Chandragiri in 1614 Death of King Venkata Rebellion of Jaga Raya and murder of the royal family Loyalty of Echama Naik The Portuguese independent at San Thome Actors in the drama The affair at "Paleacate." List of successors Conclusion.
The following note of occurrences which took place at Chandragiri in 1614 on the death of King Venkata I. will be found of singular interest, as it relates to events of which we in England have hitherto, I think, been in complete ignorance. In consists of an extract from a letter written at Cochin on December 12, A.D. 1616, by Manuel Barradas, and recently found by Senhor Lopes amongst a quantity of letters preserved in the National Archives at Lisbon. He copied it from the original, and kindly sent it to me. The translation is my own.
"I will now tell you about the death of the old King of Bisnaga, called Vencattapatti Rayalu, and of his selection as his successor of a nephew by name Chica Rayalu; setting aside another who was commonly held to be his son, but who in reality was not so. The true fact was this. The King was married to a daughter of Jaga Raya by name Bayama, and though she eagerly longed for a son she had none in spite of the means, legitimate or illegitimate, that she employed for that purpose. A Brahman woman of the household of the Queen's father, knowing how strong was the Queen's desire to have a son, and seeing that God had not granted her one, told her that she herself was pregnant for a month; and she advised her to tell the King, and to publish it abroad, that she (the Queen) had been pregnant for a month, and to feign to be in that state, and said that after she (the Brahman woman) had been delivered she would secretly send the child to the palace by some confidant, upon which the Queen could announce that this boy was her own son. The advice seemed good to the Queen, and she pretended that she was pregnant, and no sooner was the Brahman woman delivered of a son than she sent it to the palace, and the news was spread abroad that Queen Bayama had brought forth a son. The King, knowing all this, yet for the love he bore the Queen, and so that the matter should not come to light, dissembled and made feasts, giving the name 'Chica Raya' to the boy, which is the name always given to the heir to the throne. Yet he never treated him as a son, but on the contrary kept him always shut up in the palace of Chandigri, nor ever allowed him to go out of it without his especial permission, which indeed he never granted except when in company of the Queen. Withal, the boy arriving at the age of fourteen years, he married him to a niece of his, doing him much honour so as to satisfy Obo Raya, his brother-in-law.
"Three days before his death, the King, leaving aside, as I say, this putative son, called for his nephew Chica Raya, in presence of several of the nobles of the kingdom, and extended towards him his right hand on which was the ring of state, and put it close to him, so that he should take it and should become his successor in the kingdom. With this the nephew, bursting into tears, begged the King to give it to whom he would, and that for himself he did not desire to be king, and he bent low, weeping at the feet of the old man. The King made a sign to those around him that they should raise the prince up, and they did so; and they then placed him on the King's right hand, and the King extended his own hand so that he might take the ring. But the prince lifted his hands above his head, as if he already had divined how much ill fortune the ring would bring him, and begged the King to pardon him if he wished not to take it. The old man then took the ring and held it on the point of his finger offering it the second time to Chica Raya, who by the advice of the captains present took it, and placed it on his head and then on his finger, shedding many tears. Then the King sent for his robe, valued at 200,000 cruzados, the great diamond which was in his ear, which was worth more than 500,000 cruzados, his earrings, valued at more than 200,000, and his great pearls, which are of the highest price. All these royal insignia he gave to his nephew Chica Raya as being his successor, and as such he was at once proclaimed. While some rejoiced, others were displeased.
"Three days later the King died at the age of sixty-seven years. His body was burned in his own garden with sweet-scented woods, sandal, aloes, and such like; and immediately afterwards three queens burned themselves, one of whom was of the same age as the King, and the other two aged thirty-five years. They showed great courage. They went forth richly dressed with many jewels and gold ornaments and precious stones, and arriving at the funeral pyre they divided these, giving some to their relatives; some to the Brahmans to offer prayers for them, and throwing some to be scrambled for by the people. Then they took leave of all, mounted on to a lofty place, and threw themselves into the middle of the fire, which was very great. Thus they passed into eternity.
"Then the new King began to rule, compelling some of the captains to leave the fortress, but keeping others by his side; and all came to him to offer their allegiance except three. These were Jaga Raya, who has six hundred thousand cruzados of revenue and puts twenty thousand men into the field; Tima Naique, who has four hundred thousand cruzados of revenue and keeps up an army of twelve thousand men; and Maca Raya, who has a revenue of two hundred thousand cruzados and musters six thousand men. They swore never to do homage to the new King, but, on the contrary, to raise in his place the putative son of the dead King, the nephew of Jaga Raya, who was the chief of this conspiracy. In a few days there occurred the following opportunity.
