Tourist’s guide to Adam’s Peak – Sacred Mountain in Sri Lanka

Adam’s Peak (Sri Lanka) – a unique place recognized as the sacred four religions in the world. There are different names of sights – Adam’s Summit, Sri Pada (Sacred Trail) or Adam’s Peak. So, let’s see – why millions of tourists from different countries and different faiths annually make a pilgrimage to the top of the mountain and how to get there.

Photo: Adam's Peak

general information

The mountain is 139 km from Colombo and 72 km from the settlement of Nuwara Eliya in the village of Dalhouse. The height of the peak of Adam (Sri Lanka) is more than 2.2 km above sea level. Local residents revere this place, believing that Buddha himself left a footprint here. Muslims revere the mountain, believing that it was here that Adam came after being expelled from Eden. Christians worship at the top of the trail of one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, and Hindus see a trace of Shiva in a small plateau.

View of Adam's Peak

It is known that Buddha visited Sri Lanka three times. In Kelania, a temple was opened in honor of the event. The second time an enlightened one appeared in the Mahiyangan area. And for the third time, local residents asked the Buddha to leave their mark on the island.

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Muslims adhere to their own legend. They believe that here Adam’s foot first touched the earth after being expelled from Paradise. Regardless of religious beliefs and legends, a footprint exists and is recognized as the most visited attraction on the island.

Note! The period of climbing the mountain is between the full moons from December to April. It is best to start the climb at night, between one and two hours, so you can meet the dawn in one of the most amazing places on the planet. You will have to overcome almost 8.5 km, it will take from 4 to 5 hours. Travelers call this path, first of all, a challenge to themselves.

Why do tourists recommend visiting Adam’s Peak:
  • an incredible amount of energy and strength accumulates here;
  • You will be above the clouds;
  • there is a great place to ponder important questions, ask for forgiveness or forgive;
  • the dawn from the top of the mountain looks magical – you will see how the whole world comes to life.

Even if you do not feel enlightenment and purification of karma, you will enjoy the enchanting landscapes and take photos of the beautiful surroundings in the rays of the rising sun. By the way, the locals have a saying: “If you have not climbed the summit of Adam’s Peak in your whole life, you are a fool.”

How to get there

The nearest traffic intersection is located in Hatton. This is followed by buses from major settlements of the island.

When studying the question – how to get to Adam’s Peak, keep in mind that from December to April a special bus runs to the village of Dalhousie.

You can get a train that goes from major cities to Hatton without change. In Hatton, it is most convenient to rent a tuk-tuk or taxi to Dalhousie (it will cost an average of 700 rupees or $ 4.6). Feel free to bargain. Given that you will ride at the foot of the mountain at night, buses will no longer ride.

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Where is better to settle?

Guest houses are located along the main road of the village of Dalhouse. There are about a dozen of them, but in many living conditions leave much to be desired. Many tourists note two guest houses – Slightly Chiled Hugging Clouds. It is quite clean and tasty cooked.

On a note! When booking a place in the settlement of Dalhouse, be careful, because there is a city with the same name on the island.

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Stairs from the bottom to the top

Be prepared for the fact that climbing the mountain will take a lot of time, because the height of Adam Peak is more than 2 km. The length of the road depends on individual physical fitness, time of day and season of the year.

On weekends and on the full moon, the number of pilgrims increases dramatically. Along the way, you will probably meet elderly people, pilgrims with infants. If you are physically fit, you can start climbing at 2 a.m. If you feel that there is not much strength, it is better to start rising in the evening.

Do not be afraid of a night trip, because the whole way is lit by lanterns. From afar, the path to the top looks like a snake made of lights. If necessary, you can relax, along the way there are places to relax. The higher you go, the colder it becomes, it is more difficult to maintain a high pace of walking.

It is important! Pay particular attention to the selection of shoes and clothes. Shoes should be comfortable and with massive soles, and clothing should be warm and not restraining. At the top, clothing with a hood or a hat is useful.

Despite the fact that the climb from the side seems difficult and exhausting, every day people with disabilities, families with children, elderly tourists rise to the top. Convenient areas where you can stop and rest are located every 150 meters. Food and drinks are also sold here, but keep in mind that the higher you go, the more expensive you will have to pay for a snack, as local residents raise all provisions by themselves.

