Pilgrimage Trekking in Sri Lanka – Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak)
Adam’s Peak also known as “Sri Pada” is one of the famous, holiest and highest peaks in Sri Lanka. This solitary mountain is 2,300 meters tall and has been one of the sacred places in Sri Lanka for many generations. Buddhist’s believe that it holds the footprint of Buddha himself, also Muslims and Hindus have their own beliefs. It is believed that any hiker shouldn’t joke around or utter a word of complaint or despair, as the Legend says it can lead to travellers being lost forever along its winding trails.
Sri Pada been on every serious wanderer’s trek list, SoulTrek team decided to embark an exciting journey to this holy mountain. The season for trekking begins from December to May however it is sighted by thousands of pilgrims even during off season as its importance is immeasurable to any devotee. We also packed some essentials before anything and everything. A camera, sweater, torch, a water bottle, some snacks, and a raincoat as hill country is notorious for rain.
Our goal was to be on top of the mountain to see the sunrise, so we decided to climb the mountain late in the night around 1.00 am. Climbing the rock in the night was a brilliant idea as the lights were lit up either side of the pathway made us feel we were walking towards a dreamland was definitely a remarkable experience.
Also we discovered, the region along this gigantic mountain is a wildlife reserve housing numerous species varying from elephants to leopards, including many endemic species.
Continuing our climb passing these significant places on our way, we came across these interesting stops:
- Makara Thorana (Dragon ’s Arch) – It marks the day Adam’s peak received electricity.
- Seetha gangula (Icy cold stream) – A small stream that flows across the mountain carrying fresh icy cold water.
- Indikatupana (Needle) – Thread and needles are offered here in memory of the Lord Buddha stopping on his way up the mountain to attend to a torn robe.
- Mahagiri Dambaya – A steep climb, a part of the mountain which tests every traveler’s determination.
5ft long and 2ft wide foot print – Confined and displayed right at the top of the mountain every traveler gets to ring the gigantic bell after the sunrise festival.
Huddling together carrying our backpacks wasn’t an easy task and climbing those steep stairs definitely looked as if it was a dead end. Adam’s peak, the perfect conical shaped picturesque mountain was undoubtedly a pleasing scenery from ground, but climbing up the mountain was an absolute challenging trek.
Around 4.30 am we were close to the last stair case towards the peak of the mountain and we all felt a sense of relief as we saw the Buddhist flags flowing in the wind. Taking off our shoes and hats we entered the tiny temple to pay our respects.
And then came the most anticipated moment “Watching the Morning Sunrise” over the hills was certainly a magical scenic view that none of us in the team had experienced before. We kept on capturing pictures in every possible angle sharing the feeling of accomplishment in different gestures.
As our journey came to an end we continued down the steps it was fairly difficult to step down the stairs than climbing up however the railing supported us to reach the bottom of the mountain. Privileged to be a part of this amazing pilgrimage summit we end up spending the rest of the day in a guest house near by planning our next trip.