"The new King displeased three of his nobles; the first, the Dalavay, who is the commander of the army and pays a tribute of five hundred thousand cruzados, because he desired him to give up three fortresses which the King wished to confer on two of his own sons; the second, his minister, whom he asked to pay a hundred thousand cruzados, alleging that he had stolen them from the old King his uncle; the third, Narpa Raya, since he demanded the jewels which his sister, the wife of the old King, had given to Marpa. All these three answered the King that they would obey his commands within two days; but they secretly plotted with Jaga Raya to raise up the latter's nephew to be King. And this they did in manner following:
"Jaga Raya sent to tell the King that he wished to do homage to him, and so also did Tima Maique and Maca Raya. The poor King allowed them to enter. Jaga Raya selected five thousand men, and leaving the rest outside the city he entered the fortress with these chosen followers. The two other conspirators did the same, each of them bringing with them two thousand selected men. The fortress has two walls. Arrived at these, Jaga Raya left at the first gate a thousand men, and at the second a thousand. The Dalavay seized two other gates of the fortress, on the other side. There being some tumult, and a cry of treason being raised, the King ordered the palace gates to be closed, but the conspirators as soon as they reached them began to break them down. Maca Raya was the first to succeed, crying out that he would deliver up the King to them; and he did so, seeding the King a message that if he surrendered he would pledge his word to do him no ill, but that the nephew of Jaga Raya must be King, he being the son of the late King.
"The poor surrounded King, seeing himself without followers and without any remedy, accepted the promise, and with his wife and sons left the tower in which he was staying. He passed through the midst of the soldiers with a face grave and severe, and with eyes downcast. There was none to do him reverence with hands (as is the custom) joined over the head, nor did he salute any one.
"The King having left, Jaga Raya called his nephew and crowned him, causing all the nobles present to do him homage; and he, finding himself now crowned King, entered the palace and took possession of it and of all the riches and precious stones that he found there. If report says truly, he found in diamonds alone three large chests full of fine stones. After this (Jaga Raya) placed the deposed King under the strictest guard, and he was deserted by all save by one captain alone whose name was Echama Naique, who stopped outside the fortress with eight thousand men and refused to join Jaga Raya. Indeed, hearing of the treason, he struck his camp and shut himself up in his own fortress and began to collect more troops.
"Jaga Raya sent a message to this man bidding him come and do homage to his nephew, and saying that if he refused he would destroy him. Echama Naique made answer that he was not the man to do reverence to a boy who was the son of no one knew whom, nor even what his caste was; and, so far as destroying him went, would Jaga Raya come out and meet him? If so, he would wait for him with such troops as he possessed!
"When this reply was received Jaga Raya made use of a thousand gentle expressions, and promised honours and revenues, but nothing could turn him. Nay, Echama took the field with his forces and offered battle to Jaga Raya; saying that, since the latter had all the captains on his side, let him come and fight and beat him if he could, and then the nephew would become King unopposed. In the end Jaga Raya despaired of securing Echama Naique's allegiance, but he won over many other nobles by gifts and promises.
"While Jaga Raya was so engaged, Echama Naique was attempting to obtain access to the imprisoned King by some way or other; but finding this not possible, he sought for a means of at least getting possession of one of his sons. And he did so in this manner. He sent and summoned the washerman who washed the imprisoned King's clothes, and promised him great things if he would bring him the King's middle son. The washerman gave his word that he would so do if the matter were kept secret. When the day arrived on which it was the custom for him to take the clean clothes to the King, he carried them (into the prison) and with them a palm-leaf letter from Echama Naique, who earnestly begged the King to send him one at least of the three sons whom he had with him, assuring him that the washerman could effect his escape. The King did so, giving up his second son aged twelve years, for the washerman did not dare take the eldest, who was eighteen years old. He handed over the boy, and put him in amongst the dirty clothes, warning him to have no fear and not to cry out even if he felt any pain. In order more safely to pass the guards, the washerman placed on top of all some very foul clothes, such as every one would avoid; and went out crying 'TALLA! TALLA!' which means 'Keep at a distance! keep at a distance!' All therefore gave place to him, and he went out of the fortress to his own house. Here he kept the prince in hiding for three days, and at the end of them delivered him up to Echama Naique, whose camp was a league distant from the city, and the boy was received by that chief and by all his army with great rejoicing.
"The news then spread abroad and came to the ears of Jaga Raya, who commanded the palace to be searched, and found that it was true. He was so greatly affected that he kept to his house for several days; but he doubled the guards on the King, his prisoner, closed the gates, and commanded that no one should give aught to the King to eat but rice and coarse vegetables.
"As soon as it was known that Echama Naique had possession of the King's son, there went over to him four of Jaga Raya's captains with eight thousand men; so that he had in all sixteen thousand, and now had good hope of defending the rightful King. He took, therefore, measures for effecting the latter's escape. He selected from amongst all his soldiers twenty men, who promised to attempt to dig an underground passage which should reach to where the King lay in prison. In pursuance of this resolve they went to the fortress, offered themselves to the Dalavay as entering into his service, received pay, and after some days began to dig the passage so as to gain entrance to the King's prison. The King, seeing soldiers enter thus into his apartment, was amazed, and even more so when he saw them prostrate themselves on the ground and deliver him a palm-leaf letter from Echama Naique, in which he begged the King to trust himself to these men, as they would escort him out of the fortress. The King consented. He took off his robes hastily and covered himself with a single cloth; and bidding farewell to his wife, his sons, and his daughters, told them to have no fear, for that he, when free, would save them all.
"But it so happened that at this very moment one of the soldiers who were guarding the palace by night with torches fell into a hole, and at his cries the rest ran up, and on digging they discovered the underground passage. They entered it and got as far as the palace, arriving there just when the unhappy King was descending into it in order to escape. He was seized and the alarm given to Jaga Raya, who sent the King to another place more confined and narrower, and with more guards, so that the poor prisoner despaired of ever escaping.
