Adams Peak (Sri Paada); Sinhalese Samanalakanda - සමනළ කන්ද "butterfly mountain", Tamil Sivanolipatha Malai - சிவனொளி பாதமலை), is a 2,243 metres (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain. It is well known for the Sri Pada "sacred footprint", a 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit. In Buddhist tradition it is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Muslim and Christian tradition that of Adam.
The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve housing many species varying from elephants to leopards, and including many endemic species.
Access to Adams Peak is possible by 6 trails. They are Hatton-Dalhousie -Nallathanni, Ratnapura-Palabaddala, , Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte & Malimboda). Out of these the closest route to Spring Acre is the Hattor-Nallathanni route. Most of the pilgrims use Hatton route as the journey on foot can be reduced by more than five kilometers even though the slope of this route is much greater than other routes. It is recommended to depart from Spring Acre before mid night so that you can time your hike from Nallathanni to the peak to experience the magnificent sun-rise over Adams Peak.
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Sunrise on Adams Peak
Due to its historical significance to the various people that inhabit in the region, the mountain, itself, is referred to by a variety of terms.
Sri Pada is the term, derived from Sanskrit, used by the Sinhalese people in a religious context. This name is also understood in Pāli, and may be translated roughly as "the sacred foot". It refers to the footprint-shaped mark at the summit of Adams Peak, which is believed by Buddhists to be that of the Buddha. Other traditions assert that it is the footprint of Adam, left by his first entrance into the world.
The Sinhala name of Adams Peak is Samanalakanda, which refers either to the deity Saman, who is said to live upon the mountain, or to the butterflies (samanalayā) that frequent the mountain during their annual migrations to the region.
The sacred adams peak mountain
The sacred mountain is revered as a holy site by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. It has specific qualities that cause it to stand out and be noticed; including its dominant and outstanding profile, and the boulder at the peak that contains an indentation resembling a footprint. As the 1910, Encyclopædia Britannica notes for a long period Adams Peak was supposed to be the highest mountain in Ceylon, but actual survey makes it only 7353 ft. above sea-level.
It is an important pilgrimage site, especially for Hindus and Buddhists. Pilgrims walk up the mountain, following a variety of routes up thousands of steps. The journey takes several hours at least. The peak pilgrimage season is in April, and the goal is to be on top of the mountain at sunrise, when the distinctive shape of the mountain casts a triangular shadow on the surrounding plain and can be seen to move quickly downward as the sun rises.
Climbing at night can be a remarkable experience, with the lights of the path leading up and into the stars overhead. There are rest stops along the way.
Adams Peak is most often scaled from December to May. During other months it is hard to climb the mountain due to very heavy rain, extreme wind, and thick mist.
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