Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s fourth highest mountain (2244m) is located 40km northeast of the city of Ratnapura. Distance from Colombo to Ratnapura is 94km. Adam’s Peak is surrounded, largely by the forested hills, with no mountain of comparable size anywhere round in the vicinity. The region of Peak Wilderness Sanctuary that encompass the Adam’s Peak together with Horton Plains National Park and Knuckles Range, all in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka is recognized as a World Heritage Site in the year 2011.
Reaching the base of Adam’s Peak - Main roads connect the final nodes of Nallanthanni to the city of Hatton, Palabaddala to the city of Ratnapura & Erathna to the city of Kuruwita. While the city of Hatton can be reached by Highland Railway line as well as by the main motor roads, the cities of Ratnapura and Kuruwita can be reached only by main motor roads.
Access to the mountain is possible by 6 trails: Hatton-Nallathanni; Ratnapura-Palabaddala; Kuruwita-Erathna; Murraywatte; Mookuwatte; Malimboda. The most popular routes out of these are the Hatton-Nallathanni & Ratnapura-Palabaddala. The less popular route: Kuruwita-Erathna The least used routes: Murraywatte, Mookuwatte & Malimboda. These routes join Palabaddala road midway through the ascent.
The season and Timing - The pilgrims season to Sri Pada traditionally starts on the full moon of December and ends on the full moon of April. Night ascent in the season - The greater part of the track leading from the base to the summit consists of thousands of steps built in cement or rough stones. The track being illuminated with electric power lines, the night ascent is safe even when accompanied with kids.
Day ascent in the season: Alternatively, you can climb up during the day, stay overnight at the summit, enjoy the spectacle of sunrise in the next day and then descend. The daytime affords the opportunity to climb at a leisurely pace, have plenty of time to enjoy the views all round, see the sunset and secure the best place to observe the sunrise in the morning.
The Sacred Footprint of Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka - On the summit of Adam’s Peak is located a shrine, a belfry and a resting place. The center of the attraction is a stone tablet covering the sacred foot print of Buddha. The pilgrimage done solely for the purpose of paying homage to the sacred foot print called Sri Pada (Sinhala: Resplendent feet).
Ancient texts concerning Gauthama Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka - According to the Mahavamsa, the historical chronicle of Sri Lanka Buddha visited the island three times. It was during the last sojourn of Buddha, at the request of the deity of Adam’s Peak God Maha Suman Saman, the footprint was planted upon the summit of Adam’a Peak.
Tamil Hindus consider it as the footprint of Lord Shiva. It is also fabled that the mountain is the legendary mount Trikuta the capital of Ravana during the Ramayana times from where he ruled Lanka.
Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka ascribe it to where Adam, the first Ancestor, set foot as he was exiled from the Garden of Eden. The legends of Adam are connected to the idea that Sri Lanka was the original Eden.
Adam’s Peak is the name given to the mountain by the British Colonialists (1815-1948) in Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon.