adam peak

Getting to Adam’s Peak from Nuwara Eliya,Ella & Kandy & Colombo?

by Mani Mughal
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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 & Chirsten 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 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. 

adam peak

Adam Peak

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 off season 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 lifetime.

adam peak

adam peak

How do I get to Adam’s Peak ?

Nuwara Eliya

Mostly travel visti adam peak from nuwara eliya which is very closest tourist point to the mountain. You can hire a taxi which on average charge 3000 lkr. While the cheapest option is train and bus. Take train or bus from Nuwara Eliay 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 whic is 31 km far ( See Below hatton section for details). 


You have two  options to get adam 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 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 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 ellls section mentioned above. Every day threee 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 takes about 5 hours from kandy to adam peak.  Car take about 3 hours and trip cost around Rs 10,000/ way.  ($60)


Fortunately we’ve got a variety of choice to travel from colombo to hatton. Every choice involves pro and cons. Let me speak about in details.
  • Train

Colombo to hatton trains depart every three hours, and operate every day. Depending on train it takes between 5 to 13 hours because few takes long stop over at kandy station. In morning one train depart from colombo to at 9:45 am and arrvie 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 reach to hatton station mid-night 1:35 am. Except these two train all other trains takes much time.

  • By Bus

This options is for those who have a passion for being move in tradation Sri Lankan public transport. It is additionally suitable for those vacationers who immediately would like to visit adam peak without stoping over to any other destinations. Daily many busies depart from colombo to hattion.

Bus Number 18 leave from colombo for to hatton and also stop over to Kaduwela,Avissawella & Ginigatthena. You can grab a bus from Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal to hatton bus stop. Colombo to hatton 3:00am to 19:00 pm in every 30 minutes (Same timing for Hatton to Colombo) . Some buses also has 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.

  • By Car

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 comfort car is actually an appropriate option to travel Hatton from Colombo. 

  • By Flight

If you are addicted to limited-time and extravagant travelling, then book a flight from Colombo to Hatton with either Cinnamon air or Sri Lankan airline. Both are Sri Lankan based airlines. Cinnamon air is inexpensive and widely used in Sri Lanka for domestic flights while the Sri Lankan airline is state own international airline and expensive than a Cinmon air. Daily at 10:00 am cinnamon air flight depart from Colombo – Bandaranaike International Airport  To  Castlereagh Reservoir – Hatton which takes an hour to reach the destination. Even though compared to other transportation options, it’s very fastest & lavish option, price is also high ($500). However, You will really enjoy it because of the aerial view of the island. Here is the review of the Cinmon air by a Sri Lankan couple, which is top expert for  Sri Lanka on Tripadvisor.  

Arugam Bay

I will suggest you don’t visit from to Adam peak from arugam bay unless you are willing to spend two daysIf you still willing to go through a challenge trips. Please follow the mention 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 shouldnot 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 to 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 6pm) and then one more to dalhousie (Rs 40, last departure about 7pm). From dalhousie (Aka Nallathanniya )to Adam peak is futher 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 ealier 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’s depend 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 be 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 the Adam’s Peak  is two and a half to four hours – decreasing is significantly quicker, between one and  two hours.

 Sri Pada

Sri Pada

Where to eat near adam Peak?

In Town many options are there. Beside town restaurants, quite a few cafeteria are on the way to the top where one can take food. Not surprisingly, price is a bit higher than 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 a very affordable prices.

Where to Stay near Adams Peak?

With plenty of cosy AirBnBs, bungalows and villas springing around the foothills, you might still be able to have a warm shower, catchup with friends, share photos of the trek and enjoy another cuppa after the climb! 



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