While traveling, regardless of the country, tourists pay attention to the majestic mountains. No one can say why they attract travelers so much. If you visit Sri Lanka, you must climb Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada. Read more about Adams Peak in Sri Lanka in this article.
Basic information about Adam’s Peak
Adams Peak in Sri Lanka is a steep mountain that has a conical shape. Its height is 2243 m.
Previously, there was an opinion that Adam’s Peak is the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. However, today it has been officially proven that it only ranks fourth.
Adam’s Peak has an interesting look. Visually resembles a stratovolcano. At the same time, it stands out from the background of other hills that surround it.
At Adam’s Peak are the sources of the main four rivers of the country, including the longest – the Mahaweli Ganga.
Where is Adam’s Peak located?
Adam’s Peak is located in the southwest of Sri Lanka. This is the Sabaragamuwa province.
If you want a more precise location, then you need to move northeast from Ratnapura for about 40 km. The path to the southwest from Hatton takes 32 km.
Different names of the mountain Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka
Adam’s Peak is distinguished by a large number of different names. The Sinhalese refer to it as Sri Pada. The name is translated as “sacred foot”. This name is in great demand today.
In the ancient chronicle of Sri Lanka, which dates back to the 5th century, the mountain is called “Samantakuta”.
Modern Sinhalese call the mountain “Samanelakhanda”. Hindus call the mountain “Shiva Padam” or “Svargarohanam”. Tourists from Portugal call the mountain “Pico de Adam”, but the British call it “Adam’s Peak”.
In Sanskrit literature, the attraction was called Mount Lanka, Mount Ratnagiri, and Mount Rohan.
The religious significance of Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka
This landmark of Sri Lanka attracts many with its height and steepness. However, many pilgrims, regardless of religion, do not love this mountain for this.
Many people wonder, what is Adams Peak famous for? There is a footprint on the mountain, which is displayed on a boulder at the top.
Pilgrims believe that this is an unusual mountain, and this has little to do with the fact that various optical effects like track can be observed during the climbing of Adam’s Peak. You can explain it in different ways, based on your faith.
Almost all residents of Sri Lanka practice Buddhism. According to them, the dent is a footprint left by the Buddha when he traveled around Sri Lanka.
Muslims believe that the footprint was left by Adam when he first set foot on earth after being expelled from the Garden of Eden.
Opinions of Christians and Hindus
Christians from Portugal still cannot form a final opinion. Some believe that the trail on Adam’s Peak was left by Adam.
Others are sure that the trace on Adam’s Peak was left by St. Thomas or the eunuch of Candace. Hindus are convinced that the trace on Adam’s Peak was left by Shiva.
In Chinese literature, which dates back to the 15th century, it is said that the trace was left by Pwan-Ko. This is a primitive man who is found in the myths of China.
However, scientists believe that the footprint is an ordinary recess that was created by nature over the years.
The dent is insignificant. If it had not been associated with religion, no one would have even paid attention to it.
However, thanks to this distinctive feature, about 20 thousand pilgrims come to Sri Lanka every year. All of them are ready to walk about 5,000 steps to bow their heads before the trail.
Most pilgrims come to Adam’s Peak at sunrise and pay respect to this trail. At the same time, various optical effects open up to their gaze.
Of particular note is the appearance of several images of the sun before it fully rises. This phenomenon is called “total internal reflection” in science.
If the sun’s rays have not yet risen above the horizon, they are reflected in a mirror when they reach the border of dense and less dense air.
However, the pilgrims are convinced that the sun rises several times to pay respect to the trail and return to its original position.
When sunrise begins, you can see a triangular mountain shadow with perfect symmetry. It looks like it’s suspended in the air. After the shadow begins to move as the sun rises.
It is believed that it was King Valagambhu who first discovered the footprint that is on Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka. This happened in the 1st century BC. When the king was expelled, he went to the forest, where he was considered a god, and was taken to the mountain.
It is believed that the historic Adam’s Peak was worshiped by almost all members of the royal family, regardless of country and religion.
However, this happened over a thousand years ago. The fame of Sri Lanka in those days is easy to explain. The thing is that the country was located on the main sea route that connected east and west.
