Venerated by four religions, Adam’s Peak is at 2,243m above sea level, where pilgrims flock to climb during the night in the special season of January to April. It is near the hill country town of Hatton, 123km from Colombo. The spectacular sunrise seen from the peak rewards pilgrims who climb to pay respect to the footprint set in rock at the summit.
The climb is up uneven steps of granite and cement and climbers are encouraged by others to keep going; the descent is just as taxing. A ritual, after worship, is to ring the bell, not on the first visit, but only on subsequent visits. The various faiths regard the footprint as representing their own beliefs, so it is a symbol of the multi-cultural character of Sri Lanka.