Adams Peak or Sri Pada (Sri Lankan name) is the most sacred mountain in the country and a pilgrimage site that people have been visiting for over 1000 years. Here is all the information you need to make it to the top and what you might need to think about to make this pilgrimage walk a memorable one.
Do the pilgrimage walk up Adams Peak
You can climb Adams Peak whenever you want because it is open all year around but the pilgrimage walk is between December and May and the mountain is most crowded in January and February.
Adams Peak, 2243 meters, located 18 kilometers north of Ratnapura and about 30 kilometers west of Nuwara Eliya.
This experience is not a tourist attraction and you will probably not meet any tourists along the hike but it is a true and genuine experience of the Sri Lankan culture and traditions. And a pilgrimage walk is always special, no matter where you do it.
It is free and open for everyone to climb the mountain. Along the way (during pilgrimage season) there are small booths that sell tea, coffee and some food so be sure to bring some money with you.
Why do the Sri Lankans do this pilgrimage walk?
A lot of the Sri Lankan people do this pilgrimage walk every year. What makes this place extra sacred and special is the fact that this is one of the places that is sacred to several religions. All the people of different religions can come together and keep their own beliefs. On the top of the mountain there is a small hut and inside there is something that looks like a footprint. Who made the footprint depends on what religion you have. According to buddhist, this is the footprint of Buddha. According to the hindus it is the footprint of Shiva. To the muslims and christians it is the footprint of Adam and that Sri Lanka was the real Eden.
And even if the footprint is a special thing to see another thing that makes the pilgrimage walk worth doing is to see the sunrise at the top.
Is it difficult to climb up Adams Peak?
Lets be honest – it is a bit of a strenuous walk. In reality you do not walk longer than 7 kilometers but the thing is that the steps become more and more steep and the height of the steps are very varying. One step can be 20 centimeters and the next one can be 50 centimeters so there is not any continuity to the steps. The first 2 kilometers are pretty flat and then you start climbing pretty steep. There are a lot of very old Sri Lankan women and men that will pass you along the way and as always – if they can do it so can you!
When is the best time to start the climb?
Start the ascend no later than 02.00 am to be sure to make it to the top by sunrise. It usually takes 3 to 4 hours to the top but during the Sri Lankan pilgrimage walk it can take up to 9 hours because of the crowds.
What shall I wear?
Dress in layers because it might be cold when you start the ascend and if you have a headlight that is a perfect thing to bring because even if the path is light up, a lot of the lights are broken and it is very dark outside in the middle of the night.
And last of all…
Do not be discourage by the pictures in this post. The pilgrimage walk (that resulted in these pictures) were made during Sri Lankas heavy rain in 2010 that left 36 000 people homeless.