An absolute pilgrimage to Sripada in off-season
By Bhagya Alwis
It is December and just before the official Sri Padha season start, and I just couldn’t resist not visiting Adams peak before the crowds took over. We started our journey from the famous Hatton route at 3.15 AM, there was a two “Kodukarayo”(first time hikers) in our team, and everyone had a great reliance on “Sumana Saman Deviyo” who is the protector of the Samanala Adaviyaa. We took the blessing from the Makara Thorana Devalaya and climb up to worship the Siripathula (Lord Buddha’s footprint).
During the off season you won’t find any shop to buy any goods, if you are planning to go on off season carry the necessary items which you need. Mostly blankets, raincoat, and medicine and some foods too. There were no light on the trail like season so don’t forget to get some light to see the path.
There was a point called “Seeta Gangula” which is a free flowing holy waterfall in the midst of the mountain. This is the point where the trek gets incredibly difficult. At the “Seeta Gangula” we take a shower under the icy cold waterfall. Our kodukarayo also carry a coin and a piece of pure white cloth (which you buy at the foot of the mountain before you start the trek). This coin is washed in the holy water coming from the waterfall and then tied with the white strip of cloth onto a holy rail for blessings to continue the trek. It is important that every new pilgrim follows this process for his/her safety and blessings from the deities.
Unfortunately, we were behind our schedule to reach to the summit to see the “Ira Sewaya”(Sun rise) on that day and it was so clear and bright sky. We came to the summit by 7 AM on the morning with the misty weather and also with a cold breeze, when you get into the summit of the Sripada Mountain you will feel that most amazing and blissful feeling which cannot be described by any words in your vocabulary. It was 7360 ft height, and you will feel that you will walk among the clouds and flying. I was captivated by the magnificence of the surroundings and my heart felt about it.
Routinely during the off season period the Uda Marlowe was closed and open only on the Poya day for Poojawa. On that day we were fortunate and the Maluwa was opened and we were fortuitous to worship the Noble footprint of the Lord Buddha.
If you can do this climb during the off season period at least once in your lifetime, you should. It teaches you so much about yourself. It awakens your soul.