Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka- Precious Things You Need To Know About The Ultimate Pilgrimage Site Of The Sri Lankans

While the central part of Sri Lanka has many mountains and hills to hike, Adam’s Peak is a very special place that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. So, in this article, we wish to cover up what is so special about this place and why you should see it.

Out of the most symbolic places in the country, Adam’s Peak is considered one of the most worshiped places by people who belong to every ethnic group. Located in the southern reaches of the central highlands, Adam’s Peak is a tall mountain that is known to represent specialties in Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, and Islam religions. It can be visited in the season and off-season as well.

Let’s climb to Adam’s Peak and capture the beauty of the country from the top of the mountain!

What Is Adam’s Peak?

Adam’s Peak, popularly known as “Sri Pada”, is undoubtedly the most famous mountain in Sri Lanka. It is also the ultimate pilgrimage site of the Sri Lankans where people gather from all around the country to have a sacred ascent to the top of this peak each year.

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What is So Special About This Place?

The most special thing about this mountain is that it has a significance that represents every major religion that exists in the country. Adam’s Peak is venerated by a majority of the Buddhists as they believe that it has the holy footprint of lord Buddha while the Tamils believe that it is the print of lord Shiva.

While on the other hand, Christians and Muslim devotees believe that it is the sacred footprint of Adam who appears in their legends. The word “Sri Pada” literally translates to “sacred footprint” which is known to be 67 inches long and 18 inches wide. However, this site can be considered a very iconic place and the hotspot that connects the people of all four religions.

Another Sinhala name for this place is “Samanala Kanda” which has two meanings. Some say it is because the place is named after the deity “Saman” who lives upon the peak and protects the site (you can even find a shrine dedicated to this deity near the sacred footprint).

At the same time, others say that the name was given after the butterflies (known as “samanalaya” in Sinhala) which you can witness in flocks during the period of their migration annually to this mountain.

Where Is Adam’s Peak Located?

The mountain is located in the southern spreads of the Central Highlands in the Nuwara Eliya District and Ratnapura District of the Central Province and Sabaragamuwa Province. It lies about 25 miles Northeast of the city of Ratnapura and 20 miles Southwest of the city of Hatton. It is about 90 miles away from the central city of Colombo and the mountain stands 7360 feet high from sea level.

A Flashback From The Touching History Of Adam’s Peak…

The history of Adam’s Peak runs back to the 5th century when the ancient records say that Lord Buddha visited the peak. The historical literature also mentions that Adam’s Peak is associated with King Vijayabahu I visited and also says that Buddhist traveler Fa Hien stayed at the peak in 400 CE.

The famous Italian merchant Marco Polo mentioned this peak in his book “The Travels of Marco Polo” while the renowned Arab traveler Ibn Batuta also ascended the peak in the 1300s. Historical records state that many other significant people climbed Adam’s Peak and it has been protected as one of the most sacred places in the country ever since.

The Memorable Experience You Can Have At Adam’s Peak

Climbing Adam’s Peak is indeed a very unique experience for both local and foreign travelers. The pilgrimage season traditionally starts on the full moon of December and concludes on the full moon of April. You can find many locals during this period of the year and the premises often get overcrowded during the latter half of the season.

Adam's Peak Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

The Access and Hike

The best thing most travelers enjoy here is the hike up to the peak. You can enter the Adam’s Peak by six possible trails and they are:

  • Hatton-Nallathanni
  • Ratnapura-Palabaddala
  • Kuruwita-Erathna
  • Murraywatte
  • Mookuwatte
  • Malimboda

However, the most common routes are the Hatton-Nallathanni and Ratnapura-Palabaddala trails. These routes will reward you with panoramic views and breathtaking scenery which will be the first experience you’ll get along the visit to Adam’s Peak. Once a final intersection is reached (Nallathanni, Palabaddala, or Erathna), you’ll encounter a challenging journey through the jungle on foot.

The Hike Begins!

The most prominent section of the track directing from the bottom to the summit possesses thousands of steps built in rough stones or cement. If you travel to Adam’s Peak during the season you’ll meet the friendly locals who would eagerly climb the mountain with religious hearts and exhilaration.

The hike is absolutely a physical challenge so you should be one hundred percent fit and healthy to do this. The night-time ascent is worth seeing as trails are beautifully lightened up with electric lights.

This will make it easier for the night pilgrims to reach the peak making it safe even if you’re accompanied by children. You’ll also find wayside shops and rest stops along the paths that serve various supplies and refreshments. After spending a few minutes from the climb, you’ll find the Sama Chaithya Stupa that stands out magnificently, providing the spectacular backdrop of Adam’s Peak during the daytime.

Dipping In “Seetha Gangula”

The real hike begins at this water body known as the “Seetha Gangula” (Cold River). Most pilgrims traditionally take a dip in this river to cleanse themselves before they make the sacred climb up to the peak.

The water in this river is considered exceptionally cold. Thus, many travelers find it thrilling and adventurous to bathe at this river. So, if you also love a bit of an adventurous dip, you can stop by this place and enjoy the ice-cold water numbing your head to toe!

