Adam’s Peak sri Lanka is a blessed and, in a sense, a cult place, which is sought to visit not only the inhabitants of a small country on the island of Ceylon, but also foreign tourists. It is located on the second most important mountain, the height of which is only 300 meters lower than the highest point on the island – the top of Mount Piduruthalagala. Adam’s Peak is the most visited place on the island, as well as a cult object for representatives of different faiths.
Once upon a time, from the Indian subcontinent to the state of Sri Lanka, a long dam led across the ocean, the origin of which is still disputed by scientists. In the 15th c. it was destroyed by the consequences of a strong earthquake and since then pilgrims have lost the opportunity to come to the shrines of Adam’s Peak by land.
Sri Lanka is a small country located on an island in South Asia. It is washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The island is mostly a coastal lowland, in the center of which rises a mountain range.
Flora and fauna
Anyone who gets to the island state, will certainly fall in love with its unique beauty. The lowlands and mountains of the island are covered with dense vegetation, and many corners of this land are reserved. There are a lot of parks and reserves on the island, which are protected by the state. Unique flora is represented by:
- unique medicinal plants;
- more than 150 species of orchids;
- relict ferns;
- flowering wild plants.
Having visited Sri Lanka, you can get acquainted with the amazing animal world. In the protected forests of the island live wild boars, bears, porcupines, monkeys, foxes. Crocodiles are found in swampy rivers. Sri Lanka will make a indelible impression on lovers of the animal world. When climbing Adam’s Peak in the spring months, you can see incredibly beautiful butterflies, many of which do not live in other parts of the world, as well as birds listed in the Red Book.
Sea and climate
The monsoons have a great influence on the formation of the climate on the island. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer months, the rains almost completely stop in November. The water here in any season has a comfortable temperature for swimming – not lower than +26 degrees. The shores of the island are washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean, but to be more precise, then, once in different parts of this beautiful land, you can swim in the Manar, Bengal Bays, as well as in the Polk Strait.
Despite the fact that the beaches of the island are not too equipped, they do not cease to attract tourists with rocks, underwater grottoes, mysterious caves, excellent opportunities for diving. In the bays there are rare species of fish – tuna, marlin, oyster lives. And in the north-west of the island, high-quality pearls are mined.
What attracts tourists to Adam’s Peak? First of all, a unique attraction is the imprint of the foot, which, according to representatives of different religions, belongs to Adam, Buddha or Shiva who descended from heaven. For the people of Sri Lanka, Adam’s Peak is a sacred place and everyone must visit here. Tourists arrive at different times to climb the mountain, but the largest flow of foreigners is observed from December to May.
After climbing the mountain, the locals, most of whom are Buddhists, pray, falling to the sacred footprint, and perform rituals. Tourists at this time inspect the area, make breathtaking and delightful photos, admire the delightful views. Surrounded by fog and dense vegetation, Adam’s Peak really seems to be a mysterious place, bringing people something unknown and sacred.
“I heard a lot about Adam’s Peak and, going there, prepared thoroughly. I will say right away that you need to think through everything to the smallest detail. Handrails, which, by the way, are not everywhere on the stairs, are ice, so it is better to take gloves. Sitting on the bare cold stones of the top is not comfortable – I took a folding seat, warm things are necessarily needed, including a hat. The wind is piercing.”
Climbing Adam’s Peak
Going to the main attraction of Sri Lanka, you should know that the ascent to Adam’s Peak is long and difficult. But, despite this, to their surprise, tourists meet on the trail and disabled and elderly people and young children, most of whom are locals.
The way to the main shrine of the island takes at least two hours. It is best to climb in the night and early morning hours, when the sun has not yet risen, and the air has not heated up from the hot rays. Guides recommend taking with you on the road:
- water or drinks;
- warm clothes;
For foreigners, tours usually start at 3 a.m. Coming out at this time, you can expect that, having climbed to the top, an incredibly beautiful dawn will open to the eye and it will be possible to photograph the sun rising from behind the ostrogs of the mountains.
