Adam’s Peak is one of the most recognizable places in Sri Lanka, yet many people are not aware of the island’s famous mountain until they visit it for themselves.
The mountain is held in sacrosanct by followers of four religions: Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims.
However, long before any of these religions appeared on the island, the mountain was worshipped by the native inhabitants of the island, the Veddas. They named the peak Samanala Kanda after one of the island’s four deities. Hindus also have a different name for the peak and call it Sivan Adi Padham. They believe that the giant footprint left on the peak is Shiva’s and was left on the mountain during his creation dance when he created the world.
The large footprint is five foot seven inches by two foot six inches wide, but Buddhists believe that the original footprint is even larger and was left by Lord Buddha on his third and final visit to Sri Lanka. Christian’s believe that it’s the footprint of St. Thomas, who brought Christianity to the island.
However, the mountain gets that name “Adam” from Islamic belief, it is said that Adam stood for a thousand years on one foot as penance. It goes on to say that when Adam was expelled from heaven, God put him on the peak to make the shock less terrible. This is because Sri Lanka was believed to be the place on earth that most resembled heaven.