Notable visitors to the Sri Pada
Therefore, merchants from China, India, and Europe stopped in Sri Lanka. After that, monks began to come here, who wanted to get acquainted with the shrines of the island.
A famous explorer from Morocco climbed Adam’s Peak in 1344. He said that Adam’s Peak was visible to all sailors from afar, being a lighthouse.
It is believed that it was quite difficult climbing Adam’s Peak in the past. After all, there were no stairs.
Only chains that were installed a long time ago helped to pass the path. The remains of the chains can still be seen today, namely on the Ratnapura trail. It was on the main path more than a thousand years ago.
Many people died when they climb Adam’s Peak because they were blown away by strong gusts of wind. At the same time, there was no lighting here before. Pilgrims used torches, candles, and lanterns.
Ways to the top
Previously, the path to the summit began in Ratnapura. However, trails were later made from Uva and Kehelgamuwa. These paths ceased to be used about a hundred years ago.
Today, there are 6 ways to get to the top of Adam’s Peak, namely:
- Hutton-Nallatannia node;
- knot Ratnapura-Palabaddala;
- knot Kuruvita-Eratna;
- from Murraywatte;
- from Mukaywatte;
- from Malimbod.
All of the above routes are in use. However, the village of Nallataniya, which is located on the side of Hatton, is in the greatest demand. This route is shorter by 5 kilometers; however, it is steeper.
In second place in popularity is the Ratnapura-Palabaddala knot. Some tourists try to immediately get up from Palabaddala or go down to this village.
The path to the start of the trail in Nallatania
Almost all routes start from Nallatania, another name for which is Dalhousie. The best way to get to it is from Hatton.
To do this, you can use the bus that passes through Maskeliya. If a direct bus could not be found, you have to get to Maskeliya, from where there is a bus to Nallatania.
On average, the journey from Hatton to Nallatania is about 32 km. The distance from Hatton to Maskeliya is 20 km.
You can get from Hatton to Nallatania in 2 hours. Along the way, you encounter beautiful landscapes, however, you need to be careful on sharp turns. Drivers in Sri Lanka are reckless.
Where to live in Nallatania during your trip to Sri Pada
If you walk along the main road that leads to the village, you can find several options for accommodation.
If you come here during the low season, it is not difficult to find available rooms, and no reservation is required.
At the same time, the cost of rooms is small. Adam’s Peak hotels close very late. So you can find a free room any time in Adam’s Peak inn. A double room costs 1000 LKR.
As soon as the pilgrimage season begins, the cost of housing increases at a tremendous rate.
This can make it difficult to find housing. If you want to climb to the top of Adam’s Peak at this time, you have to book places in advance.
Climbing Adam’s Peak
The pilgrimage season begins on the December full moon day and lasts until the May full moon day.
If you’re planning on rock climbing Adam’s Peak, it’s best to drop the idea on weekends and days that are close to the full moon. Also, do not engage in hobbies in the first week of the new year, which comes in mid-April.
This is because there are many tourists on the trails during this period, so you can get into huge queues.
Often people don’t even make it to the top. When the pilgrimage season ends in June, the path to the summit can be quite difficult.
This is because there is a high probability of rain and fog. This is observed until November.
The way from Nallatania
Many people wonder, how long does it take to climb Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka? You should focus on what kind of physical fitness you have.
On average, the journey takes about 5 hours. The more physically prepared you are, the faster you go through this path.
The total distance from the village to the summit is 7 km. You have to climb every 1000 meters. At the same time, the path becomes more difficult, starting from 1252 meters, and lasting until the very top.
What to bring?
If you plan to see the sunrise, you need to leave the village around one in the morning.
You should also stock up on warm clothes because the nights can be quite cold, especially at the top.
When the pilgrimage season begins, the trail is illuminated with electric lanterns. On the roadsides, you can find stalls that sell various snacks. If you travel during the off-season, the path is dark.
That is why you should take water and food, a raincoat, clothes, and a flashlight with you.
If you have knee problems, you can bring trekking poles with you. After all, it is quite difficult to go through 5500 steps without support.
