Spiritual places to visit in Sri Lanka – Adam’s Peak

 

Sri Lanka is a land of such diverse beauty that its natural attractions make up only part of its appeal to tourists. Another reason why it draws so many visitors is its cultural and religious sites that offer spiritual solace and inner peace. These spiritual places to visit in Sri Lanka are located in various parts of the country, and offer uniquely enriching experiences to anyone with an interest in a higher state of being. Even without such motivation, visitors will not fail to receive a strong impression from the powerful atmosphere in such places.

One such site of immense cultural heritage would be Adam’s Peak, which is located in the central hill country. This site is a tall mountain blanketed by clouds and mist, giving it an almost other-worldly feel. Adam’s Peak is culturally significant because of the huge footprint that lies on the peak of the mountain, which is 2243m above sea level. This footprint is what gave the mountain its name; it is commonly said that this is where Adam, the first human, set foot on the earth after being cast out of the Gardens of Eden.

While this folklore gave rise to the mountain’s rather catchy name, there are multiple versions of this theory that attribute this footprint to different figures. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, who refer to the mountain as Sri Pada, believe that this footprint was made by Lord Buddha on his ascent into paradise. Similarly, Hindus of Sri Lanka and India believe that this footprint belongs to Lord Shiva. The mountain is also referred to in Singhalese as Samanala Kanda, which means Butterfly Mountain, where it is believed that butterflies flutter up the mountain to die and go to heaven.

This monumental location is considered sacred by many of the religions in the country and it has been considered a national treasure for centuries. Kings of ancient times, some of whom would climb the mountain themselves on pilgrimages, have established measures to assist pilgrims in their ascent to the summit. These measures include resting places and shelters for pilgrims to take a break on the long journey until they can catch their breaths and resume the climb.

Most of the pilgrimages to this holy site are made during the month of December, while this is also extended till the Vesak festival celebrations in May that commemorate the Buddha’s path to enlightenment. The religious significance of Adam’s Peak, however, is not the only reason for why this site draws so many visitors willing to make the arduous climb to the top. Watching the first golden rays of light break over the horizon from the top of the mountain is a breathtaking experience that has never failed to leave a lasting impression.

Adam’s Peak is one of the spiritual places to visit in Sri Lanka that is a must-see location for any visitor to the country, whether they are looking for a spiritual experience or not. Experiencing this spectacle of nature in person is a memorable event that is sure to open your eyes to the grandeur of nature’s beauty.

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