"Echama Naique, seeing that this stratagem had failed, bribed heavily a captain of five hundred men who were in the fortress to slay the guards as soon as some good occasion offered, and to rescue the King. This man, who was called Iteobleza, finding one day that Jaga Raya was leaving the palace with all his men in order to receive a certain chief who had proffered his submission, and that there only remained in the fortress about five thousand men, in less than an hour slew the guards, seized three gates, and sent a message to Echama Naique telling him to come at once and seize the fortress. But Jaga Raya was the more expeditious; he returned with all his forces, entered by a postern gate, of the existence of which Iteobleza had not been warned, and put to death the captain and his five hundred followers.
"Enraged at this attempt, Jaga Raya, to strengthen the party of his nephew, resolved to slay the King and all his family. He entrusted this business to a brother of his named Chinaobraya, ordering him to go to the palace and tell the poor King that he must slay himself, and that if he would not he himself would kill him with stabs of his dagger.
"The prisoner attempted to excuse himself, saying that he knew nothing of the attempted revolt. But seeing the determination of Chinaobraya, who told him that he must necessarily die, either by his own hand or by that of another a most pitiful case, and one that I relate full of sorrow! the poor King called his wife, and after he had spoken to her awhile he beheaded her. Then he sent for his youngest son and did the same to him. He put to death similarly his little daughter. Afterwards he sent for his eldest son, who was already married, and commanded him to slay his wife, which he did by beheading her. This done, the King took a long sword of four fingers' breadth, and, throwing himself upon it, breathed his last; and his son, heir to the throne, did the same to himself in imitation of his father. There remained only a little daughter whom the King could not bring himself to slay; but Chinaobraya killed her, so that none of the family should remain alive of the blood royal, and the throne should be secured for his nephew.
"Some of the chiefs were struck with horror at this dreadful deed, and were so enraged at its cruelty that they went over to Echama Naique, resolved to defend the prince who had been rescued by the washerman, and who alone remained of all the royal family. Echama Naique, furious at this shameful barbarity and confident in the justice of his cause, selected ten thousand of his best soldiers, and with them offered battle to Jaga Raya, who had more than sixty thousand men and a number of elephants and horses. Echama sent him a message in this form: 'Now that thou hast murdered thy king and all his family, and there alone remains this boy whom I rescued from thee and have in my keeping, come out and take the field with all thy troops; kill him and me, and then thy nephew will be secure on the throne!'
"Jaga Raya tried to evade this for some time; but finding that Echama Naique insisted, he decided to fight him, trusting that with so great a number of men he would easily not only be victorious, but would be able to capture both Echama Naique and the prince. He took the field, therefore, with all his troops. Echama Naique entrusted the prince to a force of ten thousand men who remained a league away, and with the other ten thousand he not only offered battle, but was the first to attack; and that with such fury and violence that Jaga Raya, with all the people surrounding his nephew, was driven to one side, leaving gaps open to the enemy, and many met their deaths in the fight. Echama Naique entered in triumph the tents of Jaga Raya, finding in them all the royal insignia belonging to the old King and these he delivered to the young prince, the Son of Chica Raya, proclaiming him rightful heir and King of all the empire of Bisnaga.
"The spoil which he took was very large, for in precious stones alone they say that he found two millions worth.
"After this victory many of the nobles joined themselves to Echama Naique. So much so, that in a short time he had with him fifty thousand fighting men in his camp; while Jaga Raya, with only fifteen thousand, fled to the jungles. Here, however, he was joined by more people, so that the war has continued these two years, fortune favouring now one side now the other. But the party of the young prince has always been gaining strength; the more so because, although the great Naique of Madura a page of the betel to the King of Bisnaga, who pays a revenue every year of, some say, 600,000 pagodas, and has under him many kings and nobles as vassals, such as he of Travancor took the side of Jaga Raya, and sustained him against the Naique of Tanjaor. Yet the latter, though not so powerful, is, with the aid of the young King, gradually getting the upper hand. Indeed there are now assembled in the field in the large open plains of Trinchenepali not only the hundred thousand men that each party has, but as many as a million of soldiers.
"Taking advantage of these civil wars, the city of San Thome which up to now belonged to the King of Bisnaga, paying him revenues and customs which he used to make over to certain chiefs, by whom the Portuguese were often greatly troubled determined to liberate itself, and become in everything and for everything the property of the King of Portugal. To this end she begged the Viceroy to send and take possession of her in the name of his Majesty, which he did, as I shall afterwards tell you. Meanwhile the captain who governed the town, by name Manuel de Frias, seeing that there was close to the town a fortress that commanded it, determined to seize it by force, seeing that its captain declined to surrender it. So he laid siege to it, surrounding it so closely that no one could get out."
In the end the Portuguese were successful. The fortress was taken, its garrison of 1500 men capitulated, and a fleet came round by sea to complete the conquest.
The foregoing story relates to events never before, I think, made known to English readers, and so far is of the highest interest. Let us, for the moment, grant its accuracy, and read it by the light of the genealogical table already given.
