Little bit about Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada)
If you’re up for a challenging mountain climb then climbing Adam’s Peak is also a great experience. The footprint on the top is believed to be the first set foot of Adam’s after being cast out of heaven, so as the name Adam’s peak. The mountain is also known as ‘Sri Pada’ as the Buddhists believe the footprint is of the Lord Buddha’s. The Tamils call it as ‘Siva-nolipaatham’ as they believe the footprint is of the Lord Shiva’s. ‘Samanala kanda (butterfly mountain)’ is yet another name given to this mountain as there is another belief that butterflies go to this mountain before they die.
Climbing the Adam’s peak could be a memorable experience even though it is a tiring journey. It takes at least 2 - 4 hours (depending on the physical fitness and crowds) to reach the peak. Watching the sunrise from Adam’s peak is picturesque and unforgettable. So most visitors start the climb late in the evening to reach to summit early morning to witness the sunrise and to participate in morning rituals in the temple at the top. Seetha Gangula (cold stream) is a popular stream found on the way to Sri Pada and it is customary for the devotees to have a bath.
Things to know before you go
- There is more than one trail to the summit. Hatton - Nallathanni is considered the shortest and the most popular one. Other popular trails are Rathnapura - Palabaddala Trail and Kuruwita - Erathna Trail
- Generally it takes 2-4 hours to climb up depending on the physical fitness and crowds
- 1 - 2 hours to come down
- Try to reach the top to witness the sunrise. i.e. to be there at around 5AM
- Make sure that you are physically fit for the climb
- Go at your own pace. Don't climb up too fast, you might run out of energy to complete the journey
- Best to avoid the weekends specially towards the end of the season, full moon poya days and Sri Lankan new year days (mid April) as it gets really crowded. Thus sometimes have to wait in the queue for hours without a movement
- First half of the season is comparatively less crowded
- At the top it is very windy and cold, so get ready with enough warm cloths specially if you are climbing at night to see the sunrise
- Not recommended for children under 7/8 years
- There are small shops on the way where you can find hot drinks, refreshments; and many rest spots with washrooms
- Off-season climbing is also popular among hikers as it gives a different experience. It is recommended to pick a dry month like July, August and to travel with an experience traveler as there will not be any human contacts until you reach the peak and less facilities, challenging weather conditions since it is the off-season