Adam’s peak is a sacred mountain located in Rathnapura District. Hiking to the peak of adam’s peak 2243m mountain is an incredible hike through the beautiful green canopy.
There are several routes to climb up from different starting points around the mountain. To reach the top of Adam’s peak, normally it takes six to eight hours and five to seven hours to derive. During the pilgrim season of Adam’s peak(every year December- May) thousands of pilgrims visit adam’s peak all around the country.
Notes: Climbing through the mist with Friends. I am not sure, what I was carrying 🙂
Last year, 2016 right after the December Poya holiday few old friends of mine invited me to join with them for a hike to Adam’s peak during the pilgrim season.
Even though it was not my first time to this sacred Mountain, adam’s peak, I was so happy to join them to the next adventure of my life. It was planned on two weekdays to avoid the huge crowds on weekends due to pilgrims.
We had book second class tickets to Hatton on the train which was staring the journey from Fort Railway Station at 12.40 pm every day.
Ticket prices were 240 rupees per head (approximately USD 2) with a little extra amount of booking charges. As decided, we all met on a sunny Monday in front of the Fort railway station with our backpacks.
Train departure was around 12.45 pm, it was a bit crowded in the train with pilgrims to the Sri Pattaya. But we all got seats next to each other and it was not boring at all with chatting and card games, even though it was a long journey to Hatton for a few hours.
We were supposed to sleep on the train, but it never happens when you meet your friends after a long time.
After having a long train ride we arrived at Hatton railway station around 8 PM in the night. Since we wanted to see the magical sunrise of adam’s peak, we planned to get the hike during the night which could be easy to climb under the moonlight than sunlight.
After having a light dinner from a shop at Hatton, we took a bus to the deli house to start the journey. It is thousands of steps that lead us to adam’s peak under a green canopy. I was a bit nervous to climb in the night because I wanted to see the beautiful sceneries on the way to peak underneath the feet. But then I realized we could enjoy that beauty after watching the spectacular sunrise of the peak.
The journey started with a footpath across a tea estate until we meet the Buddha Statue and the Makara Thorana.
Note: Makara Thorn at the starting point
After worshiping there, we walked another few meters to a Japanese Stupa which is known as the Peace Pagoda.
It was built recently with the Support of Japanese Buddhists and few Buddhist monks are residing here to bless the Pilgrims. From there you can see the lighted path to the peak among the clouds.
Note: View of Japanese Temple from half away
With thousands of pilgrims, we started journey to peak under the cloudy sky.
After the recent renovations, the stepped path was easy to climb than the old days. After reaching “Seetha ganglia”(Seetha Gangula is a river), we all had a dip in ice-cold water around 9.30 pm which made us freezing.
It is a tradition to have a wash from the “Seetha ganglia” river before you start the climb. Within a continuous climb for hours we had to stop a few times to relax and had a little snack.
Even though there are plenty of shops to buy food, we bought biscuits, some milk packets, sandwich bread and Seeni sambal(a very famous Sri Lankan desk made of Onions) bottle from the town.
The price of the food sold at these shops is relatively high than normal retail prices. You can buy instant noodles for 100 rupees and sometimes they sell milo packets with a doubled price. We only visited the shops to have a hot coffee two or three times, just to have some relief from the cold we have been bothered from half away.
Few Ambalama also was there to stay and relax on the way. We had a plan to climb the peak to watch the spectacular sunrise of the peak. Therefore we didn’t stop to relax, continued the climb throughout the night.
At the final stage of the hike, all we’re really tired. We decided to stay for a while and eat bread and Seeni symbol while having a rest at around 2 am in the morning.
The hardest part of the hike was climbing the “Mahagiridambaya”, which was a 90-degree climb. It was so cold and windy in that part. We had to climb it with the support of supporting bars besides, but those steel bars made us mad with the cold.
It’s better to wear of thick pair of gloves to avoid the freezing cold. After a strenuous climb finally, we reached the sacred land of the peak before the sunset around 5 am in the morning.
Even the pilgrim rest house was too crowded, we managed to enter that building hiding from the cold winds across the peak.
Few of us fall in the sleep on the mats with the pain in legs due to the hard climb. Meanwhile, we managed to set our tripods on the sides of the temple to watch the magical sunset.
Most of the pilgrims and our team came to that side by 6 am in the morning to watch it. That was the most amazing thing that I experienced in my life. Since that day was a clear day with fewer clouds, the sun took three turns to come out with the magical rays among golden clouds.
Note: Spectacular Sunrise as known as “Ira Sawaya”
It was just a 10 to 15 minutes show and the shadow of the peak was visible on the mountains of the other side. We had some nice photographs and packed bags again to enter the sacred temple to worship the foot of the Lord Buddha.
Inside the temple, you can’t use cameras to take pictures. Outside of the temple, there is a massive bell tower and an Eternal Flame Oil Lamp which is also known as “Dolosmahe Pahana”. After walking around for another few minutes, enjoying the beautiful view of the top, we started to come down on the same route.
Note: Oil lamps of the peak
Since Adam’s peak is located in the SriPada wildlife sanctuary we were able to see lots of endemic birds roaming around in the morning sunlight.
Note: Monkeys we met at Seetha Gangula
Note: Kaha Monday – TheYellow-Eared Bulbul Endemic bird of Sri Lanka
Walking down was a little easy and we enjoyed the beauty of Mother Nature while walking down the green canopy.
Within less than five hours, we managed to come to the Japanese pagoda while staying a few times to get some snacks and had a rest there for a few hours to avoid the hot sun around 1.30 am.
We had a big pain in legs due to the continuous climb for two days. “Siddhalepa” medicinal hut we met on the way to Nallathanniya was a great relief for us since we all got good leg massages for a reasonable price like 400 rupees from the experienced therapists.
After having “Lak Peyawa”, which was really good for us after being showered in the mist on the way, we kept walking down to the town and had some food from a hotel in the bus stand.
Note: View of the Castlereigh reservoir from the peak
We all were too tired to come in crowded trains after the hike, therefore we caught a bus to Hatton and from there we had found a bus to the fort.
It was a really great hike for all of us with a happy ending. If you happen to visit there, make sure that you bring your own food to avoid high priced food from shops.
Sometimes leech attacks may occur on rainy days in this Hatton route, so be prepared to those and since Adam’s peak is located in a highly sensitive ecosystem, make sure that you don’t dump any garbage during the hike.