Though not the highest mountain of Sri Lanka, the striking pyramid of Adam's Peak 2243 m (7,359 ft) is certainly most remarkable. A depression in the rocky summit resembles a huge footprint, a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation, which has been venerated as a sacred site from remote antiquity. This was identified by Buddhists as the Buddha's footprint, by Hindus as that of Shiva, and by Christians and Muslims as of Adam's. Later the Portuguese attributed it to St. Thomas the Apostle.
Adam's Peak is the main source of the four principal rivers of the island, which are Mahaweli, Kelani, Walave and Kalu Rivers. The Mahaweli River, is the longest, which descends to the sea on the eastern, western and south-eastern coasts. The districts to the south and the east of Adam's Peak produce precious gem stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires, for which the island has been famous around the world since ancient times earning it the name as Ratnadvipa.