SriPada Hiking Season begins..
SriPada (Adam's Peak) Hiking Season 2013 This year's pilgrim season begins December 16th, 2013 on the Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day and continues till 14th May 2014 Vesak Full Moon Poya Day; it is the only pilgrim season in the country that lasts six months. It is a period of fine weather and during the long week-ends and full moon Poya days the trail is densely crowded. The route is illuminated in the season by a string of lights that snake up all way up to the summit to making the celebrated night ascent all the more attractive. All pilgrims trek up wishing to be at the summit at the crack of dawn to witness the magnificent spectacle of sunrise and the shadow of the mountain. Many pilgrims prefer to make the longer, much more tiring– but equally well-marked and well illuminated – seven- hour climb from Ratnapura via the Carney Estate, because of the greater merit thus gained. Off-season Trekking to the summit of Adam’s peak (2250 m) in the off-season too is possible. An off-season climb would prove to be novel experience since the mountain is deserted. Seasonal boutiques on the trail being closed and no pilgrims are seen trekking, off-season climb is a lonely affair until the peak is reached. Since the trail can be extremely hazardous during monsoon months (getting drenched in the rain and then getting caught in the wind chill would give you a testing time), it would do a world of good to yourself to select a dry month, July or August. Location The mountain is located in the southern reaches of the Central Highlands, in the Ratnapura district of the Sabaragamuwa Province - lying about 40 km northeast of the city of Ratnapura. The surrounding region is largely forested hills, with no mountain of comparable size nearby. The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve housing many species varying from elephants to leopards, and including many endemic species. Significance of the Adam's Peak Adams Peak is Sri Lanka's Holiest Mountain and each year Pilgrims flock to climb its 5200 steps. Located in a beautiful and fascinating area of the southern edge of the Central highlands of Sri Lanka, the Mount Matterhorn shaped peak has sparked the imagination for centuries. The most adored mountain of Sri Lanka has been known in several names: Adam’s Peak (the place where Adam first set foot on earth after being cast out of heaven), Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint, left by the Buddha) or Samanala Kande (Butterfly Mountain, where butterflies go to die). While some Christians believe the huge ‘footprint’ on the top of the 2250 m peak is that of St Thomas, the early apostle of India, Hindus believe it is of Lord Shiva.