Adam’s Peak

Whether it is Adam’s Peak (the place where Adam first set foot on earth after being cast out of heaven), Sri Pada (sacred footprint), or Samanalakande ( Butterfly mountain, where butterflies go to die), Adams Peak is a beautiful and fascinating place.

Not all faiths believe the huge footprint on the top of the 2,224 m peak to be that of Adam — some claim it belongs to the Buddha, St Thomas the early apostle of India or even Lord Shiva. Whichever legend you choose to believe the fact remains that this sacred mountain has been a pilgrimage centre for over 1000 years.

Today the pilgrimage season starts on Poya day (full moon day) in December and runs through to April — the beginning of the south west monsoon. At other times of the year it is not possible to climb.

The night walk is the best way to maximise your time on Adam’s peak, arriving in time for sunrise the views are simply breathtaking, with the hill country rising to the east, while to the west the land gently slopes toward the Indian Ocean. Shortly after dawn keep an eye out for the vast shadow of the mountain cast against the sky, most impressive.

Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands, in which Adam’s Peak stands, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2010 to protect the montane forests which are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the western-purple-faced langur, and the Sri Lankan leopard. The region is considered a super biodiversity hotspot.

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