This island’s magic lies in its ancient ties to many old walks of life. As a result our holy spaces are graced by more than followers of one faith. Adam’s Peak or Siri Paada is one shining example of how devotees of every major religion in the country can find common high ground and make pilgrimage to the same location for over a thousand years.
This mountain peak located in the country’s Southern Hill region, has many stories and myths surrounding its existence. A towering footprint that marks the mountain’s peak itself is probably the basis for these many possibilities.
For one, it is said that Adam first set foot here having been cast of out of heaven. Yet another fable tells of how Lord Buddha left his last footprint on earth here before he left for nirvana. Some say it is the footprint of Lord Shiva – other say Vishnu as Buddha is his avatar. Catholics believe it is the footprint of St. Thomas one of the early apostles who carried the story of Christ to India. Other poetic narratives refer to this mountain peak as Samanala Kanda or Butterfly Mountain – where butterflies go to die.
If you are a pilgrim and would like to join the thousands of others who make their journey up here by the many steps and many hours walk up – then January to May are the times you need to be here. At night the pilgrims torches can be seen from a distance, like fireflies and stars reaching up to the heavens. Alternately if you want a quiet journey, the May to October season is best. Only the clouds are bound to obscure your view at this time of the year too.
No matter what kind of journey you make up this 2243 meter conical mountain, what will never escape you is the sight of dawn break over the island and light up its darkened landscape from the night before. This is why it is recommended to start walking in the wee hours of the morning, ending your journey at the rise of day.