Adam's Peak © Feng Zhong
The legendary mountain, towering 7,358 feet (2,243m) over the island of Sri Lanka, known as Sri Pada or Adam's Peak, has been venerated as a place of pilgrimage and worship for all major faiths in the country for generations. The holy mountain bears what seems to be the imprint of a foot on a rock on its summit. Depending on their faith pilgrims believe the print was left there by Buddha, Lord Shiva, St Thomas, or Adam after he was expelled from Eden.
Whether visitors believe the footprint to be holy or not the climb to view it, protected in an enclosure at the pinnacle of the peak, is well worth it for the panoramic views of tropical forest afforded from the top. The stairway up the mountainside is believed to be the longest in the world and climbers are entitled to ring the bell situated at the top once they have made the journey. It is particularly special to climb the peak for sunrise, which requires beginning the climb at about 1am (depending on the month and time of sunrise). Soon after dawn, the rising sun casts a perfect triangular shadow of the mountain across the surrounding landscape. Many smaller peaks rise out of the dense jungle far below and watching the beautiful landscape reveal itself is a profound experience.