Adam's Peak is distinct because it is held sacrosanct by the followers of
four religions: Buddhism, Hindus, Christians and Muslims. The peak obtrudes
sharply skywards from the verdant forests of south-western Sri Lanka. Adam's
Peak is also knwon as Samanalakande or the 'butterfly mountain' because of
so many butterflies. The mountain seems more impressive from the seaside.
Certain parts of the track leading up the mountain are extremely steep.
What People Believe?
Buddhists consider the mark to be the footprint of Buddha which left behind
as he walked away from the Adam's Bridge. The Hindus take it to be the
footprint of Lord Shiva. Christians relate the footprints to Saint Thomas.
Muslims think them to be of Adam.
Atop The Peak
Atop the peak is a platform (74 x 24 feet) where is located a small
Buddhist temple and the shrine of Saman with the strange footprint.
History of the Peak
Long before these religions evolved, the mountain was
worshipped by Veddas, the aboriginal inhabitants of Sri Lanka. Their named
the peak Samanala Kanda; Saman being one of the four guardian deities of the
island. During the course of history it was visited by several world
travellers them the Arab Ibn Batuta (1304-1368) and the Venetian Marco Polo
When to Go
Pilgrimage season is from December to May, most busy in January and
February. You can visit at other times of year too, but it would be
difficult to climb because of mist and rain.
From Colombo go to Nuwara Eliya and then to Hatton passing through tea
plantations. Take busses, three-wheeler or taxi to Dalhousie, 33 km
south-west of Hatton. You can see Adam's Peak most of the way from Hatton.
You would take 2½ to 4 hours to climb. It would be nice to start the
trek around 3AM in morning. The first signs of famous dawn comes around 6
and sunrise is usually between 6.30 and 7. Don't forget to take plenty of
clothes or you would shiver.
Then route akes at least 7 hours, actually more than this. However locals
prefer this because of more merit associated with it. Go to Ratnapura from
Colombo and then take a taxi or bus to Carney Estate. After the village, the
path up the mountain side through rainforest is extremely tirering. If you
are fond of tough trekking you might like this.
Wathsala Inn, Green House and Yellow House are few places to stay here.