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cheap; they have a particular kind of towels, esteemed the best in India. Here are several Portuguese merchants; likewise a few Persees. Many of the natives are men of considerable property.
DUTIES.-The customs are farmed by a Persee merchant resident at Tellicherry, and vary according to the articles bought and sold; it is therefore best to make your agreement to be exempt from all duties, which may readily be done with the merchants.
PROVISIONS AND Refreshments.-Bullocks and water are supplied by the Master Attendant. Rice and paddy are very dear; gram is to be had; poultry is indifferent; yams and other vegetables scarce and dear.
It is difficult to procure plank or mats for dunnaging the hold, and stowing the pepper here; they should therefore be brought from Bombay, or sent for to Cochin.
COINS. The coins current here are pagodas, rupees, fanams, pice, and tars.-There are two kinds of fanams; the one is a small gold coin, with a considerable alloy of silver and copper; the other a silver coin; the pice and tar are copper, coined in England.
2 Tars......... equal to .........1 Pice = 80 Reas.
The following are the rates at which gold coins commonly pass current at Tellicherry :
Porto Novo Pagodas.........3 Rupees.
Sultany Ditto....4 Ditto.
Venetians, Rupees each; but if paid,
In selling goods, all bargains should be made for Bombay Rupees, or you will lose considerably by the coins you are obliged to take here, more particularly the Venetians, which seldom fetch more than four rupees each at Bombay; and upon pagodas the loss is from a quarter to each.
half a rupee
Accounts are kept in rupees, quarters, and reas, the same as at Bombay. WEIGHTS.—The commercial weights are pollams, maunds, and candies, thus divided:-20 pollams make 1 maund, and 20 maunds 1 candy, which is reckoned equal to 600 lbs. avoirdupois; but the maund does not exceed 28 lbs., which makes the candy only 570 lbs.
MEASURES.-The long measures are the covid and the
18 inches, and the latter 28 inches.
MAHE is about 5 miles to the S. of Tellicherry, on the banks of a small river, in latitude 11° 41' N.; the river has a bar, but is navigable by boats for a considerable way inland.
CALICUT is in latitude 11° 15′ N., and longitude 75° 49′ E. The town is close to the shore, making a handsome appearance from the sea, but is far from being so in reality. The streets are narrow and dirty, nor are there any handsome buildings. It is well peopled, and has a considerable trade with the inhabitants of the N. coast. A short distance to the N. of Calicut is a river, navigable by boats for more than 100 miles.
Large ships anchor in 5 or 6 fathoms, with the flagstaff bearing E. by N., off the shore two or three miles.
TRADE.-Vessels from the Red Sea, Arabia, and the northern ports, frequent this place for timber and plank, bringing with them the commodities of their respective countries. Very little European merchandise is sold.
Some piece-goods are manufactured in the neighbourhood, similar to the Madras long cloth; they are of six calls fineness, that is to say, contain in the warp 744 threads, and the pieces are 72 covids long, by 24 in width. Very few are made of a superior kind. They are sometimes bleached, and sent to Europe.
DUTIES on exports are rated ad valorem; it is therefore advisable, in making bargains at Calicut, to agree at a certain price deliverable on board.
COINS. The principal coins in circulation are tars, fanams, and rupees; but accounts are kept in rupees, quarters, and reas, as at Bombay :
The Spanish dollar, full weight, is accounted 24 rupees, but passes in the bazar only from 10 fanams 4 tars, to 10 fanams.
The fanam is a small gold coin, with a considerable alloy of silver and copper; and the tar is a small silver coin.
The Calicut fanams have been found, by assays made at Bombay, to contain 52 parts gold, 29 silver, and 17 copper. They are worth 6d. sterling.
WEIGHTS.-100 pools make 1 maund of 30 lbs. avoirdupois; and 20 maunds make 1 candy of 600 lbs.
In the Malabar weights, commonly used here, the maund is 24 lbs.
2 oz.; and the candy 482 lbs. The Calicut miscal weighs 2 dwts. 21 grains troy.
MEASURES.-The covid is 18 inches, and the guz, 283 inches, long measure. Timber is sometimes measured by the covid (18 inches) and borell: 12 borells make 1 covid, when the timber is sawed, and 24 when unsawed.
See also Tellicherry.
BEYPOUR is in latitude 11° 10′ N., and longitude 75° 51′ E., about two leagues to the S. of Calicut. It is a small town, and has hardly any trade. The situation is beautiful, on the N. side of a river, a short distance from the sea. Within, the river has deep water, but like all those on the coast, has a bar at its mouth: at favourable seasons vessels drawing 14 feet may be floated over the bar by means of casks.
TIMBER OBTAINABLE AT BEYPOUR.
TEAK, (Sagun, Hind.) Tectona grandis.-This tree is a native of the forests in many parts of the East; it grows to an immense size, sometimes 50 feet long, and 20 inches in diameter. For ship-building the teak is reckoned superior to any other sort of wood, in or out of water, and has by long experience been found to be the most useful timber in Asia. It is easily worked, and at the same time strong and durable. That produced on the Coast of Malabar is the most esteemed; next, that on the Coromandel Coast, near the banks of the Godavery; then that of Pegu. The largest quantities are produced in the latter place. The rivers enable the natives to bring it from the interior of the country at a very cheap rate; the prices are therefore lower than in any other part of India.
