The most striking pyramid of Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka or Sri Pada (7,360 ft) is certainly not the tallest peak in Sri Lanka. The sacred spot on the rocky summit resembles a massive footprint celebrated as a sacred sign from ancient times. The Buddhists consider it as the footprint of the Buddha, by Hindus as the footprint of Lord Shiva, and by Muslims as Adam’s. Later, the Portuguese credited it to St. Thomas the Apostle. 

The Mahawamsa explains how the Lord Buddha imprinted his holy footprint on Adam’s Peak before departing on his third visit to Lanka, but the place was not the focus of a routine Buddhist ritual until the Polonnaruwa era, when King Vijayabahu I constructed the resting houses for pilgrims and King Nissankamalla himself, in 1201, reached the top and worshiped the place.

Sunrise at Adams Peak - Hiking in Adam's Peak Mountain Sri Lanka
Sunrise at Adams Peak - Hiking in Adam's Peak Mountain Sri Lanka
Hiking to Sacred Adam's Peak Sri Lanka
Hiking to Sacred Adam's Peak Sri Lanka

Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka Trekking:

The open season for Hiking and Trekking in Adam’s Peak starts with the relocation of the statues of Lord Saman, the model of his holy white elephant and other religious paraphernalia, which is originally in place at the Galpottawela Raja Maha Vihara in Pelmadulla, founded by King Kirti Sri Rajasinha. As per the ritual, the present priest of Sri Pada and the working team, consisting of Buddhist clergy and laity, enter the devale’s shrine room.

Until the full moon day, and after paying respects to the Lord Buddha, take steps to clear the holy artifacts from the summit. Along the route, the procession arrives at the Maha Saman Devale in Ratnapura, and a ceremony is held by the “Kapurala” of the Devale, requesting the blessings of the great God Saman for a trouble-free journey.

In the olden times, the parade followed the Ratnapura direction, but now a motorcade joins to the summit along the Hatton road via Ratnapura, Avissawella, Yatiyantota, Kitulgala, Ginigathena, Hatton, Dickoya and Maskeliya, and ends at the Dalhousie bazaar (Nallathanniya) where vehicle transportation facilities end. As the full moon Poya day dawns, they touch the top and, after observing formal ceremonies, the “Kapurala” places the statues devoted to God in a cave below the feet. A trek to Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka is a blend of adventure and feelings of being in a sacred place and getting eternal blessings.

The two ancient highways to the top are Hatton Road via Maskeliya and Ratnapura Road via Kuruwita.

In the olden times, the pilgrims climbed up the mountain, climbing onto the naked rock surface and holding tight to the chains of iron posts carved into the rocky floor.

The most difficult section of the climb was the point known as “Mahagiridambe,” where the pilgrims were vulnerable to strong winds and were at risk of being blown away. However, Sri Pada is now a secure and safe place for travelers.

Pilgrims seek to reach the peak before dawn to see the great sight known as the “Ira-Sewaya” (the splendor of the morning sun) breaking the eastern horizon, like a meteor, throwing a shadow of the mountain to the valleys in the opposite direction, like a cone. The “Ira-Sewaya” is to indicate the devotion of the sun-god by the foot.

There is a large brass lamp on the top of the cliff that burns day and night during the open course, and it was a gift made by King Wickremabahu III (1360-1375). Pilgrims take oil from this lamp for medicinal purposes.

Why is Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka Trekking So Special?:

There are a lot of other places to visit for Hiking and Trekking in Sri Lanka, but you would never have seen the land of Lord Buddha before in your life.

Adam’s Peak is the fourth tallest mountain with a height of 2244m and is about 40 km northeast of the district of Ratnapura in Sri Lanka. This peak is still the holiest peak as the footsteps of the Lord Buddha because there are still millions of people here each year to pay homage to the arrival of Lord Buddha. For years, this location has been famous for pilgrims from all over the world to pray since religious rituals.

Part of the trail leading from the base to the top of Sri Pada is a collection of hundreds of steps made of cement or rough stones lit by electrical power lines. Even when accompanying youngsters, the night climb is secure. With the track providing night rest stops and the wayside stalls and kiosks selling drinks and snacks, the task of reaching the top in time to enjoy the sunrise display has made it much simpler and less tiring.

You may also plan to ascend throughout the day, camp overnight watching the starry night at the summit, see the beauty of the stunning sunrise the next morning, and then go down. The daytime ascending offers the luxury of climbing at a leisurely speed and having plenty of time to admire the view all around.

When you are climbing Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, you will undoubtedly feel the magic and sacredness within the region. Did you know that even wildlife, such as elephants, visit the mountain region and worship the mountain during the offseason? It’s so sacred out there.

Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka: Guidance for Climbers:

Are you looking for Adventure Sports in Sri Lanka? Sri Pada goes up to a height of 7360 feet from the very bottom of the central highlands and appears like a peak on the green wall of the city from the southwest. It’s mostly covered in clouds for around half a year, and the monsoon downpours that spill down its steep sides at this period make it nearly difficult to reach the summit. The heavy rainfall feeds the four major rivers of Sri Lanka, all of which have their source on the lower elevations of the mountain.

Sri Pada is in an extremely thick woodland region, part of which is now the Peak Forest Sanctuary. It is not a thick, steamy canopy commonly associated with the tropics, but a calm misty landscape identical to that found in the lower reaches of the Himalayas. Gigantic trees are thick with moss, rhododendrons develop big red flowers and rare orchids including Regal and Chandraraja thrive in deep, damp loam.

Traditionally, the cycle of pilgrims to Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka begins on the full moon of December and ends on the full moon of April. It takes a while for the large crowd to build up, but they can be very big by the second part of the season, so it’s best to go sooner. Weekends and especially full moon days are often busy, meaning you have to avoid such days when visiting Adam’s Peak. Most people climb at night so that they can make it in time for the sunrise. Instead, you can ascend up the day, stay the night, and go down the next morning. This way you can escape the traffic, ascend at a relaxing rate, have more than enough time to admire the view, see the sunset and get the best spot to see the sunrise in the morning. Lodging at the summit is limited, so you will have to carry your own food and maybe a mattress or a sleeping bag. Nonetheless, once you want to go, review the weather forecast before setting this up. Rain will make a dreadful ride, so it is more likely the cloud or fog will obstruct the vision.

If it’s going to be a climb day or night, it can be an arduous climb, so just bring what you’re sure to need. There are food and drink stands all the way up the Hatton road, but prices are significantly higher than usual, so you may want to bring your own snacks and water. You are likely to be comfortable during the hike, but you can get really cold when waiting for the sunrise at the summit, so wear warm clothes. When the climate is unpredictable, the umbrella or raincoat would be useful. A pair of binoculars would always be most helpful if you have them when visiting Sri Pada.

History and Legends of Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka:

Do you want to know some hidden information about this holy mountain? We have it covered in this section for you. The season of pilgrims to the holy mountain of Sri Pada (also known as Samantha Kuta, Adam’s peak, Samanhela, Samangira, Holy Mountain Samanalakanda, and Samanalagira) begins every year on the full moon day of “Unduvap” in December and concludes on the full moon day of “Vesak” in May. In this free course, visitors reach the summit to pay tribute to the ancient icon that Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus, and Muslims view as divine, as per their particular beliefs. Therefore, Sri Pada is the only peak in the world to receive blessings and veneration from the devotees of various religions.

The top of the mountain is a small plateau, as per the measurements made by Lieut. Malcolm (the first European to ascend the mountain in 1816) “is 74 ft long and 24 ft high,” with a total area of 1,776 square feet. There is a large stone on the summit, about eight ft. high, at the top of which the holy footprint is in place. Contrary to the mystical creation of the structure in local mythology, the actual image of the Feet lies under the stone, on the blue sapphire. To keep it from being profaned, the deity Sakra had covered it with a rock.

The footprint is a shallow flow 68 in long, and 31 in and 29 in wide at the toes and heel, respectively. A margin of brass and studded with few gems make it more diving and decorative. The cavity bears a rough resemblance to the human foot, but the size is enormous and appears to be partially natural and partly contrived. There are few elevated partitions to reflect the interstices between the toes. Adam’s Peak is a must-visit place in Sri Lanka for adventure hiking/trekking and holy experience.

The renowned Arab itinerant pilgrim Ibn Batuta, alias Abu Abdullah Mohammed (1304-1377), had traveled to reach the top of the Holy Mountain via Ratnapura, trekking along the banks of the Kalu-Ganga, that had started its voyage from Barberyn (Beruwala) to the Kalutara River. Before him, the famed Venetian trader and adventurer, Marco Polo also climbed to the top to pay homage to the majestic Foot of Adam, on his way from China in 1292, before heading to Venice. This was also in China that he had come to recognize the holy symbol of Kublai Khan, the first ruler of the Yuan dynasty of China.

Visit Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka With Overa Tours:

Apart from the religious attraction of Mount Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak), thousands of travelers visit the place for its strategic location that it took about five hours to reach the summit. A rich ecosystem occurs near this mountain where a range of forests and valleys await you.

The view from the top of Adam’s Peak is probably the best in the world, because no other peak while surpassing it at height, offers the same uninterrupted views of the land and the sea. Above it, to the north and east, the visitor looks down on the area of the high hills covering the Kandyan kingdom, while to the west, the eye is well above the undulating plains, lined up by the hills surrounding the Kandyan kingdom.

Do you want to enjoy the brilliance of Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka? Contact us today, then!