri Lanka’s most remarkable landmarks and one of the most visited places of pilgrimage. Many legends surrounding the Sacred Footprint on this summit claim different stories of the mysterious footprint to suit their own theologies.
Imprint of the foot of….
Buddhist of course believe the giant footprint at the summit of Sri Pada is that of the Buddha, left during his third visit of Sri Lanka. Christian people believe it is an imprint of the foot of Adam. He left it there when he first set foot on Earth, right after he and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Hindus say it is the Footprint of Lord Shiva, while some Muslims call it the Footprint of Al-Rohun, meaning the Soul. Before you embark on this incredible climb to the heavens there are a few things you need to know.
It is wise that you begin your ascent at around 1 or 2 am in order if you want to watch the sunrise from the summit and in order to avoid climbing amidst an inescapable crowd. There are many shops on the way so you wouldn’t have to trouble yourself carrying too many things. Many people visit the summit during the pilgrimage season which spans from December to May the following year, since it is believed that the visibility is the best during that season. Since lights are off, most shops closed and steps can be slippery, it is inadvisable to climb off season.
The simplest route to take would be from Dalhousie, where you may also find guides that offer their services for approximately $10. However this is not entirely necessary unless you’re flying solo or planning on climbing the mountain during off season. No matter how fit or healthy you are, this 7 km long ascent WILL be challenging. The climb is estimated to be 4 hours long -with breaks- so start your journey at 2 am in order to catch the sunrise at 6 am. Bear in mind that it can get cold, so carry warm clothing.
Upon reaching the top of the mountain, pilgrims are supposed to ring one of two bells for every successful climb they have made. The view from the top is absolutely breathtaking especially during the break of dawn. With the sun rising, you will see the shadow of the peak, which mysteriously appears to take the shape of a perfect triangle in contrast to the summit’s irregular form. Buddhists claim that this triangular shadow is a depiction of the ‘Triple Gem’, which is a Buddhist equivalent to the Holy Trinity.
Although the climb is long and strenuous, don’t miss out on visiting Adam’s Peak! The panoramic view on the top of the mountain is worth the work out and dedicated hours.