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You can climb to the top throughout the year. The most popular months are during the pilgrimage season from the full moon in December to the full moon in April. Regarding the weather, it's the drier season. The pilgrims walk the paved and steep trail during the night to be at the top for the sunset. You may see young and even very old people 80 years and older doing the strenuous climb. The way down with all these steps is way worse. Of course, it is an experience, but be aware loudspeakers are along the trail and switched on in the late afternoon. It can be heavily crowded in the night. The sunset is spectacular if it's not cloudy or misty. However, you may be stuck, queue, can't get to the top, and even have to return due to the many visitors and pilgrims. It's up to you if you want to witness the spectacle or if you prefer to climb up during the day and being back in the evening.
Top Tip for the Climb
Check the weather forecast before you decide to travel to Adam's Peak. Rain and thick clouds can spoil your experience!
Weather and Crowds
- January to April are the driest months, however, showers can occur. It's also the busiest time to climb Sri Pada. You may even won't reach the top due to the many pilgrims. Nights temps on the mountain are cool throughout the year. Expect one digit night temps from January to March. Day temps are almost around 20°c. The path up to the top is less busy during the day. However, it's a hot climb up to the top due to the high humidity and sunshine at daytime.
- May to December are the wettest months. Monsoons are likely to happen from May to August. May to November you don't experience any crowds. The chance for rain is much higher, but it can be nice as well. The temple is not open on the top of Adam's Peak in the monsoon season. The trail is pretty slippery during rain and take precaution for leeches. Bring torches and a headlight, because the steps are not lighted. It becomes busy at full moon in December when the pilgrimage season starts.
Adam's Peak, the place where Adam first set foot on earth, also known as Sri Pada Mountain. It's a holy mountain for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians. The Buddhists believe it was left by Buddha, Hindus to Shiva and Muslims to Adam. On top of the 2.243 meters high peak, you can find a temple. If you want to enter you have to take off your shoes which is common to sacred places.
It's a 4-6 hours hike to the top and back depending on your fitness level. If you start in the afternoon, you are much faster, and you get a space on the summit. You have to climb up and down on more than 5000 steps. The whole way is dirty with litter along the side. There are loudspeakers along the trail making you listen to prayers and advertisements. It's a commercialized walk with stalls selling overpriced food. You don't need a torch there are bright lights along the path. So you can't spot any stars along the hike.
On the way up we saw several guys carrying coins in huge bags down; the donations of the pilgrims. The village itself wasn't noteworthy like our accommodation. There isn't anything else around. To be honest, we should have given it a miss. Of course, it is a must for pilgrims, but we were relieved of being back. In our opinion, it was wasting time, and we can't recommend climbing up. There are other sacred places in Sri Lanka which were more fascinating for us.