Climbing the Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Adam's PeakArrival in Dalhousie for a short nap

A trip to Sri Lanka will truly be incomplete without visiting the famous Adam’s peak. We ride across the mountain of Sri Lanka until we reach the small village called Dalhousie. On the way we drive past the superb Maskeliya Lake and the hustle and bustle of the busy Hatton. Dalhousie is located at the feet of the holy Adam’s peak, also known as Sri Pada in Sinhala, the local language of Srilanka.

Getting ready for the climb

The owner of the small guest house greets us with a big smile and his adorable puppies. A scrumptious dish comprising rice and curry with fresh beans, lentils and various spices awaits us, which is a delight.  We wake up with difficulty at around 2 a.m. with a nice Ceylon cup of tea. Seems like a ridiculous time but turns out to be the best time if you hope to reach the peak of the holy mountain and enjoy the view of the sunrise.  The small town of Dalhousie is already full of pilgrims from all generations who have made this pious journey from all over Sri Lanka! The various stores on the way are quite colourful and the stereos are blaring in the streets already! We stop by a little store to get plenty of water and fruits before we embark on the journey.

Climb amid pilgrims from all walks of life

Srilanka Adam's Peak PilgrimageIt’s an endless climb of steps that we are going through, 5,200 steps until we reach the top to be precise! The path takes us through beautiful tea plantations, waterfalls and small Buddhist temples. The pilgrimage season reaches its peak every year during December till April. The path is well lit and the small shops on the roadside are numerous, which allows for small breaks or a nap if necessary. Even foot massages are available en route!

After a three hour walk, the top of the mountain gets closer and the path becomes narrower. The crowd gets denser and we actually get stranded. We then decide to take a short cut that links the Ratnapura and Dalhousie paths.

The holy footprint

The small off the beaten track detour turns out great as the Ratnapura side is much less congested! It has the reputation of being longer and darker, which may explain the fact that it’s less congested. The view from the Ratnapura is superb. Tea plantations stretch as far as the eye can see, mountain peaks pierce the clouds and you feel like you’re above them. We finally reach the peak where the pilgrims’ excitement is tangible as they approach the Holy footstep of the Buddha, Siva or Mohammed according to the religions they belong to. The sunrise above the mountains is quite a sight and was worth all the effort. We are mesmerized and left dumbfounded by the spectacle of the birth of a new day!

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