7353 feet, over 5500 steps, 4 beautiful religious legends and one memorable hike of a lifetime in the land of gems; Adam’s Peak ( Muslims & Christen call it Adam Peak while among Buddhists it’s Sri Pada). If you are looking for the perfect blend of culture and adventure at the same time in this beautiful tropical island, the frosty hike uphill to bow down at the peak is the answer. Standing 2243 meters in height, this mountain is venerated by all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. The Buddhists believe it to shelter the sacred footprint (Sri Pada), while the Hindus believe it as the footprint of Lord Shiva. Christians and we Muslims and Christen believe it to be of Adam’s first step after being exiled from the Garden of Eden and that’s why it’s famous as Adam peak than any other name. Regardless of whatever you believe Adam peak making this giant a unique cultural icon of the entire island.
Living to its name Samanala Kandha (The butterfly mountain) the area is considered a strict nature reserve abundant with flora and fauna including the elusive leopard, mountain elephant and a variety of birds. It is also a watershed that gives birth to four of Sri Lanka’s major rivers; Mahaweli, Kalu, Kelani, and Walawe which hide priceless rubies and sapphires. To climb Adam’s Peak during the offseason is the ultimate trend of the local adventure scenario. To climb the fleet of 5500 slippery steps amidst torrential rains, thundering and strong winds could be an adventure for a lifetime.
How do I get to Adam’s Peak?
Mostly travel visit Adam peak from Nuwara Eliya which is the very closest tourist point to the mountain. You can hire a taxi which on average charges 3000 LKR. While the cheapest option is to train and bus. Take a train or bus from Nuwara Eliya and leave it at Hatton stop.Bus/train takes s 3-4 hours wile cab takes not more than 2.30 hours. From Hatton hire a cab to Dalhousie which is 31 km far ( See Below Hatton section for details).
You have two options to get Adam’s peak from Ella.
- Train Ella to Nuwara Eliya then by bus to Dalhousie
- 2. Train Ella to Hatton then by bus to Dalhousie
Daily three trains depart from Ella to Adam’s peak. If I were you, I would have picked the second option (Ella, to Hatton by train) because it is far more straightforward and chill out. Additionally, the train goes in the morning while the buses go in the evening and take enough time. When you show up to Hatton from there you can head over to Dalhousie.e. (See Below Hatton section)
Just take a train from Kandy to Ella train and then follow the Ella section mentioned above. Every day three goest from Kandy to Ella. Another option is if you are lucky enough you can special pilgrims buses (weekends and public hols) as they leave 7 PM and arrive 11-12 PM. Buses take about 5 hours from Kandy to Adam’s peak. The car takes about 3 hours and the trip cost around Rs 10,000/ way. ($60)
Colombo to Hatton trains depart every three hours and operate every day. Depending on the train it takes between 5 to 13 hours because few take a long stopover at Kandy station. In morning one train departs from Colombo to at 9:45 am and arrives at Hatton station at 14:30 pm which takes about 5 hours. One the way train also stop over Kandy station for a while. Another train leaves Colombo fort at 20:00 pm and reaches to Hatton station mid-night 1:35 am. Except for these two trains all the other trains takes much time.
This option is for those who have a passion for being move-in traditional Sri Lankan public transport. It is additionally suitable for those vacationers who immediately would like to visit Adam’s peak without stoping over to any other destinations. Daily many busies depart from Colombo to Hatton.
Bus Number 18 leave from Colombo for to Hatton and also stopover to Kaduwela, Avissawella & Ginigatthena. You can grab a bus from Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal to Hatton bus stop. Colombo to Hatton 3:00 is to 19:00 pm every 30 minutes (Same timing for Hatton to Colombo). Some buses also have AC buses, Hatton, to Colombo and Colombo to Hatton.
You can also choice Maskeliya to Colombo (For Return) bus times are as follows.
4:00am , 5:ooam, 6: 00am, 7:50am, 8:10 am (Through Hatton). 9:00am, 10:00am 11:00am, 14:00pm.
