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Sripada - the venerated mountain of Sri Lanka

Where the Bells Toll ‘Saadhu Saadhu Saadhu’ reverberates the hills as the sun rises. The bell at the top is rung for the number of times you climb. In the biting cold, there is pin drop silence and then one unanimous Chorus ‘Saadhu Saadhu Saadhu’ is chanted as the sun rises.

This is on a mountain 7300 ft.. above mean sea level in Maskeliya in the Nuwaraeliya District is venerated by peoples of many faith. To the Buddhists it is Sripada. To the Christians it is Adams Peak. To the Hindus Sivanolipadam. To the Muslims it is Al-Rohun.

This is accessible from Ratnapura, Kuruvita and Maskeliya (Dalhousi), climbing the mountain is a foot pilgrimage by devotees. The season begins in December and ends in May during Vesak. This history repeated year after year for the last three thousand years and will continue forever.

The foot print at the top of this mountain is believed to be that of the Buddha for the Buddhists, that of God Siva for the Hindus, that of Adam for the Muslims and Christians and some believe it to be of Saint Thomas.

During the pilgrim season beginning in March, the devotees sing songs such as Saranaye Saranaye Buddhang Saranaye and to cease the effort they greet each other saying Vandhinda Yana Me Akkata Sumana Samang Devi Peetai and the response Vandala Yanamey Aiyata Sathara Varang Devi Saranai.

It is believed that many Monarchs of yester-years had climbed this peak. The first to discover, the footprint was King Valagambhahu about the year 100 BC. Marcopolo is believed to have scaled the peak in the 14th Century. Before electricity was provided, pilgrims used the ‘Pandama’.

People climb the mountain to see the sunrise which is a spectacular view and the whole area reverberates with the saying ‘Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu’! People bathe in the icy cold water of river Seethegangula. They also draw white thread and leave needles along the way and this place is called Indikatupahana.

Muslim traveller Ibn Batuta in 1344, Fahein, the Chinese in 412 AD, Lieut: Malcom the European in 1816 and H.C.P. Bell in 1907. Earlier the climb was hazardous in wooden ladder with the help of chains, but now steps have been hewn and made easier. There is a bell on top of the hill which the pilgrims ring the number of times they had climbed.

The real pilgrimage is done bare feet and even kings remove their royal foot-ware toiled bare footed up its rough and stony way to the shrine of the Sacred Foot print at the summit more than 7300 ft above the level of the ocean that can be seen like a glittering cord far away along the horizon 50 miles away.

The magnificent view from the top of the mountain is fantastic and to realize this one has to climb to believe it.

(Information gathered from various articles)


Sri Lanka Captain

Kumar Sangakkara is indisputably, the best Sporting Ambassador Sri Lanka has ever produced.

Evidently, he is also the most educated and accomplished English speaking captain presently in international cricket. His speech in his mother tongue at Lords after the final has won high accolade from thousands of Sri Lankans living home and abroad.

We are proud of you Kumar.


Seat-belt law

It is an excellent idea to implement the seat-belt law. I only hope it will be applicable to vans as well, since many children go to school in them.

While on the subject of road safety, why is it that the police are turning a blind-eye to motorcyclists who take children without helmets? Aren’t their lives precious?

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