Adam’s peak: you should know that before the climb

Adam’s Peak: You should know that before the ascent

Adam’s Peak is Sri Lanka’s most famous mountain. At an altitude of 2,245 meters, it towers over the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Due to its religious significance and the fantastic view, every day hundreds of pilgrims and tourists are drawn to one of the most beautiful mountains in Sri Lanka.

Done! The ascent of the Adam’s Peak is an absolutely unique experience

You should climb the Adam’s Peak only in the period between December and May. In the other months, monsoon rains and strong winds make the hike a dangerous adventure.

Backgrounds to Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak is the most common name of the mountain. He is called in the Sinhalese Samanaḷa Kanda (butterfly mountain). The other different names are due to the different interpretations in the major religions.

religion description Footprint of
Buddhism Sri Pada Buddha
Hinduism Shiva padam Shiva
Islam Adam’s Peak Adam
Christianity Apostle Thomas

We have found these other names for the fourth highest mountain of Sri Lanka: Rohana, Ratnagiri, Samantakuta and Svargarohanam.

Selection of the route

There are two routes that are suitable for tourists. The Ratnapura-Palabadalla-Trail from the south and the Hatton-Nallathanni-Trail from the north.

I recommend the route via Hatton for two reasons:

  1. The ascent via the northern route is easier. Since the tour is not a park walk, you should take this seriously.
  2. The drive over Hatton can be better integrated into the itinerary of most backpackers. The connection to cities like Ella, Kandy or Nuwara Eliya is better.

We chose the northern trail.

Directions to Adam’s Peak and accommodation

Most backpackers arrive in Hatton by train or by bus. From Hatton you should head south to sleep right at the foot of Adam’s Peak. We were looking for a place to stay in Dalhousie (at the moment also Delhouse written). It takes you an hour to get there. The bus costs 70 rupees per person. You get a tuk tuk for about 1,500 rupees.

An accommodation should you book in advance if possible, because the accommodations are often fully booked. Due to the high capacity, the room rates are also expensive. We paid 5,500 rupees a night in the White House including dinner (buffet) and breakfast. You should avoid the Achinika Holiday Inn. Tripadvisor reviews are pretty bad and there are even reports that tourists were stealing money from the hotel.

Other accommodations highly recommended by travelers:

  • Daffodils Inn: Double room in a very clean, fairly new accommodation
  • Queensark: A very popular, beautiful accommodation with rooms for up to three people
  • Hugging Clouds: Nice guesthouse with double and family rooms

Nothing for you? Then you will find here further beautiful accommodations in a prime location for your ascent to Adams Peak:

Otherwise, check AirBnB and we’ll give you a 30 € discount for your first trip.

The climb

If you climb the Adam’s Peak, you should the impressive sunrise definitely not miss. That’s why you should get up early and set off early. From Dalhousie, you should leave at 2:30 am. The exact way will be explained to you in the accommodation. Also because of the heat you should do without a climb during the day.

You are expected Ascent of about one kilometer about circa 5,200 steps. Beside a bottle of water belongs warm clothing in the luggage. The summit is really cold in the morning. At about 10 ° C and sweaty clothes you will have little fun up there. Hiking boots are also recommended. A flashlight or headlamp you should also have it because the toilets are not lit..

You can take provisions with you. But you will also be along the path find enough stalls, where you can stock up. So you do not need to carry unnecessary weight with you. We only had a few crackers in our luggage.

The way starts very smoothly. Relatively far down there is a small fork. At this fork is a monk who kindly shows you the way to the right. Shortly thereafter, you will be received by several monks who make you a donation. We have given 500 rupees that are (allegedly) used to expand the path. If you want to avoid this, ignore the first monk and keep left.

The first section leads you past Buddhist statues

One of the traditions of pilgrims is that you enter the mountain only after swimming in the river, around the mountain not dirty to enter. In fact, we did not see anyone in the water on our nightly walk. During the day it looked a bit different.

The hike is really exhausting! The path becomes steeper and the distance between the steps becomes ever narrower. Due to the different height of the steps, it is very difficult to find a rhythm. Sooner or later you will be forced to take breaks.

Predominantly your way Buddhist pilgrims accompany. In some places, one also discovers Hindu statues. However, we have not discovered Christian or Muslim traditions.

The mood during the ascent and on the summit is very positive. The weaker get help if they can not make it to the path. It is very noticeable that also many old people take the way up. In Sri Lanka people say that you have to be on the mountain at least once. Many still want to fulfill this duty in their old age and ask for blessing. Some larger groups of pilgrims sound Buddhist songs during the ascent.

At the top of Adam’s Peak

Of the friendly mood you may but you do not be fooled! At the top of the mountain it is very crowded and in the tumult also pickpockets are up to mischief. Your backpack should be worn on the top as possible in front of the stomach.

It’s really morning busy on Adam’s Peak and there are not so many places where you can see and take pictures of the sunrise.

After seeing sunrise on Adam’s Peak, you should check out the View footprint. The footprint is preserved by Buddhist monks. So you have to stick to the Buddhist customs if you want to see the footprint. This will happen like this:

  • Get a flower (alternatively a kind of grass – we do not really know what it is, some pilgrims shared their souvenirs with us when they saw us in front of the building)
  • Go up the stairs to the footprint and stand in front of the left area with the many flowers
  • Press the palms together, hold them in front of your forehead and bow
  • Make an offering
  • Stand up and squeeze your palms, hold them in front of your forehead and bow
  • Continue to the actual footprint (small niche)
  • Kneel and touch the ground three times with your forehead
  • Donate money before the impression
  • Keep moving

Do not expect that you will really see a footprint. In fact, you only see some fabrics and the usual Buddhist statues.

The magnificent views and fantastic atmosphere on the summit compensate for every effort

The way back

If the time has come for you to descend, be sure to use the path you have already come. It happens again and again that hikers land on the other side of the mountain.

On the descent it can happen that you Pain in the knees get. I also got it and then I ran sideways down the stairs – so with the hip 90 ° twisted. As a result, I had almost no complaints, but it was also correspondingly slow.

If you arrive downstairs, you can take a bus back to Hatton. But we relaxed one day and stayed in our accommodation.

Do you have any questions about Adams Peak or have you already climbed the holy mountain? How did you like it? We are looking forward to your comment!

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Hey! Nice that you pass us by. We are Bina & Francis – globetrotters, adventurers and drone freaks. Since January 2015 we travel with camera drone in the luggage around the world. We love to explore our Earth from a new perspective!

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