A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.
years before this, the Pagan king of Orissa was defeated and slain and his kingdom conquered, by the king of Patane[162], who was also king of the greatest part of Bengal.  After the conquest of Orissa, this king imposed a duty of 20 per centum on all trade, as had been formerly paid in his other dominions.  But this king did not enjoy his acquisitions long, being soon conquered by another tyrant, who was the great Mogul of Delhi, Agra, and Cambaia, against whom the king of Patane made very little resistance.

[Footnote 161:  Cuttack, at the head of the Delta of the Mahamuddy or Gongah river, in lat. 20 deg. 32’ N. lon. 86 deg. 9’ E. is probably here meant, It is only about 45 miles from the sea, but might have been six days journey from the port where the author took shelter, which probably was Balasore.—­E.]

[Footnote 162:  Probably so called from residing at Patna, called Patane in the text.—­E.]

Departing from Orissa I went to the harbour of Piqueno in Bengal, 170 miles to the east from Orissa.  We went in the first place along the coast for 54 miles when we entered the river Ganges.  From the mouth of this river to a place called Satagan, where the merchants assemble with their commodities, are 100 miles, to which place they row up the river along with the flood tide in eighteen hours.  This river ebbs and flows as it does in the Thames, and when the ebb begins, although their barks are light and propelled with oars like foists, they cannot row against the ebb tide, but must make fast to one of the banks of the river and wait for next flood.  These boats are called bazaras and patuas, and row as well as a galliot or any vessel I have ever seen.  At the distance of a good tide rowing before reaching Satagan we come to a place called Buttor, which ships do not go beyond, as the river is very shallow upwards.  At Buttore a village is constructed every year, in which all the houses and shops are made of straw, and have every necessary convenience for the use of the merchants.  This village continues as long as the ships remain there; but when they depart for the Indies, every man goes to his plot of houses and sets them on fire.  This circumstance seemed very strange to me; for as I passed up the river to Satagan, I saw this village standing, having a great multitude of people with many ships and bazars; and at my return along with the captain of the last ship, for whom I tarried, I was amazed to see no remains of the village except the appearance of the burnt houses, all having been razed and burnt.

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