Sri Pada, A Guide to Buddhism’s Most Sacred Mountain

Mount Sinai was considered sacred at a much earlier date, Mt. Fuji surpasses it in beauty and height, and Mt. Kilash evokes a far greater sense of mystery. Nevertheless, no other mountain has been revered by so many people, from such a variety of religions, for so many centuries as Sri Pada has. In Sanskrit literature Sri Pada is called variously Mount Lanka, Ratnagiri (Mountain of Gems), Malayagiri or Mount Rohana. This last name, like its Arab and Persian equivalent, Al Rohoun, is derived from the name of the south western district of Sri Lanka where Sri Pada is situated. In several Tamil works it is known as Svargarohanam (The Ascent to Heaven) while the Portuguese called it Pico de Adam and the English Adam’s Peak. In the Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka written in the 5th century CE, it is called Samantakuta (Samanta’s Abode) while in modern Sinhalese it is often called Samanelakhanda (Saman’s Mountain).


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