Deep inside the hill country of the island lies the mountain Sri Pada, a destination for Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu pilgrims telling different legends about the sacred footprint on the summit. The season runs from December to May with its peak in January and February when most of the pilgrims climb up. If you plan to climb off-season don’t forget a torch as the most famous Hatton trail is not lighted then.
The easiest and most common way to approach the mountain is via Hatton starting at the village Nalatanye. Mistakenly many websites especially German ones advise to start at Dalhousie which is unknown among locals. The classical path to the top starts from Ratnapura, a more tiring seven hour climb. Most of the pilgrims start the trail up to the mountain in shape of a sugar loaf in the night to witness the rising sun on the 2240 m high summit. More than 5000 steps of different heights lead to the admirable view. We recommend to start the journey from Hatton/Nalatanye at about 1 to 1:30 am as it takes 4 to 6 hours to climb. Up to the top you will pass many tea shops offering various snacks. If you need to push your motivation due to exhaustion just take a look at the Sri Lankan grandmoms and fathers carrying their babies up barefoot or wearing only flip flops instead of sturdy shoes. On the top you will be rewarded with an amazing view over the hill country in the face of the the rising sun.
Since it can be really cold and windy on the mountain top make sure you packed sweaters and windcheaters. Before taking a glance at the famous footprint covered with a stone slab you are requested to take off your shoes for some minutes. I was glad putting my socks and shoes on again after the barefoot walk on the freezing stone floor.