Hiking shoes are not required. All trails have steps made of concrete and are complemented by rough stones. Some pilgrims even climb to the top barefoot. Therefore, you can safely go in sandals or sneakers.
How to protect yourself from leeches?
On the way to the top, you can encounter numerous leeches. This is because you meet a lot of vegetation. Therefore, some pilgrims take a lemon with them to ward off leeches. For safety reasons, you can put on your pants and tuck them into your socks.
If the leeches attacked you, you can apply a balm, which contains citronella. You can buy it from local people. They need to smear the skin of their feet. Tobacco effectively repels leeches, too. Therefore, socks must be soaked in advance in water that is saturated with tobacco.
Most tourists come to Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka during the off-season. As soon as you leave Nallataniya, along the way you meet many stalls, massage parlors, temples, and medical facilities. You can often stock up on food and drinks here.
As soon as you come to the beginning of the main path, you can see a stone gate that resembles an arch. They are also called the “Gates of Mahur”. They signal that the ascent to Mount Adam begins.
On the gates, you can see decorations in the form of numerous carved figures. At the top, there is a pattern with Kala motifs. This is a monster that has no jaws. It is often found in Hindu mythology and symbolizes time.
Once you pass through the archway, you have to walk along the tea plantation. You can see it on the left hand.
On the right, you can see a beautiful green valley.
Along the way, you have the opportunity to visit the observation deck, which offers excellent views of the waterfalls. Don’t forget to take some pictures as a keepsake.
Beehives in the valley
In the valley, you can see numerous beehives hanging from the trees. They are in the shape of a semicircle. It is undesirable to approach them because wild bees live here. They can sting a lot. Often this provokes deaths because it is almost impossible to find help in the offseason.
Unusual mushrooms that grow on trees along the trail deserve special attention. However, almost everyone is attracted by one single tree, on the trunk of which numerous tinder fungi grow. It is believed to be a legacy of a red-striped tinder fungus called Fomitopsis Pinicola.
Stairs to pagoda
If you move about 2 km from this point, you reach the beginning of the stairs. It rises to the plateau of the Japanese pagoda. It is called Sama Chatiya. The Japanese name is because the famous monk from Japan, Wen Nichi Fuji, was involved in the construction. He did the work in 1976.
And now the pagoda is supported by Japanese monks who come here during the pilgrimage period. On the territory of Sri Lanka, there are many interesting Japanese pagodas of the world. However, the closest one to Adam’s Peak is in the south of Galle. If you climb Adam’s Peak at night, you can see it during the daytime descent.
At the end of the peace pagoda, the strengthening of the trail begins. However, it cannot be said that the steps become steep. It is safe to say that from this moment begins the entrance to the sanctuary of the wild. If you climb on an important pilgrimage site during the peak season, you do not notice any wildness.
At Adam’s Peak, there is a wild reserve, which is considered one of the largest in Sri Lanka. Its area is 224 square kilometers. At the same time, it consists of a foggy tropical forest.
In this forest, you can see huge trees that are covered with mosses. There are options with hanging branches. You can see rhododendrons with red flowers. Rare species of orchids that grow in moist, loamy soil are especially attractive.
There is an information sign next to the trail, so you can read about some of the inhabitants of the reserve.
The sign has an unusual quote voiced by Theodore Roosevelt. It was originally a reference to preserving the wildlife of the Arizona Grand Canyon. However, it is relevant to all the treasures of nature.
The phrase sounds like this: “Leave everything in its place. Centuries have been working on this, and it’s not for a man to spoil everything.” In the reserve, you can see the Ceylon magpie, as well as the purple langur. The sign depicts various birds, lizards, butterflies, frogs, and wildflowers.
There is a fairly rare species of toad called Adenomus kandianus. It was discovered again in this reserve, namely, in 2009. For about 133 years, this species was considered extinct. Few manage to see rare animals while climbing Adam’s Peak. Often this is due to heavy fog during the off-season.
As soon as you gain a decent height, climbing the steps of concrete, linger for a while. Excellent views open up. The Peace Pagoda appears small and insignificant. After all, everything else attracts more attention. As you climb, try to make a few stops to rest.
