Adam’s peak referred to as “Samanala kanda” and “Sri paada” is a 2243 meter tall mountain located in central Sri Lanka. According to Buddhist belief it contains the sacred foot print (the “Sri Paada”) of the Lord Buddha. The Unduwap full moon poya day, (Poya day in the month of December) marks the start of the “Sri paada season “ that continuous for six months and end on Vesak poya day.(The poya day in the month of May).
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Different routes can be used to reach the Peak.The most popular and the shortest route is via Nallathanniya, Hatton. The trek is about 5km length. You can take a bus or the train to Hatton, then get in to a bus that goes to Nallathanniya. The bus heading to Nallathannaiya starts at the train station and then goes to the Hatton Bus Stand before departing to the final destination.
If you want to take the scenic route the best routes are via Rathnapura or Kuruvita. Both of these routes join at a certain point, as there are only two main paths that lead towards the peak. These routes fall through “Sri Pada Peak Wilderness Sanctuary ”, Therefore on this trek ,You will be able to experience the biodiversity that this tropical rainforest has to offer.
The old story of “Sri paada”
It is said that the area that surrounds Adam’s Peak is sacred as it is the domain of the Buddhist God Saman. It is mentioned in literature that Lord Buddha graced Adam’s Peak upon the invitation of God Saman. Therefore one who pays homage to the sacred foot print should do so with the blessing of God Saman. Those of strong faith believe that the journey to the peak, difficult as it is, may become even more difficult if you anger the gods. There are many stories of such incidences told by our elders.
It is customary for the pilgrims to bath from the “ Seetha Gangula”, a collection of water streams that start from Sri Paada and surrounding mountains, before the ascent. “Seetha Gangula” is actually a very cold water stream, Our adults always remind us to take some lime and apply it during bath. Despite the water being very cold ,the bath is quite refreshing. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha, on His ascent to the peak also bathed in the Seetha Gangula.
Another ritual that many pilgrims partake is the tying of a thread, at the “Indikatupaana”(also known as the Geththampaana).It is said that during Lord Buddha’s ascent to the peak, His monastic robe was entangled on a twig and a thread was dragged along as He walked. Others say that pilgrims from ancient times, dragged along a thread, so they could find their way back.
THE SUMMIT AND SUNRISE
Once you reach the peak, you can visit the shrine room where the sacred foot print is placed and engage in worship. Next to the main shrine is another room dedicated to the God Saman.
When you planning your ascent, make sure you will be at the peak before sun rise. Ideally you should arrive at the peak, complete your worship and find yourself a good vantage point to watch sunrise. Because the sunrise you witness from the peak is a spectacle like no other.
As soon as the sun has risen, many pilgrims begin their descent. But it is better that you wait a little longer, let the rush and the crowd subside, meanwhile go to the opposite side of the mountain, There you’ll be able to witness the shadow of Adam’s Peak falling on to the surrounding mountains.
Last but not least, remember to ring the bell before you begin your descent. They say that you must ring the bell ones for each time you have visited adam’s peak
TIPS FOR YOUR JANT
Make sure you take a warm jacket, a pair of gloves and a monkey cap or mufflers that cover your ears.
Take cash! The shops at Adam’s peak don’t accept debit/credit cards! And remember that as you go further up and get close to the summit, the price of items sold in the shops increase.
Don’t push yourself too far, take breaks, rest, drink water, a protein bar or two won’t hurt either.
Respect rituals; irrespective of whether you believe them.