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Galle and Sri Lanka

Ma Huan's diary is very descriptive of what Zheng He and his men found when they arrived in Sri Lanka. The impressive Adam's Peak and the mining of sapphires are both well described by Ma Huan …
adamshadows.jpg (5583 bytes) "At the side of the king's residence, there is a large mountain which penetrates high into the clouds; on the summit of the mountain there is a single imprint of a man's foot, which goes two ch'ih (24.4 inches) deep into the rock and has a length of more than eight ch'ih; they say that it is the foot-print of a holy man named A-tan (Adam), ancestor of mankind .."
The indentation on the summit of Adam's Peak has been venerated as the footprint of Buddha by Buddhists, of Adam by Muslims, and of Siva by Hindus. Today many people climb Adam's peak as a form of pilgrimage and worship. The tradition is to climb the mountain overnight and watch the sunrise from the summit. adamsunrises.jpg (4730 bytes)

Ma Huan continues

"The interior of the mountain produces red, blue and yellow ya-ku, blue mi-lan stones, hsi-la-ni, k'u-mo-lan, and other such stones (sapphires and other precious stones); they have each and every precious stone. Whenever heavy rain occurs, the water rushes out of the earth and flow down amidst the sand; they search for and collect the stones, and that is how they get them. There is a common saying that the precious stones are in truth the crystallised tears of Buddha their patriarch."

gemsieves.jpg (20423 bytes)
There is a common saying that the precious stones are the crystallised tears of Buddha

E-mail  Rex Warner rex @ dragonvoyage.com Magnus Ström (exBerglund) magnus @ dragonvoyage.com.
Last Updated 31/12/10 Ship communications