King Venkata I. (1586 1614) had a sister who was married to a chief whom Barradas calls "Obo" (perhaps Obala) Raya. So far as we know, his only nephews were Tirumala II. and Ranga III., sons of his brother, Rama III. Since Tirumala II. appears to have had no sons, and Ranga III. had a son, Rama IV, who is asserted in the inscriptions to have been "one of several brothers," it is natural to suppose that the nephew mentioned by Barradas, who was raised to be king on the death of the old King Venkata I. in 1614, and who had three sons, was Ranga III., called "Chikka Raya" or "Crown-prince" in the text. He, then, succeeded in 1614, but was afterwards deposed, imprisoned, and compelled to take his own life. His eldest son at the same time followed his example, and his youngest son was slain by his father. The "middle son" escaped, and was raised to the throne by a friendly chief named Echama Naik. This second son was probably Ranga IV. Two of King Venkata's wives were Bayama, daughter of Jaga Raya, and a lady unnamed, sister of Narpa Raya. A niece of Venkata I. had been given in marriage to a Brahman boy, who had been surreptitiously introduced into the palace by Bayama and educated in the pretence that he was son of King Venkata. The plot to raise him to the throne was temporarily successful, and Ranga III. and all the royal family were killed, saving only Ranga IV., who afterwards came to the throne.
How much of the story told is true we cannot as yet decide; but it is extremely improbable that the whole is a pure invention, and we may for the present accept it, fixing the date of these occurrences as certainly between the years 1614 and 1616 A.D. the date of Barradas's letter being December 12 in the latter year.
It will be observed that the inscriptions upon which the genealogical table given above, from the EPIGRAPHIA INDICA, is founded do not yield any date between A.D. 1614 and 1634, when Pedda Venkata II. is named as king. In 1883 I published a list of Vijayanagar names derived from reports of inscriptions which had then reached me. I am by no means certain of their accuracy, and it is clear that they must all be hereafter carefully examined. But so far as it goes the list runs thus:
The last-mentioned name and date are apparently correct.
In 1633 the Portuguese, encouraged by the Vijayanagar king, still at Chandragiri, attempted to eject the Dutch from "Paleacate," or Pulicat. An arrangement was made by which the Portuguese were to attack by sea and the Rajah by land; but while the Viceroy sent his twelve ships as agreed on, the Rajah failed to attack, alleging in explanation that he was compelled to use his army to put down internal disturbances in the kingdom. A second expedition met with no better success, the plans of the Portuguese being again upset by the non fulfilment of the king's part of the bargain. On the departure of the fleet the king did attack the Dutch settlement, but was bought off by a large payment, and the Hollanders remained subsequently undisturbed.
Senhor Lopes tells me that he has found in the National Archives in the Torre do Tombo, amongst the "Livros das Moncoes," a number of papers bearing on this subject. The most interesting are those contained in Volume xxxiv. (fol. 91 99). These were written by the Captain-General of Meliapor (St. Thome), by Padre Pero Mexia of the Company of Jesus, and by the Bishop; and amongst the other documents are to be seen translations of two palm-leaf letters written by the king of Vijayanagar, then at Vellore. It appears from these that the king was devoid of energy, and that one Timma Raya had revolted against him.
We know that in 1639 the king of Vijayanagar was named Ranga or Sri-Ranga, and that he was at that time residing at Chandragiri; because in that year Mr. Day, the head of the English trading station a Madras, obtained from the king a grant of land at that place, one mile broad by five miles long, on which Fort St. George was afterwards constructed. The country about Madras was then ruled over by a governor or Naik, and so little heed did he pay to the wishes or commands of his titular sovereign, that although the Raya had directed that the name of the new town should be "Srirangarayalapatnam" ("city of Sri Ranga Raya"), the Naik christened it after the name of his own father, Chenna, and called it "Chennapatnam," by which appellation it has ever since been known to the Hindus. Such, at least, is the local tradition. This king was probably the Ranga VI. of the Epigraphia list, mentioned as living in 1644 A.D.
After this date my (doubtful and unexamined) inscriptions yield the following names and dates:
From Sir Thomas Munro's papers I gather that the territory about the old family estate of Anegundi was early in the eighteenth century held by the Rayas from the Mogul emperor of Delhi as a tributary state. In 1749 it was seized by the Mahrattas, and in 1775 it was reduced by Haidar Ali of Mysore, but continued to exist as a tributary quasi-independent state till the time of Tipu (Tippoo Sultan).
Tipu, who never suffered from an excess of compunction or compassion when his own interests were at stake, annexed the estate bodily to his dominions in 1786. Thirteen years later he was killed at Seringapatam, and in the settlement that followed the little territory was made over to the Nizam of Haidarabad, the English Government retaining all lands on their side of the Tungabhadra. Partly in compensation for this loss of land the Government has till very recently paid an annual pension to the head of the Anegundi family. This has now been abolished.
Chronicles of Paes and Nuniz
(? to the historian Barros) which accompanied the Chronicles when sent from India to Portugal about the year 1537 A.D.
Since I have lived till now in this city (? Goa), it seemed necessary to do what your Honour desired of me, namely, to search for men who had formerly been in Bisnaga; for I know that no one goes there without bringing away his quire of paper written about its affairs. Thus I obtained this summary from one Domingos Paes, who goes there, and who was at Bisnaga in the time of Crisnarao when Cristovao de Figueiredo was there. I obtained another from Fernao Nuniz, who was there three years trading in horses (which did not prove remunerative). Since one man cannot tell everything one relating some things which another does not I send both the summaries made by them, namely, one in the time of Crisnarao, as I have said, and the other sent from there six months since. I desire to do this because your honour can gather what is useful to you from both, and because you will thus give the more credit to some things in the chronicle of the kings of Bisnaga, since they conform one to the other. The copy of the summary which he began to make when he first went to the kingdom of Bisnaga is as follows:
Narrative of Domingos Paes
(written probably A.D. 1520 22)
Of the things which I saw and contrived to learn concerning the kingdom of Narsimga, etc.
