Menik Vehera, Polonnaruwa
Considered to be one of the earliest shrines in Polonnaruwa, it is believed to have been built by King Vijayabahu. Differing slightly in shape from the other chaityas, the brick built dagaba rests on a stone platform. The relic chamber in the centre, which is normally placed underground, lies with its niches and reliquary stone open to the sky. It is also unique in that the outerwall of the monument is decorated with terra cotta tiles carved with lions. Close to the dagoba is an Image House with stone Buddha statues.
Wild Passion Fruit, Passiflora foetida
(S) Del-batu Wel, Pada gedi. (T) Thaatu poodu kodi.
Having its origins in South America, according to Exotic Medicinal Plants in Sri Lanka & their Uses by Ranil Senanayake (2010) an infusion made with the flowers, buds and leaves is a cure for sleeplessness and stress. When whooping cough is associated with convulsions, it is known to give relief, and it also used as a remedy for pain, particularly of the neuralgic type.
This creeper was photographed in Pidurangala. The flower is similar to that of the Passion Fruit that is made into the most delicious juice that we love to drink. The leaf and the fruit, however, are different. The leaf is shaped differently and is lighter in colour. The fruit is also lemony green like the leaf and has whiskery tendrils that curl around it. The villagers seem to have named it after the sound it makes when it is squeezed.