Along the way, you meet a bridge that crosses the Sita Gangula stream. You can cool off here if the weather permits. However, during the off-season, the water seems icy.
Along the trail, you can see beautiful flowers called Calceolaria tripartita. In their shape, they resemble a small bag of a rich yellow hue. As soon as you pass the bridge, the climb begins to increase.
From time to time, you have to climb without stopping. There are areas covered with rough stones, which have already been partially washed away by water.
As you ascend, you come across a point called “Indikatapuna”. From this point on, there is a steep vertical rise, which not everyone can handle.
This section is also called “Mahagiridamba”, which means “Great rock climber”. It lasts about 750 m until you reach the very top. It should be noted that some steps are quite steep. Metal railings are accessible from both sides for greater security.
This helps to relieve the legs a little, which are already tired of climbing Adam’s Peak. Now you should walk so that the arms and legs work in unison. So it is much easier to climb Adam’s Peak to enjoy the beauty.
Some tourists note that the legs begin to burn because lactic acid begins to stand out. It is better to accept this phenomenon and move on. It is important to focus on the fact that overcoming such suffering rearwards to achieving your goal.
However, you should not overpower yourself. If you feel that you can no longer walk, take a short rest.
At this time, look at the beautiful views that open from a height. If you are lucky, the fog dissipates, and you can fully appreciate the local beauty.
Somewhere at a distance of 45 m from the top of Adam’s Peak, you can see a cave called “Bhagava Cave”.
It is located almost next to the trail. Pilgrims often hide in it, who try to hide from strong winds or rain during the ascent.
Previously, monks lived here who ate earthly fruits. If you go inside the cave, you can see some interesting inscriptions.
The first was written by King Nissanka Malla when he decided to visit Adam’s Peak in the 12th century. The second inscription is in Arabic and praises the Prophet, Muhammad.
If you stock up on strength and go through the last section, which is steep, you can reach the top of Adam’s Peak.
It is possible that you cannot fully enjoy the views because the fog can hide everything. Often tourists are greeted at the top by a monk who is dressed in red clothes.
You can ask him to help in foggy weather to get to the sights of Adam’s Peak – the trail.
If you climb Adam’s Peak when the weather is fine, you can see the temple. Its peculiarity is that it was built into the top of the rocks. Therefore, it is the top itself that surrounds it.
Inside the temple is the sanctuary of the mountain deity – Samantha. Nearby is a sanctuary dedicated to the trail. It should be noted right away that it is impossible to enter the sanctuary of the trail if you arrive during the off-season. The door opens at the moment when the pilgrimage season begins.
However, you can imagine a little what it looks like based on the descriptions of visitors. It should be noted that all descriptions differ from each other, so it is better to see the trial yourself, and not to believe the opinions. After all, they can be inaccurate.
On the net, you can find pictures of the trail. Visually, it seems that the dimensions are 1.7 × 0.8 m.
If you go around the building, you can see the sign. It is inscribed with the words “Kneel before the sacred footprint of the Buddha, located on the top of Samantakuta.” It may seem to many that this concerns a different track.
However, “Samantakuta” refers to Mount Adama, where the mountain deity Samantha lives, according to the locals. However, this was until the moment when Buddhism began to spread throughout Sri Lanka.
The bell tower that you can see when you climb adam’s peak
If you arrange a walk along the upper platform, you can see the bell tower, which is complemented by a bell.
It is in it that every pilgrim tries to hit once while ascending to the top of Adam’s Peak. Some may be in the bell up to 20 times.
Before dawn, all the pilgrims come out to the east side to see the sunrise. As soon as it appears above the horizon, everyone goes to the west side.
After all, this is the only way to see a shadow in the shape of a triangle. It gradually recedes to the top of Adam’s Peak, after which it disappears altogether.
Even if you don’t get a great view from the top, don’t rush to go down. After half an hour, the fog may dissipate, and you can enjoy excellent landscapes. You may feel like the ruler of the world.
Some travelers note that Adam’s Peak is not as high as it might seem at first glance, looking at it from the foot.
