The 2,243 metre high peak – the island’s fourth highest, has a great significance for the four major religions of Sri Lanka. The huge footprint at the summit is believed by Buddhists to be that of Lord Buddha (‘Sri Pada’), whilst believe it is the spot where Adam, from Christian creation myth, first set foot on earth, after being banished from the Garden of Eden. Other Christians believe, it belongs to St. Thomas, the Apostle. To Hindus, the footprint is ‘Lord. As a result, the peak has been a pilgrimage centre for over 1000 years. Whatever it’s religious significance, this famous landmark offers some breathtaking views of the hill country. The majority of climbers begin their ascent at night in order to arrive at the top in time for a magical sunrise when the mystical shadow of the peak is perfectly cast across the clouds. It is one of those truly unique moments that will live on in your memory long after the aches and pains from the climb have gone!
Everybody's goal is to reach the peak at dawn to witness a glorious sunrise and the mountain’s shadow, cast by the rising sun on to the clouds below. Legend has it that, the footprint originally carved in the rock, and, now covered by an oversized reproduction set in cement, was made by the Buddha, on his third visit to the island.
Best way to get there from Wirawa
The best and the most worthwhile time to climb the mountain is during the night. The goal is to witness the fabulous sunrise which takes place between 5.45 and 6.15 am. Nallithanni – the closest Access route to climb Adam’s Peak from Wirawa. One should ideally be at the foot of the mountain (Nallithanni) just past midnight or the fitter ones – around 2 am in order to begin the arduous 08 km climb to the misty mountaintop. It is advised that you leave Wirawa late afternoon before it gets dark as the road from Rozella to Norton Bridge is very lonely and rugged (although motorable). One should reach Nallathanni or Delhousie around 7 pm and preferably check-in for the night at a good guesthouse so that you to take a short rest or nap before setting off on the arduous climb during the early hours of the next morning. After the climb you could return to the hotel/Guest house, refresh, checkout and proceed back to Wirawa or your onward journey.
Guidelines/Advice for Visitors
Please bear in mind that during the Sri Lankan pilgrimage season (December to April), the timing of the hike is sometimes dependent on the crowds that climb the mountain, especially during Poya holidays [Full Moon] and weekends – December to April and almost everyday during the month of March). If you hope to climb during May to November and keen to climb the peak it is ideal that you start the climb during daytime to avoid climbing in the dark. (The paths would not be illuminated during this time of the year) You should reach the summit and descend before dark.
Timing is also obviously dependent on the fitness level of the visitor. It is recommended that some basic preparation and fitness training in the weeks prior to the climb is undertaken by the visitor. (for example – climbing stairs / long distance walking). The visitors climbers generally take approximately 2 1/2 hours to reach the peak.
It is advised that the hike should start around 22.00 hours after an early dinner so that if all goes well, you will reach the summit around midnight and have a nap before witnessing the sunrise. This will also allow sufficient time to reach the top in case there is a big crowd climbing up. Viewing this glorious sunrise and the beautiful picture drawn on the sky by the sun by casting the mountain’s shadow on to the painted clouds below, from the 2,240 meter high peak – the island’s fourth highest, would definitely be the main highlight of the trek. [dependant on weather]
At the summit you may be cold and will need a sleeping bag for your nap. In addition to the sleeping bag, you will need to carry any other personal effects for all weather types (e.g. raincoat, sun cream, hat etc), 2-3 liters of water and some snacks (bananas, chocolate and biscuits). Both the water and snacks will be provided to you at the start of the climb. This should total a weight of approx 5kg to be carried by you. Please ensure that you have a comfortable backpack and that, it is positioned correctly so as to avoid shoulder/back injuries.
Please ensure that, all litter is brought back down the mountain.
Please note that, the probability of witnessing the spectacular sunrise from the summit is much more during the season (December to April).
Sri Padha – Adam’s peak is considered as a one of the holiest mountains in the world and has a very significant religious aspect. When climbing, you are expected to dress decently without revealing your body too much. Short trousers should be below the knee level and it’s better to where T shirts with sleeves and long enough to the waist.