Adam’s Peak or the Sri Pada is an iconic pilgrim site in Sri Lanka which has a rich religious heritage dates back to antiquity. Buddhist devotees believe the impression on the summit is the footprint of lord Buddha. it is around 5 hours trek to reach the pinnacle of the giant mountain, devotees of many religions climb the mountain daily to invoke blessings. The mountain is also identified as Samanala Kanda (Butterfly Mountain) which is a very important icon in tourist map of Sri Lanka.
Adam’s Peak is surrounded by the forested hills, waterfalls, water streams, The region of Peak Wilderness Sanctuary that encompass the Adam’s Peak together with Horton plains National Park & Knuckles mountain range where all those are located in the central Highlands of Sri Lanka which was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011.
Multiple access options
Access to Aam’s Peak is possible by 6 trails, Hatton-Nallathanni, Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte; Malimboda.
The most scenic routes are the Hatton-Nallathanni & Ratnapura-Palabaddala due to the picturesque views and postcard worthy scenery which takes the breath away & connects you with the nature.
Once you reach a final node (Nallanthanni or Palabaddala or Erathna) the difficult journey begins through the jungle on foot. Most of the tourists use the Hatton route as the journey can be reduced by more than five kilometers even though the slope of this route is much greater than the others but more adventure seekers & nature lovers take the Palabaddala or Erathna even though it is longer journey due to the wonderful experience & eye candy views & lushes greenery.
The pilgrims season to Sri Pada traditionally kicks off on the full moon of December and ends on the full moon of April. During the first half of the season the night ascent isn’t crowded. However, during the latter half of the season, more people attempt the climb.
Off- season climb is becoming more & more popular among tourists & adventure seekers due to the exciting adventurousness of the trip.
The greater part of the track leading from the base to the summit of Adam’s peak consists of dozens of steps built in cement or rough stones being illuminated with electric power lines. The night ascent is safe even when accompanying kids. With the track having night rest stops and wayside stalls and kiosks that serve refreshments, the goal of reaching the summit on time to enjoy the spectacle of sunrise made even easier and less tiresome.
You could also climb up during the day, camp overnight enjoying the starry spectacle at the summit, witness the majesty of the beautiful sunrise the following morning and then descend. The daytime ascent affords the luxury to climb at a leisurely pace and have enough time to enjoy the picturesque views.
The Sama Chatiya at Adam’s Peak
After a few minutes climb you can find the “Sama Chatiya” the World Peace Pagoda. This stupa was built by the famous Japanese Buddhist monk Ven Nichi Fuji in 1976. Today it is maintained by several Japanese monks. Though not much could be made out of the stupa and the landscape in the night ascent, during daytime the Peace Pagoda stands out dramatically with the amazing backdrop of Adam’s Peak.
Majestic Sunrise and the Shadow of the Mount
When the sun is just about to rise, the pilgrims and tourists rush to the eastern side to witness an amazing spectacle. The sun almost leaps over the eastern horizon drawing a perfect triangle of a shadow of the mountain spreading over the western backdrop of the mountain. As the sun keeps on rising, the shadow shifts towards the base of the mountain until it completely disappears, a grand finale to a breathtaking natural spectacle.