On leaving India to travel towards the kingdom of Narsymga from the sea-coast, you have (first) to pass a range of hills (SERRA), the boundary of the said kingdom and of those territories which are by the sea. This SERRA runs along the whole of the coast of India, and has passes by which people enter the interior; for all the rest of the range is very rocky and is filled with thick forest. The said kingdom has many places on the coast of India; they are seaports with which we are at peace, and in some of them we have factories, namely, Amcola, Mirgeo, Honor, Batecalla, Mamgalor, Bracalor, and Bacanor. And as soon as we are above this SERRA we have a plain country in which there are no more ranges of hills, but only a few mountains, and these small ones; for all the rest is like the plains of Ssantarem. Only on the road from Batecala to a town called ZAMBUJA, there are some ranges with forests; nevertheless the road is very even. From Batecala to this town of Zambur is forty leagues; the road has many streams of water by its side, and because of this so much merchandise flows to Batecala that every year there come five or six thousand pack-oxen.
Now to tell of the aforesaid kingdom. It is a country sparsely wooded except along this SERRA on the east, but in places you walk for two or three leagues under groves of trees; and behind cities and towns and villages they have plantations of mangoes, and jack-fruit trees, and tamarinds and other very large trees, which form resting-places where merchants halt with their merchandise. I saw in the city of Recalem a tree under which we lodged three hundred and twenty horses, standing in order as in their stables, and all over the country you may see many small trees. These dominions are very well cultivated and very fertile, and are provided with quantities of cattle, such as cows, buffaloes, and sheep; also of birds, both those belonging to the hills and those reared at home, and this in greater abundance than in our tracts. The land has plenty of rice and Indian-corn, grains, beans, and other kind of crops which are not sown in our parts; also an infinity of cotton. Of the grains there is a great quantity, because, besides being used as food for men, it is also used for horses, since there is no other kind of barley; and this country has also much wheat, and that good. The whole country is thickly populated with cities and towns and villages; the king allows them to be surrounded only with earthen walls for fear of their becoming too strong. But if a city is situated at the extremity of his territory he gives his consent to its having stone walls, but never the towns; so that they may make fortresses of the cities but not of the towns.
And because this country is all flat, the winds blow here more than in other parts. The oil which it produces comes from seeds sown and afterwards reaped, and they obtain it by means of machines which they make. This country wants water because it is very great and has few streams; they make lakes in which water collects when it rains, and thereby they maintain themselves. They maintain themselves by means of some in which there are springs better than by others that have only the water from rain; for we find many quite dry, so that people go about walking in their beds, and dig holes to try and find enough water, even a little, for their maintenance. The failure of the water is because they have no winter as in our parts and in (Portuguese) India, but only thunder-storms that are greater in one year than in another. The water in these lakes is for the most part muddy, especially in those where there are no springs, and the reason why it is so muddy is because of the strong wind and the dust that is in this country, which never allows the water to be clear, and also because of the numbers of cattle, buffaloes, cows, oxen, and other small cattle that drink in them. For you must know that in this land they do not slaughter oxen or cows; the oxen are beasts of burden and are like sumpter-mules; these carry all their goods. They worship the cows, and have them in their pagodas made in stone, and also bulls; they have many bulls that they present to these pagodas, and these bulls go about the city without any one causing them any harm or loss. Further, there are asses in this country, but they are small, and they use them only for little things; those that wash clothes lay the cloths on them, and use them for this more than for anything else. You must know that this kingdom of Narsymga has three hundred GRAOS of coast, each GRAO being a league, along the hill-range (SERRA) of which I have spoken, until you arrive at Ballagate and Charamaodel, which belong to this kingdom; and in breadth it is one hundred and sixty-four GRAOS; each large GRAO measures two of our leagues, so that it has six hundred leagues of coast, and across it three hundred and forty-eight leagues across from Batacalla to the kingdom of Orya.
And this kingdom marches with all the territory of Bengal, and on the other side with the kingdom of Orya, which is to the east, and on the other side to the north with the kingdom of Dakhan, belonging to which are the lands which the Ydallcao has, and Ozemelluco. Goa is at war with this Ydallcao, because that city was his, and we have taken it from him.
And this kingdom of Orya, of which I have spoken above, is said to be much larger than the kingdom of Narsymga, since it marches with all Bengal, and is at war with her; and it marches with all the kingdom of Pegu and with the MALLACA Sea. It reaches to the kingdom of Cambaya, and to the kingdom of Dakhan; and they told me with positive certainty that it extends as far as Persia. The population thereof is light coloured, and the men are of good physique. Its king has much treasure and many soldiers and many elephants, for there are numbers of these in this country. (My informants) know this well, and they say that there is no ruler greater than he. He is a heathen.
