Lifescapes Gallery

18 / Apr / 2013
History Channel
Passion Flower, Coorg Photograph: Dr. Bishan Monnappa Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

History Channel

There are paintings and sculptures on the one hand, and books and poems on the other, that have captured the epochal moments of recorded history or mythology and rendered them into timeless epics. Throughout the age of man, the records of our times have been kept on stone tablets, rock faces, papyrus, parchment and the like, but never has our collective imagination flowered so much as in the case of a simple flower. Did we just say simple? Perish the thought…the Passion Flower is not just a pretty garden ornament but a testament to human faith. The ‘passion’ in Passion Flower, refers to the Passion of Jesus in Christian theology, with roots in the Spanish religious movement of the 15th century. Missionaries of the age adopted the unique structure of the flower, known locally as Espina de Christo (or Christ’s Thorns) as a symbol of Christ’s last days, especially his crucifixion: the pointed tips of the leaves represented the holy lance, the tendrils stood for the whip used in the flagellation, the ten petals and sepals represented the faithful apostles (excluding Peter the denier and Judas the betrayer), the radial filaments represented the crown of thorns, and the chalice shaped ovary, with its receptacle, stood for the Holy Grail. Outside of Christendom, in India, the blue Passion Flower is considered a living tapestry depicting the epic Mahabharata. Known in most of North India as ‘Paanch Pandav‘, the flower’s shape is interpreted as the five Pandavas with the divine Lord Krishna at the center, with the radial filaments being the hundred Kauravas that opposed them. So whether it is the last days of Christ or the seminal war of Hindu mythology, this is a classic example of how to tell two stories with one flower!

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 at 6:03 am and is filed under Flora . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. indira Patel says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories..what a good idea that you share one every fortnight! A beautiful photo indeed! We are lucky to wake up to dozens of blooms every morning, as we have a creeper outside our window……what a beautiful fragrance! There is a white passion flower out there,,but rarer….have you seen it? Best wishes, Indira Patel

  2. Neeta Khatu says:

    Thanx for sharing the snaps of birds & flowers with their history.
    Is this passion flower also called krishna kamal in hindi/ marathi?
    Is passion flower orange/red in colour?
    Best wishes,
    Neeta khatu


    Fantastic picture.

  4. Mahesh Andar says:

    Great write- up and a great photo… As always!!

  5. shy says:

    “2 stories with one flower”.Great story, Great picture! you know why I keep coming back here.
    Is the same tree/bush gives passion fruit( with thick green skin, yellowish pulp inside with black seeds)?

  6. Ganesh HR says:


  7. Anu Elisha says:

    Fantastic writeup! Kudos to the author. The juice made from the fruit of this plant has a very exotic flavour. The pulp can be eaten with condensed milk and is delicious! 😉

  8. Rashmi Thakrar says:

    Yet another excellent photograph and story by Rajesh. Keep them coming

  9. abhiyogi says:

    beautiful flower and a fitting narration…in Maharashtra it is called as ‘Krishna Kamal’, interpretation being same as in your narration..

    • Swetha Sridhar says:

      Dear Abhiyogi,
      We are happy that you’ve enjoyed this issue of Lifescapes and hope that you continue to do so. Thank you very much for your info on the the Maharashtrian version of the name. We truly appreciate your interest and support!
      Warm Regards,
      Swetha Sridhar
      Asst. Manager, Marketing

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