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Adams peak Excursion, Sri Lanka

Region: hill-country | Location: Ratnapura
Sri Lanka Adams peak
 Other regions: ancient-cities | capital-colombo | east-coast | south-coast | west-coast
The 2,243 m (7,360-ft) high summit is situated in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary called Peak Wilderness. According to Buddhist history the footprint at the summit of the mountain is of Lord Buddha, left during his third visit to Sri Lanka, about 2583 years ago and it is called "Sri Pada" (holy footprint). To Christians the mountain is "Adams Peak" where Adam and Eve resided whereas to Muslims it was the scene of the penance of Adam after his expulsion from Paradise. It is also a shrine for Hindus who believe that the footprint is that of the god of Shiva.

Pilgrims and Adventurers

Pilgrims and adventurers climb up the 8 to 12 kilometre long journey to the summit where the sunrise seen from the top of this mountain is considered to be one of the most spectacular natural phenomenon in the world.

Ratnapura

It is the most famous gem-mining locality in Sri Lanka, 100 km away from Colombo. It is situated in the foothills of the 2243m high Adam' Peak. Sri Lanka produces precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, aquamarines, tourmalines, garnets, amethysts, topaz, etc.
  More on the Adams peak of Sri Lanka ☟

History

The sanctification of Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) as a tryst of homage by the four dominant faiths in Sri Lanka - Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian - is steeped in mystery, myth, legend, and also oral and chronicled history.

Unlike the Haram Ash Shariff - Jerusalem's hallowed temple mount one of the world's most fiercely contested pieces of real estate where Christians, Moslems and Jews have slaughtered one another for centuries, Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) provides a refuge for the followers of all faiths. It holds a unique place in the country's cultural heritage. The Ramayana - immortal epic of the Sanskrit poet and sage Valmiki (C. 300 BC) makes mention of it, and Alexander the Great, Macedonian warrior king and empire builder (356-323 BC) is reputed to have visited it in 330 BC after his successful campaign in India.

The great dynastic chronicle of Sri Lanka (Mahawamsa), contains the earliest authenticated records of the peak having being dedicated to Gautama Buddha and the Hindu deity Saman. It records that King Dutugemunu being at the point of death at Anuradhapura in 140 BC called for the thero Pullabaya, one of his quondam military aides to invoke his blessings. The venerable monk, attended by a retinue of three hundred disciples, hurried to the bedside of the dying king. He consoled the king recounting several of his meritorious deeds, adding that these alone would suffice for him to attain salvation. The king being deeply moved by the absolution, rejoined that of all the good deeds enumerated by the thero one that comforted him the most was the allusion to his donation of conjee to five eminent monks during an unprecedented famine in the land. Maliyadeva one of the monks to whom the donation was offered, divided it among the fraternity then resident at the sacred mount of Saman. This passage in the Mahawamsa (chapter 32) indicates that the peak was held sacred prior to 140BC.

John Maundeville, a 14th century traveller to the island, gives a grotesque description of the peak. In his chronicles he notes: "In that isle is a great mountain and in the midst of this is a full fair plain. They of the country say that Adam and Eve wept upon the mount when they were driven out of Paradise. They shed so much tears that a lake was formed at the bottom." There is a strong probability that the mountain was dubbed 'Adam's Peak' by European after Maundeville.

In 1805, Captain Robert Percival who served with the British garrison in Colombo notes: "The iron chains on the rock face of Adam's Peak have the appearance of being planted there at a very distant period. Who placed them there or for what purpose they were set up there it is difficult for anyone to know - the beliefs and superstitions of the natives present difficulties. Whatever it is, all evidence indicate that the peak was in the limelight long before the recorded history of the island."

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