Situated approximately 60 km (1 hour drive) south of Kithugala, Adam’s Peak is a 2,243m high mountain that has religious significance to Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. The giant footprint at the top of this holy mountain (locally referred to as Sri Pada) has been said to be the footprint of the Lord Buddha by Buddhists.
Around the 8th century, Muslims claimed it to be that of Prophet Adam who was said to have set his first foot here after banishment from heaven, while Hindus say the footprint was that of Lord Shiva. Centuries later, the Portuguese claimed it belonged to St Thomas. Thousands of devotees ascend Adam’s Peak between December and April every year as a religious pilgrimage in order to pay their respects to the sacred footprint.
For many travellers, a journey up Adam’s peak is the climax of their stay in Sri Lanka. The challenging climb of over 5000 rock hewn steps is best attempted at night, where you are guided by winding lights. The aim is to reach the top to witness the glorious sunrise, which is one of the finest sunrises in the region.