Sunrise from Adam's Peak

The Legend

An ancient pilgrimage, which has long attracted thousands of pilgrims from perhaps all faiths, is the pilgrimage to the sacred mountain, Sri Pada, popularly known in English as Adam's Peak. It is a conical mountain 7,360 feet (2,243 meters) high, soaring clear above the surrounding mountain ranges. According to a legend, when the Buddha visited Ceylon he planted one foot on the north of the royal city and the other on Sumana-kuta (Adam's Peak) fifteen yojanas, or about hundred miles distant.

According to another legend the Buddha is believed to have left the print of his left foot on Adam's Peak, and then, in one stride, strode across to Siam, (now Thailand) where he left the impression of his right foot. It is called Phra Sat, and its appearance is supposed to be like that of the foot print on Adam's Peak and of similar size.

General Sir A. Cunningham, in his account of the Bharhut Stupa, which dates from the second century B.C., says:

"Footprints of Buddha were most probably an object of reverence from a very early period -- certainly before the building of the Bharut Stupa -- as they are represented in two separate sculptures there. In the sculpture the foot­prints are placed on a throne or altar, canopied by an umbrella hung with gar­lands. A royal personage is kneeling before the altar, and reverently touching the footprints with his hands. The second example is in the bas-relief repre­senting the visit of Ajata-satru to Buddha. Here, as in all other Bharut sculp­tures, Buddha does not appear in person, his presence being marked by his two footprints. The wheel symbol is duly marked on both' (p. 112. abridged).