Sri Pada is Sri Lanka’s holy mountain, where people go on pilgrimage to worship the footprint of Lord Buddha. A sanctified place of worship to people of all faiths atop a 2, 243 meter high mountain in the southwest corner of the highlands. The Sri Pada Peak is the only mountain in the world, where four major religions gather to worship. Due to its historical significance to various people, the mountain, itself, is referred to by a variety of terms.
To the Buddhist, the imprint found on the summit of the mountain is the hallowed footprint of Lord Buddha. Shivanolipatha Malai is the Tamil name referred to the footprint as being that of the Hindu deity Shiva. To the Christians and Muslims, it is the foot print of Adam and they call it Adam’s Peak.
The Sinhala name of the mountain is Samanalakanda, which refers either to the deity Saman, who is said to live upon the mountain or to the butterflies (samanalaya) that recurrent the mountain during their annual migration to the region. Sri Lanka is the home of numerous species of magnificent butterflies and once a year they form into a long chain, sometimes consisting of hundreds of these creatures, and go through the countryside. Legend has it that butterflies were going to Sri Pada to pay homage to the Lord Buddha’s footprint.
Access to the mountain is possible by 6 trails (Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanni, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte and Malimboda). Out of these the Nallathanni & Palabaddala routes are the most popular. Most of pilgrims use Hatton route due to journey on foot can be reduce by more than five kilometres even slope of this route is much greater than other routes. The pilgrim season is from December to May. Watching the sunrise from the summit is an unforgettable sight.