In the long week end this month few of us planned a journey to Sripada. And off we went to seek the adventure and the feeling of a mountain blessed by many according to there religions.
The Older men talk of there times about seven decades ago the way they climbed the mountain using the nominated but not cleared trail. Often they lost the way and fall in to tick jungle. As there were no steps build some had to climb via ropes. And all this was done only to get the blessing of worshiping. And the tails tell that many wrote their last will before the journey.
For the Buddhist it was the buddhas footprint. For the Muslims its was of the mahamad. And for the cristians it belonged to Adams. So this was about the belief that they had. And i think its the only sigle place worshiped by all major religious groups in the world much as i know.
But it was pity to see that this religious idea has slipped form many climbers today apart form the middle age and older men and women. For teenagers and Youth its only another climb. And the commercializations has made the worst of it. You can by all the ingredients needed to fulfill the traditions for around 200 Rs. As you climb up the hill more the difficult it is.
there are three know trails to get to sripada one is through Hatton. The other two are from Rathnapura side. And if you are a beginner the best is the hatton side where you have to go 23 kilometers to reach the bottom of the mountain. Once you start its just to climb and if you are traveling in the session you may find lots of shops on the way at regular bases. If you take and average speed and there is no traffic on the way up you may get to top in 6 hours max. Well avoid long week ends if you don’t prefer crowds.
When you start from hatton side it is just a steady journey up the hill. but its considered the best way to climb down. but to climb up and if you like to experience a jungle trail the best is the Rathnapura palabathgala trail. But dont climb down this way unless u preffer stairs. There are 3600 numbered stairs which will lead for about 4 miles. So its not just the right path to climb down.
Once you reach the peak you can have an amazing view for the surrounding the nearby Maossakelie reservoir and the path you took to reach. Its worth looking. In the east in a day with bright sunshine you will see the eastern ocean and from the west you can see the bible rock and the Bana samanala which is one of the cousins of the Adams Peak. there is a nice wind blowing accross and there are facilites like warter and a rest room at the beak.
here in the top you have a buddisht temple where the so called foot of the Lord buddha is surrounded. But any one of any religion has no problem in seen it or worshiping it. But the best is yet to come . The best scene of the all is the sunrise which the locals call the The Era Selaya – (The morning sun rise) or the worshiping of the Sun . where you can see the sun rising form the eastern ocean around 6.28 am in the morning. It worths every second of it and its really amazing how it could be seen. And to reach the top by that time you have to start climbing around midnight.
Here i would like to put forward a legend that the buddisht believe. As this seen is so elegant it is said that the goddess of sun is worshiping the Buddhas foot print in the early morning before rising. It is viewed as the sun pops out from the eastern ocean you can see a sudden rise which is abnormal. Our eyes sees it as a leap. And there is no wonder that the ancients believed it so as this is considered as one of the most sacred places for buddishts.