Adam's Peak
Adam's Peak

Towering above the southwestern highlands like a lone sentinel, the 7,359 foot mist clad mountain of Adam's Peak is cloaked in legend. Held in great reverence by members of all faiths, Buddhists believe that an impression in the rock at its peak is that of the Buddha, Hindus say its is that of Lord Shiva and those of Christian and Islamic faith maintain that it is the footprint of Adam. Legend aside, for those who venture up its steep slopes along its winding stone clad pathway, it is truly a spiritual experience.

The traditional season for climbing Adam's Peak begins with the full moon in December and continues until May. This is not due to any religious significance, but simply on account of the fact that this period offers the best weather conditions with significantly less rain and clear skies. The peak can be reached through six routes, although the most popular are through Dalhousie, off Hatton, which takes around four and a half hours, and Palabaddale in Ratnapura, which can take upto seven hours. Both these routes are well lit and little kiosks line the pathway, providing snacks and refreshments and a chance to rest weary limbs. Off-season neither route is illuminated and if attempted at this time it is recommended that a torch be taken along.

The highlight of the climb to the peak is to view the stunning sunrise, so a late night ascent is the most recommended. The peak itself holds a small cluster of buildings including a temple, and it is customary to ring one of the two bells there, once for each time the climb has been completed. At sunrise, the surrounding countryside below is revealed cloaked in mist and this is when the most spectacular phenomenon at Adam's Peak occurs. The shadow of the mountain, perfectly triangular, is thrown onto the mist below, and as the sun moves higher in the sky, the shadow begins to recedes upon itself until it is literally swallowed by the base of the mountain. 

Written by Jonathan Roelofsz for

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