Coming back to our subject, I say that I will not mention here the situation of the cities, and towns, and villages in this kingdom of Narsymga, to avoid prolixity; only I shall speak of the city of Darcha, which has a monument such as can seldom be seen elsewhere. This city of Darcha is very well fortified by a wall, though not of stone, for the reason that I have already stated. On the western side, which is towards (Portuguese) India, it is surrounded by a very beautiful river, and on the other, eastern side the interior of the country is all one plain, and along the wall is its moat. This Darcha has a pagoda, which is the monument I speak of, so beautiful that another as good of its kind could not be found within a great distance. You must know that it is a round temple made of a single stone, the gateway all in the manner of joiners work, with every art of perspective. There are many figures of the said work, standing out as much as a cubit from the stone, so that you see on every side of them, so well carved that they could not be better done the faces as well as all the rest; and each one in its place stands as if embowered in leaves; and above it is in the Romanesque style, so well made that it could not be better. Besides this, it has a sort of lesser porch upon pillars, all of stone, and the pillars with their pedestals so well executed that they appear as if made in Italy; all the cross pieces and beams are of the same stone without any planks or timber being used in it, and in the same way all the ground is laid with the same stone, outside as well as in. And all this pagoda, as far round as the temple goes, is enclosed by a trellis made of the same stone, and this again is completely surrounded by a very strong wall, better even than the city has, since it is all of solid masonry. It has three entrance gates, which gates are very large and beautiful, and the entrance from one of these sides, being towards the east and facing the door of the pagoda, has some structures like verandahs, small and low, where sit some JOGIS; and inside this enclosure, which has other little pagodas of a reddish colour, there is a stone like the mast of a ship, with its pedestal four-sided, and from thence to the top eight-sided, standing in the open air. I was not astonished at it, because I have seen the needle of St. Peters at Rome, which is as high, or more.
These pagodas are buildings in which they pray and have their idols; the idols are of many sorts, namely, figures of men and women, of bulls, and apes, while others have nothing but a round stone which they worship. In this temple of Darcha is an idol in the figure of a man as to his body, and the face is that of an elephant with trunk and tusks, and with three arms on each side and six hands, of which arms they say that already four are gone, and when all fall then the world will be destroyed they are full of belief that this will be, and hold it as a prophecy. They feed the idol every day, for they say that he eats; and when he eats women dance before him who belong to that pagoda, and they give him food and all that is necessary, and all girls born of these women belong to the temple. These women are of loose character, and live in the best streets that there are in the city; it is the same in all their cities, their streets have the best rows of houses They are very much esteemed, and are classed amongst those honoured ones who are the mistresses of the captains; any respectable man may go to their houses without any blame attaching thereto. These women (are allowed) even to enter the presence of the wives of the king, and they stay with them and eat betel with them, a thing which no other person may do, no matter what his rank may be. This betel is a herb which has a leaf like the leaf of the pepper, or the ivy of our country; they always eat this leaf, and carry it in their mouths with another fruit called areca. This is something like a medlar, but it is very hard, and it is very good for the breath and has many other virtues; it is the best provision for those who do not eat as we do. Some of them eat flesh; they eat all kinds except beef and pork, and yet, nevertheless, they cease not to eat this betel all day.
Afterwards going from this city of Darcha towards the city of Bisnaga, which is eighteen leagues distant, and is the capital of all the kingdom of Narsymga, where the king always resides, you have many cities and walled villages; and two leagues before you arrive at the city of Bisnaga you have a very lofty SERRA which has passes by which you enter the city. These are called "gates" (PORTAS). You must enter by these, for you will have no means of entrance except by them. This range of hills surrounds the city with a circle of twenty-four leagues, and within this range there are others that encircle it closely. Wherever these ranges have any level ground they cross it with a very strong wall, in such a way that the hills remain all closed, except in the places where the roads come through from the gates in the first range, which are the entrance ways to the city. In such places there are some small pits (or caves?) which could be defended by a few people; these SERRAS continue as far as the interior of the city. Between all these enclosures are plains and valleys where rice is grown, and there are gardens with many orange-trees, limes, citrons, and radishes (RABAOS), and other kinds of garden produce as in Portugal, only not lettuces or cabbages. Between these hill-ranges are many lakes by which they irrigate the crops mentioned, and amongst all these ranges there are no forests or patches of brushwood, except very small ones, nor anything that is green. For these hills are the strangest ever seen, they are of a white stone piled one block over another in manner most singular, so that it seems as if they stood in the air and were not connected one with another; and the city is situated in the middle of these hills and is entirely surrounded by them.
The SERRAS reach as far as the kingdom of Daquem, and border upon the territories belonging to the Ydallcao, and upon a city called Rachol that formerly belonged to the king of Narsymga; there has been much war over it, and this king took it from the Ydallcao. So that these ranges are in a way the cause (of the two kingdoms) never uniting and always being at war; and even on the side of Orya also there are ranges, but they are different from these, since like ours they have scrub and small patches of brushwood; these ranges are low and between them are great plains. On the extreme east of these two kingdoms you must know that the country is all covered with scrub, the densest possible to be seen, in which there are great beasts, and (this) forms so strong a fortress for it that it protects both sides; it has its entrances by which they pass from one kingdom to the other. In these passes on the frontier the king of Narsymga has a captain with a quantity of troops, but on the side of (Portuguese) India he has none, except as I have said.