A similar impression is created because there are steep slopes, and there are also other mountains around, lower in height.
The politician and traveler from the UK, who was born in Ireland, independently described the views from Adam’s Peak. James Emerson Tennet wrote these words:
“We can say that the most grandiose panorama opens from Adam’s Peak, despite its small height. On the north and east sides, there are high hills that surround Kandy.
To the west, you can see plains with rivers resembling threads of silver. In the distance, the rays of the sun mark the beginning of the Indian Ocean.”
Going down Adam’s Peak is much easier than going up. However, this is known to everyone, you don’t even need to be a traveler for this.
If there are no problems with the legs, you can partly walk on the steps, and partly run. This allows you to be filled with pleasant emotions.
If you want to get back to the village before dark, it’s best to go down at an accelerated pace. Sunset in Sri Lanka is observed around 6 pm.
If you do not have time to return to the village, you have to go down with the help of lanterns. As already mentioned, the journey takes about 7 hours.
This time is calculated so that tourists stop to view the scenery, as well as to have a bite to eat and take a break.
Even though after the trip you are exhausted, the feeling of happiness and wealth is much stronger.
The legs start to hurt only in the morning. If you feel normal upon arrival at the hotel, then in the morning you understand what price you had to pay for climbing Adam’s Peak.
Tips for tourists
Many people wonder, how many hours will it take to climb Adams Peak? As already mentioned, the duration of the path depends on your physical fitness, as well as the number of stops along the way, and their duration.
If you want to see a beautiful sunrise, try to time yourself to arrive at the top of Adam’s Peak around 4-5 am.
This allows you to take the most convenient and good seats. This recommendation is relevant if you are traveling during the pilgrimage season.
Remember that it is better to take warm clothes with you. After all, while you wait for the sunrise, you can freeze a little.
The temperature at the summit, especially in the morning, is quite low. Almost all residents try to wear long pants, hats, and gloves.
It is important to go in for sports in advance to be in excellent physical shape. After all, you have to climb Adam’s Peak by 5500 steps.
If there are problems with the joints, as already mentioned, it is better to take trekking or regular sticks with you. By the way, you can find ordinary sticks along the way.
Along the trail, you can see the stalls. As you go up, pay toilets are visible. Walking in them is mandatory because residents can punish those who go to the toilet in the bushes. It is better to bring toilet paper with you in advance, as it is very rare in local toilets.
If you plan to enter the sacred area, which is located on top of Adam’s Peak, you first need to take off your shoes. The trail for which Adam’s Peak is so famous is hidden in a small pavilion, which was painted in a golden hue.
Foreigners and pilgrims have the right to enter the temple to see the trail.
It is important to note that there is a small box at the entrance. This is for visitors to leave donations.
Difficulty climbing Adam’s Peak
Many people wonder, how difficult is Adam’s Peak? It is safe to say that the path is quite difficult. However, you enjoy this magical adventure.
While traveling, you can feel connected with other people. At the same time, enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, and excellent scenery.
Before you hit the road, analyze your physical form. If you have skeletal problems and often experience muscle pain, this can be difficult.
After all, you have to go, as already mentioned, along 5500 steps. Often they have an irregular shape and provoke pain in the knees.
Get a good night’s sleep before climbing Adam’s Peak. This allows you to be more resilient. It is especially important to take a few liters of water with you. This replenishes energy reserves and improves health.
During the descent, you need to focus and keep your balance. Otherwise, you may fall and be injured.
As you can see, Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka is a rather interesting attraction. The path to the top of Sri Pada is very exciting and is characterized by beautiful landscapes. If the physical form allows, be sure to reach the top. Believe, this is one of the best adventures of your life.
Hello reader. My name is Charlotte Noris and I am sure that you will definitely enjoy my blog. Do you know why? All because on the pages you will see bright and colorful photos, as well as useful information. My husband and I are freelancers, so we can travel at any time of the year.
For myself, I most often plan tours in advance, but it also happens that the trip turns out to be spontaneous when I see an interesting place and a nice price. At the age of 35, I have visited more than 30 countries and do not plan to stop there. I want to visit all continents and the most secret corners of our planet.