Adams peak is a great adventure and worth exploring while travelling Sri Lanka. The following article has been written by Ann Crozier from travelworldfreedom.com
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, just at the tip of India. Home to stretches of beautiful beaches, endless cups of tea and a fantastic (and cheap!) train network. And, of course, there’s the warm and welcoming Sri Lankan people.
I travelled throughout Sri Lanka for about 3 weeks during March. It was extremely hot in the capital of Colombo and pretty sticky everywhere else with the exception of Nura Eliya.
Although it’s perfect weather for enjoying the many beautiful beaches that Sri Lanka has to offer. Sri Lanka does have beautiful beaches but it also has so much more to offer in terms of culture.
About half way through the trip we decided to immerse ourselves further into Sri Lankan culture and take a trip to Adam’s Peak, also known as Sri Pada.
The climb to Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) in Sri Lanka is a spiritual journey for Sri Lankans and travellers alike. Sri Pada means “sacred footprint” – either Adam’s or Buddha’s or Shiva’s – it seems that everyone can interpret this depending on their own faith.
Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) is located near the centre of Sri Lanka, at the foot of a small town called Dalhousie. The nearest train station is Hatton and then there is a bus from outside the train station up to Dalhousie.
Train travel in Sri Lanka is extremely easy to use and cheap. Although carriages can get very busy with locals and tourists. There’s a good chance that you won’t get a seat and you’ll be extremely cramped. One great tip is to book 3rd reserved seats, much less cramped and a guarantee of a seat.
Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) facts:
- about 5000 steps to reach the peak! Yes, you’ll have glutes of steel by step 5000!
- 2243 meters above sea level
- the best time to make the climb to the peak is in time for sunrise
- something about it being a spiritual journey for Sri Lankans
We climbed Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) on a Thursday, we were mindful of not making the climb on weekends or Poya days. A Poya day is any holiday day in Sri Lanka that is on a full moon. Weekends and Poya days are considered to be busy times to visit Adam’s Peak and it’s best to avoid both is possible.
We climbed Adam’s Peak on a Thursday and it was fairly busy all the way up the 5000 or so steps. It did get busier, especially toward the peak, but there was a manageable amount of people. The climb was busy with both Sri Lankans and tourists.
We left our hotel at 2am, yep that’s AM. Getting to the peak by sunrise is the most popular and spectacular time to visit Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada). It was pretty cold but we warmed up pretty quickly – walking up 5000 steps will do that!
At first we had a pretty quick pace but soon learned to slow down. We saw other travellers rushing up and sweating and huffing – and that was us too for awhile. Then I noticed all the Sri Lankans cruising up – sweat and huffing at a minimum. So, we made like the Sri Lankans and slowed down.
There are all kinds of Sri Lankans making their way slowly up – grandmas, grandpas, families with their babies, toddlers, groups of teenagers. It’s amazing people watching
At times it’s a nice walking meditation, your mind is clear, you’re just thinking about the next step. Other times you’re wondering how much longer go to?!?!
There a quite a few places to eat and drink along the way up to the peak. Nothing fancy but a place to refresh and catch your breath and give your legs a break.
It’s important to time getting to the peak – arriving too early means waiting around at the peak and getting cold and uncomfortable. There also isn’t a lot of room at the summit. You’re no longer walking so you’re left to fester in your own sweat that is rapidly getting colder.
We saw a few travellers coming down before the sunrise because it was too cold at the peak and they’d had enough. That’s a shame because the sunrise at the peak is stunning.
It was extremely busy as we reached the peak and we had to wait for a while to slowly make our way to the peak. Again, it’s very cold up at the peak. We climbed Adam’s Peak toward the end of March and it’s cold that time of day. I cannot empathise enough that being prepared for bone-chilling conditions at the peak is essential. I’d estimate we were waiting for around 45 minutes to slowly make our way to the peak and visit the sacred footprint.
There was a small queue to view the sacred footprint.
Sunrise at the peak is spectacular! I’d say that is definitely worth the very early wake up and coldness to witness both the natural beauty of the views at the peak and also the cultural beauty of seeing and being apart of a sacred journey for Sri Lankans.
We stayed at the peak for an hour or so. The views are gorgeous and we also needed the rest!
And of course you have to get down the 500 steps! Legs like jelly, the descent is made. It took a few hours to slowly make our way down the 5000 steps. The views on the way down are just as spectacular as the views from the peak at sunrise. Make sure to spend some time on the way down enjoying the scenery and taking care to not slip and fall.
In all it took about 5 hours in total to make our way up and back to the hotel. This was mainly due to slowing down our pace down so we got to peak just before the sunrise, the amount of people near the top and not rushing on the way down.
Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) was definitely a highlight of the 3 week trip to Sri Lanka, highly recommended as part of any itinerary to Sri Lanka.