Climb Adams Peak in Sri Lanka

Known for its spiritual significance and spectacular sunrise views, “Adams Peak” or “Sri Pada”, located in the north-central highlands of Sri Lanka, is visited, worshiped, and admired equally by both local and international pilgrims, as well as nature lovers. With an elevation of 2243 meters (7360 ft) and a whopping 5500 paved steps, it is approximately a 4-hour hike to the summit, where the resembling of the sacred footprint of 5ft 4in by 2ft 6in lies and is worshiped by pilgrims with different beliefs. While the Buddhists believe it to be the left footprint of lord Buddha, the Christians and Muslims believe it to be that of Adam, and Hindus believe it to be the footprint of Lord Shiva.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, waking up in the middle of the night to hike Adams peak under the quietness of a moonlit sky, through a mountainside illuminated by the lights of small tea shops, enriched with peaceful sights of local visitors engaging in various cultural and religious rituals along the way, and surroundings cloaked with mesmerizing views of cloud forests is truly an incredible experience.

As you reach the summit, the chills of the cold breeze and the mesmerizing view of a spectacular sunrise will take away the exhaustion of the climb in a split second. This view of the golden ball of light, rising above a thick layer of puffy white clouds covering the surrounding green valleys, becomes brighter and fiercer every passing moment bringing the perfectly triangular shadow of Adam’s peak into sight that will leave you awestruck!

Look forward to catching this spectacular sunrise that every Sri Lankan brags about from the summit of Adams peak? Then you must ideally begin this trail by 2 am, from the start point that lies alongside a small town in north-central highlands called Dalhousie. The climb will take approximately 3-4 hours to the summit, where the spiritual footprint that is worshiped by the pilgrims of all religious beliefs, lies along with an astronomic bell that is rung by all visitors to symbolize their presence. While the climb to the summit may be challenging and exhausting, the descent is a fairly painless and quicker one, which takes approximately two and a half hours.

While the best time to hike Adam’s peak is from January to May, when the weather is at its best behavior with clear and beautiful views, some of those who feel more adventurous than others climb this during the off-season amid heavy rains. With rainwater flowing down the steps and the mountainside not being illuminated by the lights of small vendors, and the views obstructed by heavy rain and clouds, we suggest you avoid the off-season to embark on this trail. However, if you are looking for ways to avoid the large crowds of pilgrims that draw during the season, avoid “Poya” (full moon) days.

Many Sri Lankans have been paying an annual pilgrimage to Sri Pada or Adams Peak to pay homage to the sacred footprint. And the tourists who used to visit solely to witness the sunrise from the summit have since started visiting Adams peak to experience the pilgrimage themselves. Whether you climb Adams peak as a pilgrim at heart or as an adventurous soul, we can safely say that you will descend with a full heart.