Good to know! You can take a snack and warm drinks with you or not carry too much burden, because along the way you will find many locals selling food, tea and coffee.

Having risen to the top, visit the temple, where the sacred trail is located. Despite the fact that the foot print is protected by a special coating, you will still feel the flow of energy. At least, eyewitnesses say so. Pilgrims donate lotus flowers.

Important! You can only enter the temple by taking off your shoes, so stock up on a few pairs of warm socks. Photo and video shooting indoors is prohibited.

At the very top there is a kind of checkpoint with monks. Their main task is to collect voluntary donations. For this, each pilgrim is offered a special book, where they enter the name and amount of the contribution.

Pilgrims on top at night

The reception is designed for human psychology – opening the page, you involuntarily see what donations other pilgrims left. The average amount is 1,500 rupees, but you are free to leave as much money as you see fit. By the way, the locals of Sri Lanka learned to masterfully beg for money from tourists, so donations of 50 or 100 rupees are quite enough.

Some statistics
  1. How many steps to Adam’s Peak – 5200 steps will have to be overcome.
  2. Differences in heights – get ready for differences of more than 1 km.
  3. The total length of the path is more than 8 km.

Interesting to know! The first part of the climb – to the stairs – is quite simple, there are Buddha statues along the road, you can make many interesting photos, but wait – the best photos of Adam Peak (Sri Lanka) are obtained, undoubtedly, on the top of the mountain.

A few words about photos

First of all, choose a place for photographing in advance, because there will be hundreds of people who want to capture wonderful shots. To break through the crowd of tourists is not so easy, therefore, having risen to the top, immediately evaluate the area and take a profitable place.

The first rays of the sun appear in the sky at about 5-30 in the morning. The spectacle is incredibly beautiful and bewitching. It’s time to start photographing the dawn. Get ready to withstand the onslaught of hundreds of elbows.

Photo: Dawn at Adam's Peak

Please note that after sunrise, the mountain casts an almost perfect shadow on the horizon. The sight is no less delightful than the dawn.

Descent and after it

The descent is much faster and does not cause much difficulty. On average, you can go down to the foot in 1.5 hours.

Many tourists complain that after climbing another 2-3 feet hurt, but you will never regret the trip, because you are lucky enough to see the most wonderful sight not only in Sri Lanka, but also throughout the world.

After rest, when the characteristic tension in the legs disappears, you can continue the journey in Sri Lanka. It is best to head south towards Nuwara Eliya, Happutale and Ella. In this direction follows a train, bus, tuk-tuk or taxi.

50 km from Adam’s Peak is Kitulgala – an active recreation center. Uda Vallave National Park is 130 km away.

Practical recommendations

  1. From May to November, the island has the rainy season, even for the sake of beautiful views from the top, you should not climb the wet stairs. Firstly, it is dangerous, and secondly, at this time the lighting along the stairs is turned off. In complete darkness, a flashlight will not save you. There are no people who want to conquer the mountain in the rainy season. No one will ask how to get to Adam’s Peak (Sri Lanka).
  2. Start the climb in the village of Dalhousie, here you can spend the night, relax just before and after the lift. If you want to rise during the day, stopping in the settlement does not make sense, because there is nothing to do here.
  3. Some steps are very steep, the handrail is not everywhere, it can complicate the climb.
  4. At the bottom of the path, the cost of a cup of tea is 25 rupees, and at the top you will have to pay about 100 rupees.
  5. Going on the road, take a replaceable set of clothes with you, since at the top you need to change into dry, warm clothes.
  6. Quite often, many people gather at the top, and getting to the observation deck is very difficult.
  7. The best place to take pictures is to the right of the exit from the observation deck.
  8. At the top you will have to take off your shoes, this is strictly monitored by the police. To survive on a stone floor, take a few pairs of wool or thermal noses.

Adam’s Peak (Sri Lanka) is an amazing place, well, if you are lucky enough to be here. Now you know how to get here, where to stay and how to organize your trip with maximum comfort.

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