Adam’s Peak, a multi-faith pilgrimage spot


Adam’s Peak, a tall conical mountain which is located in central Sri Lanka has a great significance in the history of Sri Lanka. This mountain has various names such as Sri Pada, Samanalakanda, Sivanolipatha Malai, Al-Rohun. This majestic peak has sparked the imagination for centuries and been a focus for pilgrimage for more than 1000 years.
The ancient name of Adam’s peak is Ratnadvipa, because it was serving as a watershed for districts of the south and the east of Adam’s Peak for yielding precious stones like emeralds, rubies and sapphires, for which the island has been famous.

A path leading towards Adam’s path

One of important and interesting facts of Adam’s Peak is footprint-shaped mark, there is a footprint-shaped mark at the summit which is believed by Hindu’s as footprint of Hindu deity Shiva, Buddhists believe it as to be that of the Buddha. Christian and Islamic traditions assert that it is the footprint of Adam, left when first setting foot on Earth after having been cast out of paradise, giving it the name “Adam’s Peak”.
During the period of December to May, the weather on the mountain will be outstanding. Most visitors would love to be on the mountain at the time of sunrise, so visitors are allowed to climb mountain during night times. Little stalls and teashops open through the night to cater to the throngs of weary pilgrims dragging themselves up.
The mountain is surrounded by rich biodiversity which offer tremendous views from the peak.

View of mountains from summit of Adams Peak (Sri Pada) at sunrise

Adam’s Peak not only provides joy but also challenging aspects. Once you reach a final node (Nallanthanni or Palabaddala or Erathna) there begins the difficult journey through the jungle on foot. Most of the pilgrims use the Hatton route as the journey can be reduced by more than five kilometers even though the slope of this route is much greater than the others.
One of doltish fact is that, the ancient Sinhalese believed it to be of great height and a native legend tells “from Seyllan to Paradise is forty miles, and the sound of the fountains of Paradise is heard here”.
It has been said that, certain parts of the path which are extremely steep were built by Alexander the Great (365-323 BC), but there is no evidence that he made it this far south on his Asia travels.
The specific qualities of Adam’s Peak have made it to stand out and be noticed; including its dominant and outstanding profile and the boulder at the peak that contains an indentation resembling a footprint.

The path of Adam’s Peak during night

There are many ancient monuments on the mountain, the most important is Peace Pagoda located halfway up, built by Nipponzan Myohoji in 1978. So, Adam’s Peak enthralls all types of visitors by its specific qualities and acting as one of Sri Lanka’s most striking natural landmarks and most celebrated places of pilgrimage.


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