Most people all around the world agree with the fact that Prophet Adam (A.S) was the first human being on earth. However, many of these people are not aware of the fact that the first footprint of Prophet Adam (A.S) can be found in Sri Lanka.
Extending sharply towards the sky from the jungles of Sri Lanka is the 7000+ feet peak of Sri Pada, which is also known as the Holy Footprint.
This peak is also known as Adams Peak and is considered sacred by followers of the 4 major religions on earth; Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. This mountain was historically worshiped by the native inhabitants of Sri Lanka knows as the Veddas.
For the Hindus, the mountain is called Sivan Adi Padham, as they believe that this giant footprint was left by a dance performed by Lord Shiva.
In accordance to Buddhists, the real print is beneath the larger marking, which was imprinted on a giant sapphire by Buddha himself during his final visit to Sri Lanka.
The Christians believe the footprint to belong to St. Thomas who initially introduced Christianity in Sri Lanka. However, Muslims believe that the footprint belongs to Prophet Adam (A.S) when he landed on this world.
It is reported that when Prophet Adam (A.S) was banished from heaven, God placed him on the mountaintop so that the shock could be minimal. The mountain can be easily viewed from Sea and is more difficult to view from land.
Early Arab seamen reportedly were so amazed by the peak, that they named it the highest peak in the world, even though it is not even the highest one in Sri Lanka.
Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada and the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary are bordered by the Horton Plains National Park. The Wilderness sanctuary pans out over a crescent-shaped 25 miles of land which contains both forests and mountains.
The area can be accessed via different locations such as The Colombo Road or Carney. In today’s time, many people go for pilgrimage to the mountain, although the peak time for the pilgrimage is from December to April.
The path leading up the mountain is reportedly extremely steep and the climbing chains or ropes are placed by Alexander the Great. Atop the mountains are a small Buddhist temple and the Saman shrine which hosts the massive and intriguing footprint.
Pilgrims give offerings in the shrine, usually in the form of a silver coil. This is done for health benefits and the rainwater collected from the footprint is said to contain strong healing powers.
Adam’s Peak is also known by some as Samanalakande which translates to the ‘butterfly mountain’ since a huge swarm of butterflies travels every year to the mountaintop for their final migration after which they die on the mountaintop.
Even for those who do not come to attain blessings from this shrine, many researchers and travel enthusiasts go to the mountaintop to study the culture and religious importance of the peak. Whatever the reality of this peak, I think the place is worth visiting.