Adam’s Peak is a site that has multi-faith significance. At the summit, there is said to be an imprint that shape of a foot: Buddhists believe it to be the footprint of the Buddha as he descended onto Earth; Hindus believe it to be the footprint of Lord Shiva as he descended onto Earth; and Christians and Muslims believe it to be the footprint of Adam as he descended into the Garden of Eden (where he lived with Eve).
The beginning of the end of us, the six hour hike through the night to reach Adam’s Peak before the sunrise.
Today, a Buddhist temple houses the sacred footprint and it is mainly a Buddhist pilgrimage.
Having climbed Lion Rock in Sigirya the night before, we were really smashing out the hiking in Sri Lanka. We travelled during the day from Dambulla to Kandy and from there we took two more buses to end our journey in Delhouse (Dalhousie), at the foot of the mountain to the trail leading to Adam’s Peak.
The journey nearly took us 12 hours when we finally arrived at 23:00 – we quickly sought out a hotel who would take our bags for the night (and not charge us a night’s stay) and then immediately began the climb – the beginning of the end of us, the six hour hike through the night to reach Adam’s Peak before the sunrise.
The going was easy for the initial four to five kilometres – the incline was agreeable, there were many tea shops lining the path. In any case, I took each step very slowly – think funeral march. Even elderly men and women were steaming ahead of us.
All I remember was thinking to myself: “Push hard, recover slow”. An old training strategy we observed while in crew. Each step was pushed hard, and the motion to lift the next step was very slow to allow a decent recovery. In the end, I did not have cramps or pain as I climbed (not even when I descended).
Here is the gateway signalling the actual base of Adam’s Peak. You pass a laying Buddha on the way through.
In the background you can see lights dotting the sky – they are lamp posts lining the path toward the summit of the mountain. The fiery red blaze is the actual peak, where pilgrims were perhaps burning a large fire.