Adam’s Peak, also known as Sri Pada, is a 2,243m (7,359 ft) mountain in the central highland region of Sri Lanka. It is an important pilgrimage site that holds significance in several major religions like Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims & Christians. Whatever your beliefs are, there are rewarding views for everyone at the summit.
After surviving the perpetual mountainous road to Nallathanniya, we stayed a night there before facing the 5,500 crumbling stone steps up to cloud nine (oh god). The hostels around Nallathanniya would cost below usd50 with a good and reliable WiFi.
Here are 5 tips I have to share:
1. Timing is key
Generally, the hike up is around 3-4 hours (hike down is around 2 hours) with plenty of breaks included (you need them, a lot), so it is best to start the hike around 2am to catch the sunrise. You can catch the amazing stars above you which makes the climb a little less miserable. It is like scattered moon dust in the sky!
There are options to start your hike in the day too (caution: the sun is blazing).
2. Climbing Season
Avoid going during the pilgrimage season (full moon of December and ends on the full moon of April) as the steps might be congested. Only during peak season the trail is lit, with shops open along the route. Outside of this period, do ask the locals around for the conditions before you set off.
3. Things to bring
Headlamp or torchlight if you are hiking at night due to the inconsistency of the steps,though it is safe. Some steps are knee-length and steep.
It is quite cold on top so prepare thick clothing in the bag. You don’t want to take pictures while shivering do you. For the hike, just a glove and long sleeve tee will suffice. Why glove? For the freezing railings to assist you in your climb.
Take note that no shoes are allowed in the temple at the summit so you may want some dry socks to put on after looking around.
This is highly the important point of all. You will get famished during the ascend so pack some light snacks – chocolate, nuts and nutritional bars with you. My personal favorite is the Quaker instant oatmeal packet, it is easy to eat and comes in small sizes. And please please i beg you take your trash with you and don’t ruin this beautiful place.
When we were there, there’s a small shop at the summit selling hot tea which helps a lot battling the cold climate up there
5. Admission is free
There are donation boxes and monks whom will say some prayers to you on the way up ,tie a white string around your wrist and ask for donation which is all up to you (I skipped those). None of those are required, so if you want to donate, do it willingly.
After all the moans and groans, hisses of pains and chilly bites, Adam’s Peak rewards you with the killer view and you’ve just earned yourself the bragging rights.