A representation of the foot of the Buddha from Aluvihara

The Footprint

On the top of the Peak broad steps lead up to a walled enclosure containing the rock over which is a tower-like structure. The portion marked off as having the imprint of the Buddha's foot is about five feet seven inches long and two feet seven inches broad. The hole in the rock in Thailand, which is believed to have the imprint of the Buddha's right foot, is about five feet long and two feet broad. Buddhists attribute this universal size to the fact (such is the belief) that the Buddha was about thirty-five feet tall. The real footprint on Adam's Peak is believed to be set in jewels beneath the visible rock. *

Muslims believe the footprint to be that of Adam (hence the name Adam's Peak); Christians, that of St. Thomas, the disciple Jesus; and Hindus, that of the god Siva. The Tamil name of the rock (Civan-oli-pata) means "the mountain path of Siva's light". Alongside the rock is a shrine containing images (one of which is made of silver) of the god Saman and a Brahmin priest officiates at this shrine. In front of the shrine is a small table on which pilgrims place camphor and lighted candles.

*The soles of the Buddha's feet are said to be flat with all the toes of equal length. On each sole there are one hundred and eight auspicious marks (mangala­ lakkhana), with the wheel (chakra) the principal mark at the centre while around it are grouped figures of animals, inhabitants of various worlds and other kinds of symbols. The idea is that all things are subject to the Buddha who is lord or all, and under whose feet are all things.