On The Top Of The Peak…

After spending about a good three hours, you’ll be able to reach the top of the mountain. The time depends on the stops you make. Most people climb Adam’s Peak at night so that they can reach the top to see the mesmerizing sunrise.

Watching the sun emerging from over the sea is such a rare scenery that you should not miss. If you’re an inquisitive traveler who loves observing what Sri Lankan pilgrims would do on top of this sacred place, you’ll be able to witness most of their traditional worshiping methods. During the season this place would get crowded with young and old pilgrims alike.

Apart from that, the views of the surroundings from the top of the peak are simply breathtaking. Early in the morning, you’ll see nothing as there are only thick layers of mist covering the surroundings. But after some time from the sunrise, the area gets clearer, feasting your eyes with dreamy scenery that you’ll never forget in your life!

Adam's Peak Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

Hiking Adam’s Peak In The Off-season

The experience you get at Adam’s Peak depends on what time of the year you choose to climb it. Therefore, climbing during the off-season will be very different from what you could expect from traveling during the season.

The premises is less crowded and many shops along the trail will be closed during this time while you’ll find only a few vendors selling food and other supplies. Above all, the weather during this period is completely unpredictable.

Thus, you should go prepared for sudden rainfalls, flash floods, and winds. However, if you’re someone who is climbing Adam’s Peak for the first time, we would suggest it would be best to visit during the season so that you can get a good idea of the place.

Nearby Experiences That You Shouldn’t Miss Out!

The central highlands of Sri Lanka is somewhere worth spending a few days since you got plenty of things to experience and enjoy. Hence, if you plan a day trip to Adam’s Peak, you can find a lodge to rest after the hike and then explore the surrounding areas for the rest of the days you stay here. 

There are many waterfalls and places to go sightseeing around this area while you can also hit Ella for a next-level experience.

We have covered everything you can experience in Ella right in this article-click the link and read this if you’re interested in visiting Ella after Adam’s Peak.

In addition to these things, here are some more places around Adam’s Peak you shouldn’t miss:

  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Knuckles Mountain Range
  • Batadombalena Cave
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve
  • Udawalawe National Park

Once done with the mountains, you can take a detour and head off to the historical city of Kandy. You’ll also find a ton of things to do and places to see in this beautiful hill city.

Follow up on this link and discover the amazing things you can do in the heritage city of Kandy!

Things You Should Know Before Climbing Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak calls out for an adventurous hike so there are a few things that you should know and keep in mind before visiting this place.

  • Pregnant women, people with medical conditions, and kids under ten years of age are not encouraged to visit Adam’s Peak as the trail is a bit of a challenge.
  • Pack your backpack with enough water, snacks, a jacket, a hat, a raincoat, sunscreen, gloves, a headlight/ torch, and any other essential things.
  • Wear comfortable, long clothes and a good pair of walking shoes
  • Littering the premises is a highly-concerned matter here. You’ll even see banners hanging in several places along the trail saying not to litter the place. Therefore, you should strictly keep in mind to bring back what you take.
  • You may not need a guide to climb Adam’s Peak particularly if you visit during the season. But you may consider taking the help of a guide if you visit in the off-season.

How To Get To Adam’s Peak?

Getting to Adam’s Peak is possible from anywhere in the country. You can use public or private transport to get to this place. Most travelers prefer a train ride especially when they head to the central hills of the country. This is mainly due to the pleasant experience and the scenic views you get to catch throughout the journey.

You can get the train from the Fort Railway Station to Hatton if your current location is Colombo. From Hatton, you can take a tuk-tuk to reach the entrance. You can also take the bus to Hatton and get a taxi to reach the destination the same way. If not, not you can also use a private vehicle to get to Adam’s Peak. This is the most convenient way to reach this place.

However, using private transportation can cost you more than that of public transport. So you will have to decide what mode of transportation you use depending on your budget. For another new experience, you can also try the domestic air service in the country.
Domestic air is usually conducted to Nuwara Eliya and Castlereigh Reservoir as the places near Adam’s Peak so you’ll have to arrange transport to your destination from these places. To use the domestic air service, you will have to book your flights ahead by contacting the relevant service provider.

Where To Stay Near Adam’s Peak?

Finding a place to stay is important especially if you plan to climb Adam’s Peak at night. Therefore, here are some of our suggestions to help you out picking a place to stay near this place:

  • Oliphant Boutique Villa By Amaya
  • The Argyle – Luxury Boutique Hotel
  • Ceylon Tea Trails – Relais & Châteaux
  • Araliya Red
  • Galway Heights Hotel

Adam’s Peak- A Paradise Awaits!

Climbing Adam’s Peak is one of the most exciting things you can do during your stay in Sri Lanka. This is a prominent pilgrimage site of the Sri Lankans where it happens during the season. You may take an adventurous hike up to the tall peak and have breathtaking views of the surrounding while meeting friendly locals who have come on their pilgrimage to worship the sacred site.

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