In the year 1799, 10,000 teak trees were brought down Beypour River. This was the produce of several years; but it is estimated that from 2 to 3000 trees may be annually procured. Bombay is generally supplied with teak plank from this part of the coast; the Company usually contract for what they require, and the Resident at Cochin frequently has the contract.
In purchasing plank, it is better to agree for it in guz and borels, in preference to feet and inches, from the great difficulty of converting English measure into candies, on account of the fractions, which occasion much dispute between the measurers. If the dimensions are agreed upon in guz and borels, the above timber will stand thus:
1st sort ..................17 to 19 guz long, and 12 to 14 borels square:
2d ditto...............14 to 17 ditto
3d ditto.............. 9 to 14 ditto
10 to 12 ditto.
10 to 12 ditto.
Notwithstanding the Coast of Malabar may be considered the storehouse for Bombay, yet the demand for teak timber has so much increased, that large quantities have been imported from Rangoon.
PANIANI RIVER is in latitude 10° 36′ N., and longitude 75° 58' E., navigable only by small craft, the water being shoal. The town is scattered over a sandy plain on the S. side of the river, and contains about 500 houses belonging to the traders, with above 40 mosques, and upwards of 1000 huts inhabited by the lower orders of people. It is very irregularly built; but many of the houses are two stories high, built of stone, and thatched with Coco-nut leaves. The huts are inhabited by boatmen and fishermen, formerly Mucuas, a low cast of Hindoos; but now they have all embraced the faith of Mahomet.
Near this place there is a remarkable gap in the mountains, called the Ghauts, through which the N. E. monsoon blows in general stronger than on any other part of the coast.
TRADE. The merchants of this place have many trading boats, called patamars, which on an average carry 50,000 coco-nuts, or 1000 mudies of rice, equal to 500 Bengal bags of 2 maunds each: these frequent Tellicherry and Calicut for supplies of such European and Bengal goods as are in request on this part of the coast. Paniani is also frequented by vessels from different places on the coast.
CHITWA is in latitude 10° 32′ N., and longitude 76° 5' E., about six miles S. S. E. from Paniani. The village stands on the N. side of a river; it is small, and a place of but little trade. Ships anchor off this place in 6 fathoms abreast the river, which is wide, but will only admit boats or small vessels.
CRANGANORE, or Aycotta River, is about 3 miles to the S. of Chitwa; it has a bar at its entrance, with 5 or 6 feet water on it, and 14 or 16 feet inside. The town is about three miles from the sea, in latitude 10° 11' N., and longitude 76° 15' E.
COCHIN is situated in latitude 9° 58' N., and longitude 76° 17′ E., and stands on the S. side of the entrance of the most considerable river on the Coast of Malabar, which, like the other rivers, has a bar, navigable by ships drawing 14 or 15 feet water. The channel is on the N. shore. There is at times a surf on the bar; strangers ought therefore to be careful in running for the river in their boats, as accidents have happened to persons crossing the bar late in the evening. The common anchorage is in five to six fathoms, with the flagstaff bearing E. N. E., about three miles off shore.
The present town is small, being about a mile, or little more in circuit; and it is now completely fortified. As the town is close to the sea
on one side, and the other is on the banks of the S. entrance of the river, it is thus by art made a very strong island. The entrance of the river is narrow for some little space above the town, when it widens by degrees, and
becomes large and spacious.
The streets are straight; the houses built of brick, and kept in excellent order. The channels for the water are on each side the street, narrow and deep; the sides and bottom are covered with red tiles, each about 14 inches square, and thick in proportion. The whole town is gravelled; the streets and squares are raised in the middle, and slope gently to the channels, so that even in the rainy season the streets are clean and neat.
On the N. side of the entrance of the river is a spacious green lawn, more than a mile broad, which reaches along the banks of the river, opposite to and above the town; as the river is there very narrow, it serves as the town ditch: it forms an esplanade, terminated by a thick and well-grown wood of coco-nut and other trees.
Cochin was transferred to the English by the Netherlands Government, in 1814, in exchange for the island of Banca.
TRADE.-The principal part of the commerce at Cochin is in the hands of Jew merchants, several of whom are very rich. The port is frequented by ships bound from Bengal to Bombay and other places to the N., as well as the Portuguese ships from China, bound to Goa; and a considerable trade is carried on by the natives of India and Arabia. Here are sometimes 50 vessels from Surat, Bombay, Goa, Mangalore, Tellicherry, Onore, Calicut, and other places on the coast, besides Arabs from Mocha, Judda, and Muscat. By the vessels from Muscat, and places in the Red Sea, are imported almonds, aloes, assafoetida, brimstone, cummin seed, dates, gum Arabic, pearls, rose maloes, rose water, sharks'-fins, and salt. By vessels from Bombay and the different ports to the N. are imported arrack, cloths of sorts, cotton, castor oil, copper, cummin seed, grain, ghee, iron, lead, medicines, opium, quicksilver, red lead, rice, saffron, shawls, steel, tobacco, and wheat. From China and places to the E. are imported alum, benjamin, camphire, cinnamon, cloves, China root, Chinaware, cinnabar, dammer, mace, nutmegs, sugar candy, silks, sago, teas, and tutenague.
The principal articles of export are the following, mostly produced on the coast:-Coco-nuts, cassia, cardamums, coir, cowries, coculus indicus, Columbo root, elephants' teeth, fish maws, ginger, pepper, sandal wood, tamarinds, turmeric, teak, wood, and wax.
Vessels which do not draw more than 14 feet water, load and unload at Mutton Cherry, 1 mile from Cochin.