“We went to Adam’s Peak in May. The weather was excellent, the island was the usual heat. The enthusiasm with which we began the climb began to fade halfway through. Several times we stopped near the chapels to sit and relax. Going down because of fatigue wasn’t much easier. Photographing the main shrine of Sri Lanka is forbidden, but from here you can take magnificent pictures of the horizon line with a blazing dawn. “
Stairway to Heaven: 5200 steps
To the main shrine of the island is a long staircase of 5200 steps. In some places they are destroyed, which makes the ascent difficult. Climbing the stairs you can relax in several tea rooms, where drinks and food are sold. The staircase is illuminated by lanterns, and if you look at the slope of the mountain at night, thanks to the lights, it looks especially impressive.
On a not too wide staircase is always very crowded. Two streams – up and down – move simultaneously, like two snakes crawling in different directions side by side. In some places, the staircase becomes more gentle, and in others especially steep, turning into wooden bridges, along which travelers cross gorges with mountain streams and rivulets.
The higher you climb the steps, the colder it becomes, and the wind literally penetrates to the bones, so it is recommended not to remove jackets and jackets. To forget about the cold of tourists and locals makes the sight of the rising sun, and a bright yellow sunset plunges into a state of awe even not too religious people.
“We climbed Adam’s Peak in November. The weather was disgusting, Cold. At this time, the stairs are not illuminated by lanterns. A beam that hits from a portable flashlight, allows you to see no more than a meter of steps under your feet. We saw monkeys along the way. At the top you can go to the temple, but you need to take off your shoes – your feet are very cold. But the very realization that we were able to rise and see this sacred relic – the foot of a man, is delightful.”
Place for pilgrims
If foreigners most often climb adam’s peak to admire the sunset and the view from the top of the mountain, the locals come here to perform a sacred ritual. Both young and old climbing to the top, strive, squeezing through the crowd, to approach the footprint and touch it with their lips. It does not matter which of the four religions the believer belongs to.
Climbing to the holy place does not end even in the rainy season, when climbing the stairs is not only uncomfortable, but sometimes dangerous. In good weather, the glare of the sun is reflected on the one-and-a-half-meter foot, giving it a special mystery. Next to the observation deck on the top of the mountain, several temples have been built, which can be visited by representatives of different religions.
Still climbing the stairs, you can see several temples, awakened monks, who begin to engage in everyday chores. At the top of the mountain there are several temples, the main of which is Buddhist. And next to it there are chapels belonging to different denominations.
“For physically unprepared people, climbing a mountain is quite difficult. My legs hurt for a few more days, and during the ascent I kept thinking about why I would do this. But, having climbed Adam’s Peak, I did not regret that I got involved in this adventure. A magnificent landscape, a beautiful Buddhist temple, the sacred relic itself – the foot. From the sight of people who kneel before her, there is some indescribable feeling. “
The locals call the mountain and Adam’s Peak Sirifada, which means “Glorified Footprint”, but this attraction of the island has another name that it received, thanks to the huge number of butterflies arriving at the sacred place in the last hours of their lives and ending their short existence here.
Inside the stone foot, rainwater often accumulates, in which you can see a huge number of butterflies. It is believed that they fly to the sacred place to end their lives next to Saman, a sacred mystical deity who the locals think provides protection to the mountain. Those who believe in this legend call the hill butterfly Mountain or Samanaly Kanda.
“A rather heavy climb justifies the admiration you feel when you climb Adam’s Peak. The magnificent landscape, dawn and the view of the sun rising above the peaks is simply indescribable. Even the photos don’t convey all the splendor. And yes, it is better to take water with you, you will definitely want to drink, and local merchants sell drinks here at a very high price. “
On Adam’s Peak climb tourists from different countries. If for locals this hike is an integral part of the life of every believer, then travelers make this journey to get acquainted with one of the main attractions of Sri Lanka and admire the beautiful landscapes. Undoubtedly, the best time to hike is the winter and spring months, when it rarely rains on the island, and the weather is quite comfortable to climb the steep stairs. In the summer, when the rainy season begins in Sri Lanka, slippery steps can be dangerous.