Hatton Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada is an important pilgrim site. The devotees of many religions climb the mountain to invoke blessings. Buddhist believes the impression on the summit is the footprint of the Buddha. Sripada is the 4th highest mountain in Sri Lanka and it takes 4-5 hours to reach the peak by foot. The mountain is also named as "Samanala Kanda" or "Butterfly Mountain". The area is rich in biodiversity and surrounded by the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. The pilgrimage season starts on Unduwap Poya.

( From the beginning of December till the end of April)

Location of the Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s fourth highest mountain (2244m) is located 40km northeast of the city of Ratnapura. Distance from Colombo to Ratnapura is 94km.

The Sacred Footprint of Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka

On the summit of Adam’s Peak is located a shrine, a belfry and a resting place. The center of the attraction is a stone tablet covering the sacred foot print of Buddha. The pilgrimage done solely for the purpose of paying homage to the sacred foot print called Sri Pada (Sinhala: Resplendent feet).

Nearly as much has been written about the sacred footprint as has been about the mountain itself. According to Giovani de Marigolli, “The size, I mean the length thereof, is two and a half of our palms, about half a Prague ell. And I was not the only one to measure it, for so did another pilgrim, a Saracen from Spain”.

Robert Knox, an Englishman who lived in Sri Lanka in the 17th century, wrote that it was “about two feet long”. Captain John Ribeyro in his account of Sri Lanka presented to the king of Portugal in 1687 claimed that the footprint “could not be more perfect had it been done in wax”.

In 1859 James Emerson Tennent, the colonial secretary of Ceylon during the period of 1845 to1850, described the footprint as “a natural hollow artificially enlarged, exhibiting the rude outline of a foot about five foot long”. These are fine examples of how the perceptions of the sacred footprint vary according to the expectations of the visitors.

Ancient Texts Concerning Gauthama Buddha’s Visits to Sri Lanka

According to the Mahavamsa, the historical chronicle of Sri Lanka Buddha visited the island three times. It was during the last sojourn of Buddha, at the request of the deity of Adam’s Peak God Maha Suman Saman, the footprint was planted upon the summit of Adam’s Peak.

Records of Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka is not confined to the Theravada tradition or to the ancient chronicles of Sri Lanka. The Lankavatara Sutra, the seminal text of the Ch’an and Zen schools of Buddhism, which was believed to had been preached by the Buddha, refers to a visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka.

The Chrakasamvara Tantra of Mahayana Buddhism reveals of Buddha leaving the impression of his foot on a mountain. However the failure to record the name of the mountain has resulted in a mistaken identity by a Tibetan scholar a leading to Mount Kailash in the western Himalayas.

Beliefs by the Christians, Hindus and Muslims concerning footprint upon the summit of Adam’s Peak Sri Pada

Tamil Hindus consider it as the footprint of Lord Shiva. It is also fabled that the mountain is the legendary mount Trikuta the capital of Ravana during the Ramayana times from where he ruled Lanka.

Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka ascribe it to where Adam, the first Ancestor, set foot as he was exiled from the Garden of Eden. The legends of Adam are connected to the idea that Sri Lanka was the original Eden.

The Sacred Samanala Mountain Sri Lanka Highlights.