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Adams Peak

Adams Peak

The sacred mountain of Sri Lanka, rising like Mount Olympus on the centre of the island, Adam's Peak or Sri Pada (7,360 ft) is the one of the most iconic and striking natural structures on the island. On the summit there is a depression which resembles a giant footprint, which is regarded with importance by the followers of all four religions of the country. The Buddhists consider this to be Lord Buddha's footprint and the Hindus consider it as that of the god Shiva, while the Muslims and Christians believe this to be the footprint of Adam. The Portuguese invaders subsequently attributed the impression to be of St. Thomas the Apostle.

Sri Pada is a significant pilgrimage site, especially for Buddhists. During the season pilgrims climb the mountain in great numbers, following a variety of routes up thousands of steps. This arduous journey takes several hours and will test the faith and endurance of the climber. The peak pilgrimage season is in April, and the goal is to be on top of the mountain before dawn to witness the spectacular sunrise, where the distinctive conical shape of the mountain casts a giant shadow over the surrounding plains. The mountain is surrounded by one of the last remaining mountain wilderness areas known as the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary which is a cloud forest which links with the Horton Plains eco-system. This biodiversity rich area has many of the rare endemic bird and amphibian species found nowhere else on earth. Ecologically rich, this mountain also has a small population of elephants which are said to be genetically different from the rest of the populations, but are seldom seen. Only proof of their existence would be their dung and footprints on some of the lonely forest trails. A bird which is rare as well as elusive but is seen best in this area is the Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush or Arrenga a bird who has a legendary reputation for eluding those who find it.

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