Dagobas

A dagoba is not,  in fact, Yoda’s swamp retirement home. It’s a domed shrine, usually holding some Buddhist holy object. Elsewhere they are known as stupas, chedis, chörten, or by other names. The archaeological zone of the town of Anuradhapura has two of the highest, at up to 74m, but other than that it’s no match for Polonnaruwa. The ruins here are more of the foundations-with-leaning-pillars kind. You need a lot of imagination to see a palace in something like that. Greek visitors will know what I mean.

Lunch can be an elaborate affair with rice and a selection of different vegetables and curries. The locals mash them together with their fingers; tourists get spoons. They are quite fond of deep-fried chicken pieces. Overall, Sri Lanka’s cuisine can’t touch India’s.

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