Now turning to the gates of the first range, I say that at the entrance of the gate where those pass who come from Goa, which is the principal entrance on the western side; this king has made within it a very strong city fortified with walls and towers, and the gates at the entrances very strong, with towers at the gates; these walls are not like those of other cities, but are made of very strong masonry such as would be found in few other parts, and inside very beautiful rows of buildings made after their manner with flat roofs. There live in this many merchants, and it is filled with a large population because the king induces many honourable merchants to go there from his cities, and there is much water in it. Besides this the king made a tank there, which, as it seems to me, has the width of a falcon-shot, and it is at the mouth of two hills, so that all the water which comes from either one side or the other collects there; and, besides this, water comes to it from more than three leagues by pipes which run along the lower parts of the range outside. This water is brought from a lake which itself overflows into a little river. The tank has three large pillars handsomely carved with figures; these connect above with certain pipes by which they get water when they have to irrigate their gardens and rice-fields. In order to make this tank the said king broke down a hill which enclosed the ground occupied by the said tank. In the tank I saw so many people at work that there must have been fifteen or twenty thousand men, looking like ants, so that you could not see the ground on which they walked, so many there were; this tank the king portioned out amongst his captains, each of whom had the duty of seeing that the people placed under him did their work, and that the tank was finished and brought to completion.
The tank burst two or three times, and the king asked his Brahmans to consult their idol as to the reason why it burst so often, and the Brahmans said that the idol was displeased, and desired that they should make a sacrifice, and should give him the blood of men and horses and buffaloes; and as soon as the king heard this he forthwith commanded that at the gate of the pagoda the heads of sixty men should be cut off, and of certain horses and buffaloes, which was at once done.
These Brahmans are like friars with us, and they count them as holy men I speak of the Brahman priests and the lettered men of the pagodas because although the king has many Brahmans, they are officers of the towns and cities and belong to the government of them; others are merchants, and others live by their own property and cultivation, and the fruits which grow in their inherited grounds. Those who have charge of the temples are learned men, and eat nothing which suffers death, neither flesh nor fish, nor anything which makes broth red, for they say that it is blood. Some of the other Brahmans whom I mentioned, who seek to serve God, and to do penance, and to live a life like that of the priests, do not eat flesh or fish or any other thing that suffers death, but only vegetables and butter and other things which they make of fruit, with their rice. They are all married, and have very beautiful wives; the wives are very retiring, and very seldom leave the house. The women are of light colour, and in the caste of these Brahmans are the fairest men and women that there are in the land; for though there are men in other castes commonly of light complexion, yet these are few. There are many in this country who call themselves Brahmans, but they lead a life very different from those of whom I have spoken, for these last are men to whom the king pays much honour, and he holds them in great favour.
This new city that the king made bears the name of his wife for love of whom he made it, and the said city stands in a plain, and round it the inhabitants make their gardens as the ground suits, each one being separate. In this city the king made a temple with many images. It is a thing very well made, and it has some wells very well made after their fashion; its houses are not built with stories like ours, but are of only one floor, with flat, roofs and towers, different from ours, for theirs go from storey to storey. They have pillars, and are all open, with verandahs inside and out, where they can easily put people if they desire, so that they seem like houses belonging to a king. These palaces have an enclosing wall which surrounds them all, and inside are many rows of houses. Before you enter the place where the king is there are two gates with many guards, who prevent any one from entering except the captains and men who have business there; and between these two gates is a very large court with its verandahs round it, where these captains and other honoured people wait till the king summons them to his presence.
This king is of medium height, and of fair complexion and good figure, rather fat than thin, he has on his face signs of small-pox. He is the most feared and perfect king that could possibly be, cheerful of disposition and very merry; he is one that seeks to honour foreigners, and receives them kindly, asking about all their affairs whatever their condition may be He is a great ruler and a man of much justice, but subject to sudden fits of rage, and this is his title "Crisnarao Macacao, king of kings, lord of the greater lords of India, lord of the three seas and of the land." He has this title because he is by rank a greater lord than any, by reason of what he possesses in (?) armies and territories, but it seems that he has (in fact) nothing compared to what a man like him ought to have, so gallant and perfect is he in all things. This king was constantly at war with the king of Orya, and entered his kingdom, taking and destroying many cities and towns; he put to rout numbers of his soldiers and elephants, and took captive his son, whom he kept for a long time in this city of Bisnaga, where he died; and in order to make a treaty and (preserve) peace, the king of Orya gave him a daughter whom the king of Bisnaga married and has as his wife.
This king has twelve lawful wives, of whom there are three principal ones, the sons of each of these three being heirs of the kingdom, but not these of the others; this is (the case) when there are sons to all of them, but when there is only one son, whosesoever he may be, he is heir. One of these principal wives is the daughter of the king of Orya, and others daughters of a king his vassal who is king of Serimgapatao; another wife is a courtezan whom in his youth he had for mistress before he became king, and she made him promise that if he came to be king he would take her to wife, and thus it came to pass that this courtezan became his wife. For love of her he built this new city, and its name was (SIC IN ORIG.) Each one of these wives has her house to herself, with her maidens and women of the chamber, and women guards and all other women servants necessary; all these are women, and no man enters where they are, save only the eunuchs, who guard them. These women are never seen by any man, except perhaps by some old man of high rank by favour of the king. When they wish to go out they are carried in litters shut up and closed, so that they cannot be seen, and all the eunuchs with them fully three or four hundred; and all other people keep a long distance from them. They told us that each of these queens has a very large sum of money and treasure and personal ornaments, namely armlets, bracelets, seed-pearls, pearls and diamonds, and that in great quantity: and they also say that each of them has sixty maidens adorned as richly as could possibly be with many jewels, and rubies and diamonds and pearls and seed-pearls. These we afterwards saw, and stood astonished; we saw them at certain festivals which I will afterwards speak of, and of the manner in which they came. Within, with these maidens, they say that there are twelve thousand women; for you must know that there are women who handle sword and shield, and others who wrestle, and others who blow trumpets, and others pipes, and others instruments which are different from ours; and in the same way they have women as bearers (BOOIS) and washing-folk, and for other offices inside their gates, just as the king has the officers of his household. These three principal wives have each the same, one as much as the other, so that there may never be any discord or ill feeling between them; all of them are great friends, and each one lives by herself. It may be gathered from this what a large enclosure there must be for these houses where so many people live, and what streets and lanes they must have.
