Seruwila to Sri Pada pilgrim route
Seruwila to Sri Pada (Sacred Foot Print Shrine), Ancient pilgrim route along the Mahaweli river in Sri Lanka is part of the Tentative list of Sri Lanka in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List. This site (or parts of it) has already been inscribed under Kandy WHS.
Seruwila to Sri Pada is an Ancient pilgrim route associated with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. It comprises 11 locations, including the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. They are located in the Mahaweli river valleys, which have been accessible since ancient times from the sea port of Seruwila. The route culminates at the Sri Pada, Adam’s Peak, where a "sacred footprint" is found, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Hanuman or Shiva, and in some Islamic and Christian traditions that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas.
Map of Seruwila to Sri Pada pilgrim routeLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I visited in August 2017. I've read quite a lot of reviews saying that it's raining season, mating season for animals and off season where the temple of footprint is closed. But I decided to go simply because the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary is a part of WHS and set it as a goal to reach the top.
We started off late at 4am expecting not to see the sunrise because we saw the peak was surrounded by cloud the day before and knew that there won't be any sunrise. We also started light only with our rain jackets, a bottle of of water that we barely drink due to the rain, and our smartphone as torchlight as there's no light on the road.
We spot no animals on the way but heard a lot of frogs croaking from the bushes. It was raining and foggy. Our sport shoes got wet quickly but it didn't affect much of the ascent. The climb was not so hard as there are proper stairs either made of rocks or concrete. When we're half way up we already saw some hikers coming down. We've been told there's no sunrise and the temple is locked. It didn't bother us much as we already knew that and our main goal was just to reach the top.
We arrived at the top at around 7:30am and found it really foggy, and the temple was closed. While we're taking photos from the gap of the gate, a man from the shelter opened the door and told us it's off season and it's closed. We replied with smiles and he went back to the shelter. Surprisingly with a minute or two he opened the door and came up to the temple with his jacket on. He opened the side entrance and told us to take off our shoes and enter. We were shocked but followed his lead to the site where the "footprint" was situated. There's a door locked but you could peek into it from bottom. It's just amazing to get to see the real thing in front of our eyes, after so many people had told us that the temple was closed, nothing to see and asked us to turn back! It's just unbelievable!
We gave some donation before we left. There's some other donation in the bowl (which was not wet) and we knew that we're not the only lucky ones. We went down with great joyfulness because we had accomplished our goal, seeing the unexpected and starting to see the greenery of the forest in the mist. The trees were really beautiful in the mist, just like in fairy tales. And the tea valley and waterfalls at the bottom of the mountain was a bonus to the hike.
To conclude, it's not easy to reach the top as it takes hours to reach the top and not easy while raining, but as long as you're optimistic who knows what's waiting for you ahead. Just go for it! It's definitely something memorable, at least your legs soreness will remind you for a few days, but it's worth it.
2010 Added to Tentative List
The site has 23 locations
26 Community Members have visited.