Adam’s PeakAdam’s Peak,Srilanka
Though not the highest mountain of Sri Lanka, the striking pyramid of Adam’s Peak (7,360 ft) is certainly the most remarkable. Located in a beautiful area of the southern Hill Country, this lofty peak has sparked the imagination for centuries and been a focus for pilgrimage for more than 1000 years.
A depression in the rocky summit resembles a huge footprint, which has been venerated as a sacred sigh from remote antiquity. This was identified by Buddhists as the Buddha’s footprint, by Hindus as that of Shiva, and by Muslims as Adam’s. Later the Portuguese attributed it to St. Thomas the Apostle.
The pilgrimage season begins on poya day in December and runs until Vesak festival in May; January and February are busiest. At other times the temple on the summit is unused, and between May and October the peak is often obscured by clouds. During the pilgrimage season pilgrims and tourists alike make the climb up the countless steps to the top.
As dawn illuminates the holy mountain, the diffuse morning light uncovers the Hill Country rising in the east and the land sloping to the coast to the west. Colombo, 65km away, is easily visible on a clear day. Adam’s Peak saves its most breathtaking moment for just after dawn. The sun casts a perfect shadow of the peak onto the misty clouds down towards the coast. As the sun rises higher this eerie triangular shadow races back towards the peak, eventually disappearing into its base.