Arriving in the village of Nallathanniya at the base of Adams Peak, you will be greeted by a cluster of tea stalls, homestays and restaurants that marks the starting point of the five-kilometre – 5500 step Nallathanniya climbing route. The traverse takes about 3 to 4.5 hrs and you will be joined by 1000’s of pilgrims of all ages dressed in white stopping to pray at many of the small temples along the way. Near the start of the climb, you can find the Sama Chatiya, the World Peace Pagoda which built by the famous Japanese Buddhist monk Ven Nichi Fuji in 1976 and is now looked after by a small group of Japanese monks.
As the sun rises you will be drawn to the east to witness an amazing spectacle as the sun leaps over the horizon drawing a perfect triangle of a shadow of the mountain spreading over the western side of the mountain. As the sun rises this shadow rushes towards you and disappears; a spectacular climax to a breathtaking natural spectacle.
The purpose of your climb is to view a stone tablet covering the sacred footprint of Lord Buddha. Legend says Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka three times and during the last sojourn of Buddha, at the request of the deity of Adam’s Peak God Maha Suman Saman, the footprint was planted upon the summit of the rock.
Hindus believe the footprint is that of Lord Shiva who is known as the destroyer god because he removes all evil from the world. Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka it is where Adam first set foot on earth after he was exiled from the Garden of Eden. The legends of Adam are connected to the idea that Sri Lanka was the original Eden itself.
As you take in the amazing scenery you will periodically hear a bell ringing. People ring the bell after they arrive and it also indicates how many times they have undertaken the pilgrimage. “The first time I made the ascent I stood in line behind an elderly woman in her 80’s and watched in awe as she rang the bell 67 times…” Stewart remembers.
Another unexplained phenomenon is that each year, scores of butterflies flock to the mountain to die in a mysterious migration pattern that has given the mountain the nickname Samanalakande, or Butterfly Mountain.
Most turn around and descend the same way they climbed however we prefer to take a hidden trail known as the Ratnapura Trail utilising the ancient chains who the Muslims believe were fitted by Alexander The Great and Sinhalese records reveal that the chains were fastened onto the rock face by King Vijayabahu (1058-1114 AD) who wrote ‘Let no one endure hardship who goeth along the difficult pathways to worship the Footprint of the Chief of Sages on Samantakuta Mountain’.
This is a tough and technical descent as you will watch in awe as the most devoted pilgrims use this track to reach the summit in order to endure additional hardship. The descent takes about 8 hours as you witness some amazing scenery and at the conclusion, you will be met by your transport and taken to a beautiful hotel to rest, recuperate and reflect on what you have just witnessed.
Please note, this trip does not include return transfers only one way from either Kandy or Nuwara Eliya.
This package includes two styles and locations of accommodation. The first night of the experience will be spent at the family-owned "Punsini" Guest House at Nallathanniya from where you will have views of Adams Peak as the trail lights up at dark. Once completing both the accent and decent from Adams Peak you will be transferred onto the beautiful "Serenity Lakes Inn" and be able to wind down by the pool with a cocktail in hand after a gruelling days work in the mountains
Day 1 - Pick up from Kandy or Nuwara Eliya - Overnight in Nallathanniya
Day 2 - Hike up Adams Peak - Hike Ratnapura Trail - Swimming - Overnight Serenity Lakes Inn
Day 3 - Head off to next destination
- A spiritual journey blended with a unique hiking experience
- Transfers to and from Kandy or Nuwara Eliya
- Accommodation at Punsisi Rest House which is ideally located to begin your pilgrimage and the Lake Serenity Resort & Spa (or similar) to rest and recover.
- All meals prepared by our chef's utilising local produce
- An experienced local guide to provide additional support to our team so you will not miss any of the
As Sri Pada is a sacred place for many, we ask visitors to ensure they dress appropriately and modestly. Longer shorts or long pants are recommended and your shoulders should be covered while around the temple at the top of the mountain. A sarong is always handy and light to carry.
The decent is a challenging trek and we recommend lightweight, quick-dry clothing. The following is a packing guide:
- Travel insurance
- Personal toiletries - Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant.
- Clothing for Temple visits (as per above information).
- Lightweight casual clothing for day wear, travel and sightseeing.. shorts, shirts etc
- Light hiking boots that are waterproof
- pair of cotton/wool blend hiking socks
- shirt to trek in
- shorts/pants. (Zip off leg style ideal for the different hiking locations).
- 1x trekking pole, (optional, but highly recommended especially for people with injuries which could resurface from walking uneven surfaces, e.g. ankle and knee injuries).
- 1x small day bag/pack (approx. 20 - 30 L)
- 1x water bottle
- Pair of thongs or sandals
- Hat with a wide brim to keep the sun off your face
- Rain jacket/poncho (something lightweight)
- 1 x thermal top
- Bathers- Regular swimwear is totally acceptable in resorts and hotels. For areas outside of these, it is recommended for ladies wearing bikinis to use a sarong to cover exposed thighs
- Sarong for just about anything
- Tropical strength insect repellent- Recommend Bushmans
- 1x small hand sanitiser bottle
- Camera- spare batteries and spare memory card/s
- International charger adaptors for recharging phone, camera etc.
- Copy of your insurance policy
- Personal First Aid kit/medication. Your personal First Aid kit should contain band-aids, blister dressings, topical cream for bites and grazes, antibiotic cream for cuts and scratches, anti-diarrhoea tablets, paracetamol, anti-chaff cream, Deep Heat or other muscle linaments.- Leech socks
*If you have something you are particularly prone to, e.g. asthma, allergies, ear infections, hay fever, or sinus problems etc, bring what you need with you.
You can combine one or more of our Hidden Trails adventures as part of your greater Sri Lanka trip OR we can customise your entire journey to Sri Lanka, from adventure to a seaside bungalow, from a trek across the roof of the island to a luxury jungle safari. Whatever your needs, we are able to tailor a trip for you!