the hill country SIGHTS

Adam's Peak

a multitude of breathtaking wonders


Adam's Peak is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for it's sacred footprint, a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit, which is said to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or St. Thomas.

Climb to witness a spectacular sunrise and panoramic views. The pilgrimage season runs from December to May when the summit is not misty and relatively dry. At this time, there is a constant stream of pilgrims and the top can get very crowded. The busiest period is during January to February. 

The climb is still quite possible in the off season too. However since the path is not lit in the off season you will need a torch at night. It often rains here in the afternoon here, especially in the off-season. At other times the temple on the summit is unused, and between May and October the peak is obscured by cloud for much of the time.

Most people do the walk by moonlight, arriving in time to see the dawn when the 'Shadow of the peak' takes place. Alternatively, you could climb up the previous evening and sleep on top of the mountain, though it is very cold up here until well after sunrise so it is essential to take warm clothing. 

It takes about three hours to reach the top. The path is clearly marked throughout, beginning fairly gently but rapidly becoming steeper, with constant steps from about halfway. In the company of pilgrims the trek is particularly rewarding but it can be very crowded.