The Tea Country is home to the iconic Adam’s Peak, well known as a holy pilgrimage site, visited by a large number of people for over 1,000 years.
Adam’s Peak reaches over 2,000m high and is located in the heart of central Sri Lanka. There are various beliefs as to why the majestic mountain holds such religious significance – the most prominent being the boulder at the peak that contains an indentation resembling a footprint (Or “Sri Pada”). This sacred footprint means different things to each religion: Buddhist belief is it was left by the Buddha before heading towards paradise - Muslims and some Christians believe the “Sri Pada” is where Adam first set foot on Earth after being banished from heaven - other Christians believe it to be that of St Thomas - and in Hindu belief, it is the footprint of Lord Shiva.
It is a challenging climb to the peak, but well worth it for the awe-inspiring views surrounding the mountain. The most popular route begins in the small settlement of Dalhousie. This route is illuminated by a ribbon of lights visible from miles around and often being compared to a trail of stars leading up to the heavens. The descent is much quicker than the ascent, taking around 2.5 hours. An alternative and a much lengthier route can be taken (approximately 7 hours) ascending from Ratnapura along the side of the mountain via Palabaddale.
Traditionally, the ascent to the peak is made early in the morning in order to reach the top by dawn and witness the phenomenal sunrise casting an enigmatic shadow of the peak across the valleys below. The pilgrimage season runs from December until May, making this time of the year the busiest time to tackle the mountain. During this time of year, the weather on the mountain is at its peak, providing the best experience of the early morning at Adam’s Peak. Climbing outside of the pilgrimage season will unfortunately restrict the amount of teashops that are open.
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