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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 07.

[Footnote 79:  About that distance south from Cananore is Dermapatam.—­E.]

[Footnote 80:  No names in the least respect similar to these are to be found in the indicated route between Cananore and Calicut.—­E.]

[Footnote 81:  Of the three places marked with points of interrogation, the names are so disfigured in the orthography as to be unintelligible; Cianul may possibly be Chaul, Onouhe Onore, and Cacilon Cranganore.—­E.]

SECTION VIII.

Account of the famous City and Kingdom of Calicut.

The city of Calicut is situated on the continent or main land of India, close upon the sea, having no port; but about a mile to the south there is a river which runs into the ocean by a narrow mouth.  This river is divided into many branches among the fields in the plain country, for the purpose of being distributed by means of trenches to water the grounds, and one of these branches not exceeding three or four feet deep runs into the city.  Calicut is not walled, and contains about 6000 houses, which are not built close adjoining each other, as in European cities, but a certain space is left between each, either to prevent the communication of fire, or owing to the ignorance of the builders.  It is a mile in length, and its houses are only mean low huts, not exceeding the height of a man on horseback, being mostly covered with boughs of trees, instead of tiles or other covering.  It is said that on digging only five or six spans into the ground they come immediately to water, on which account they cannot dig foundations of any depth.  Warehouses or lodgings for merchants may be bought for 15 or 20 pieces of gold; but the common run of houses cost only two pieces of gold or even less.

The king and people of Calicut are idolaters, and worshippers of the devil, though they acknowledge one supreme God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the first chief cause of all things.  But they allege that God could have no pleasure in his government, if he were to take it upon himself, and hath therefore given it in charge to the devil, who was sent as they say from heaven, to rule over and judge the world, rendering good or evil to men according to their deserts.  The great God they call Tamerani, and this devil or subordinate deity Deumo.  The king has a chapel in his palace, where this Deumo is worshipped.  This chapel has an open vault or arch on all the four sides, about two paces in breadth, and it is about three paces high.  The entrance is by a wooden gate, ornamented with carved work of monstrous forms or shapes of devils.  In the midst of the chapel is a royal seat or throne of copper, on which sits the figure or image of the devil, likewise of copper.  On the head of this image is a crown like that worn by the pope, but having the addition of four horns, besides which he is represented with a great gaping mouth, having four monstrous teeth. 

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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