Clear-cut Forest near mount Adam’s Peak for Tea Plantations

Clear-cut Forest near mount adams peak - Sri Pada - for tea plantation.jpg
Clear-cut Forest near mount adams peak for tea plantation 1870

Newly planted tea estate with Adam’s peak (Sri Pada or Samanala Kanda) in the background 1870’s

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Date: Late 1800’s
Photographer/Publisher: unknown
Location: Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka.

Photograph of Adam’s Peak and tea plantations in Sri Lanka. The mountain of the Holy Footprint or Sri Pada, in the Ratnapura district, has been a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years for Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus as it is believed that Buddha, Adam or Shiva left his footprint on the mountain-top.

Tea became the most important crop on the island after the failure of the coffee plantations in the 1880’s. The success of Sri Lanka as a premier exporter of tea was achieved at enormous cost with aggressive deforestation, as the landscape in the image attests, and is a continuing problem in the country today. The ferry on the furthest bank of the river in the photograph is made from two catamarans bound together with a platform and side-rails attached.

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