Cost-effective, time-saving and comfortable means of transportation from Colombo to Hatton is a car. Colombo in Hatton distance is over 150 KM and trip by car takes approximately four hours. Colombo to Hatton car will set you back between 5,000 to 7,000 Sri Lankan rupees ($20-45). If you can manage to pay and don’t want to compromise on a comfort car is actually an appropriate option to travel Hatton from Colombo.
If you are addicted to limited time and extravagant traveling, then book a flight from Colombo to Castlereagh (near Hatton) with Cinnamon Airlines. It’s Sri Lankan based and partners with Sri Lankan Airlines. Daily at 10 AM, a Cinnamon Air flight departs from Colombo – Bandaranaike International Airport and takes an hour to reach the destination. It’s of course far more quick and lavish than other transportation options, but has a price; around USD 250. However, You will really enjoy it because of the aerial view of the island. Here is the review of the Cinnamon air by a Sri Lankan couple, who is the most reputable expert for Sri Lanka on Tripadvisor.
I will suggest you don’t visit Adam’s peak from Arugam bay unless you are willing to spend two days. If you are still willing to go through a challenging trip. Please follow the mentioned route.
D1: Bus Pottuvil-Monaragala-Wellawaya-Ella. Probably both places a transfer needed, just ask around
D2: Train Ella-Hatton then bus to Nallathanniya (See Below Hatton section)
Trian journey will at least 12+ hours. Aa alternative you can take a cab which should not take more than seven hours.
Hatton (to Dalhousie – Nallathanniya )
As discussed aforementioned, no matter which city you are coming from will arrive at Hatton stop first. Once you lend at Hatton from there you can also visit Dalhousie (Aka Nallathanniya ) by bus which will take up to two hours. You can find buses from Hatton to Dalhousie via Maskeliya every thirty minutes in the pilgrimage season (Rs 80, two hours). In any other case, it is advisable to take a bus from Hatton to Maskeliya (Rs 45, last departure about 6 pm) and then one more to Dalhousie (Rs 40, last departure about 7 pm). From Dalhousie (Aka Nallathanniya )to Adam’s peak is further 5 KM far.
Best time to Visit Adam Peak?
The pilgrims’ season to climb the sacred mountain begins in the full moon of December and ends in the full moon of April. If you want to avoid the crowdy pilgrims it’s suggested not to visit during Full moon days of earlier mentioned months. In pilgrims’ season, various rituals are followed during the hike including the chanting of folk songs to deter the exhaustion, partaking vegetarian meals, bathing and purifying oneself at the icy cold waters of the tributary of Seetha Gangula (the icy river) and making various offerings at various pit stops of the hike. Pilgrims irrespective of all religions crave to witness the morning sunrise at the peak of the mountain which is considered as an offering of the Sun God to the sacred footprint of the Lord Buddha. Sipping a cup of warm tea with a fried spicy lentil cake from a roadside kiosk takes the trek to a whole new level.
How Hard is Adams Peak?
Definitely It depends on your physical fitness so if you are strong enough you probably would not feel it challenging. Having said that, in general climbing Adam peak believe to be a bit hard at least for inexperienced climbers, therefore, it shouldn’t take too lightly. There are more than 5,000 steps to climb (top to bottom) and for a number of people steps climbing down from steps are difficult on their knees. The normal time taken to climb Adam’s Peak is two and a half to four hours – decreasing is significantly quicker, between one and two hours.
Where to eat near Adam Peak?
In-Town many options are there. Besides town restaurants, quite a few cafeterias are on the way to the top where one can take food. Not surprisingly, prices are a bit higher than a normal town. Based upon on peak a cup of tea price could be 60- 120 LKR.
Adam’s Peak Nearby Attractions
Places to visit in Maskeliya (20 KM far from Adam Peak)
- Gartmore waterfall
- Moray waterfall
- Mohini waterfall
- Laxapana waterfalls
- Fairlawn waterfalls
- Maussakelle lake
- Tea fields to hike
- Tea estate to visit.
Tea factories to visit, Traditional handloom weaving places. You can also purchase Handloom components at very affordable prices.
Where to Stay near Adams Peak?
With plenty of cozy AirBnBs, bungalows, and villas springing around the foothills, you might still be able to have a warm shower, catch up with friends, share photos of the trek and enjoy another cuppa after the climb!