The king lives by himself inside the palace, and when he wishes to have with him one of his wives he orders a eunuch to go and call her. The eunuch does not enter where she is, but tells it to the female guards, who make known to the queen that there is a message from the king, and then comes one of her maidens or chamber-women and learns what is wanted, and then the queen goes where the king is, or the king comes where she is, and so passes the time as it seems good to him without any of the others knowing. Amongst these eunuchs the king has some who are great favourites, and who sleep where he sleeps; they receive a large salary.
This king is accustomed every day to drink QUARTILHO (three-quarter pint) of oil of GINGELLY before daylight, and anoints himself all over with the said oil; he covers his loins with a small cloth, and takes in his arms great weights made of earthenware, and then, taking a sword, he exercises himself with it till he has sweated out all the oil, and then he wrestles with one of his wrestlers. After this labour he mounts a horse and gallops about the plain in one direction and another till dawn, for he does all this before daybreak. Then he goes to wash himself, and a Brahman washes him whom he holds sacred, and who is a great favourite of his and is a man of great wealth; and after he is washed he goes to where his pagoda is inside the palace, and makes his orisons and ceremonies, according to custom. Thence he goes to a building made in the shape of a porch without walls, which has many pillars hung with cloths right up to the top, and with the walls handsomely painted; it has on each side two figures of women very well made. In such a building he despatches his work with those men who bear office in his kingdom, and govern his cities, and his favourites talk with them. The greatest favourite is an old man called Temersea; he commands the whole household, and to him all the great lords act as to the king. After the king has talked with these men on subjects pleasing to him he bids enter the lords and captains who wait at the gate, and these at once enter to make their salaam to him. As soon as they appear they make their salaam to him, and place themselves along the walls far off from him; they do not speak one to another, nor do they chew betel before him, but they place their hands in the sleeves of their tunics (CABAYAS) and cast their eyes on the ground; and if the king desires to speak to any one it is done through a second person, and then he to whom the king desires to speak raises his eyes and replies to him who questions him, and then returns to his former position. So they remain till the king bids them go, and then they all turn to make the salaam to him and go out. The salaam, which is the greatest courtesy that exists among them, is that they put their hands joined above their head as high as they can. Every day they go to make the salaam to the king.
When we came to this country the king was in this new town, and there went to see him Christovao de Figueiredo with all of us Portuguese that came with him, and all very handsomely dressed after our manner, with much finery; the king received him very well, and was very complacent to him. The king was as much pleased with him as if he had been one of his own people, so much attention did he evince towards him; and also towards those amongst us who went with him he showed much kindness. We were so close to the king that he touched us all and could not have enough of looking at us. Then Christovao de Figueiredo gave him the letters from the Captain-Major and the things he had brought for him, with which he was greatly delighted; principally with certain organs that the said Christovao de Figueiredo brought him, with many other things (PECAS). The king was clothed in certain white cloths embroidered with many roses in gold, and with a PATECAof diamonds on his neck of very great value, and on his head he had a cap of brocade in fashion like a Galician helmet, covered with a piece of fine stuff all of fine silk, and he was barefooted; for no one ever enters where the king is unless he has bare feet, and the majority of the people, or almost all, go about the country barefooted. The shoes have pointed ends, in the ancient manner, and there are other shoes that have nothing but soles, but on top are some straps which help to keep them on the feet. They are made like those which of old the Romans were wont to wear, as you will find on figures in some papers or antiquities which come from Italy. The king gave to Christovao de Figueiredo on dismissing him a CABAYA (tunic) of brocade, with a cap of the same fashion as the king wore, and to each one of the Portuguese he gave a cloth embroidered with many pretty figures, and this the king gives because it is customary; he gives it in token of friendship and love.
When Christovao de Figueiredo had been dismissed by the king we came to the city of Bisnaga, which is a league from this new city, and here he commanded us to be lodged in some very good houses; and Figueiredo was visited by many lords and captains, and other persons who came on behalf of the king. And the king sent him many sheep and fowls, and many vessels (CALOEES) full of butter and honey and many other things to eat, which he at once distributed amongst all the foot-soldiers and people whom he had brought with him. The king said many kind and pleasant things to him, and asked him concerning the kind of state which the king of Portugal kept up; and having been told about it all he seemed much pleased.
Returning then to the city of Bisnaga, you must know that from it to the new city goes a street as wide as a place of tourney, with both sides lined throughout with rows of houses and shops where they sell everything; and all along this road are many trees that the king commanded to be planted, so as to afford shade to those that pass along. On this road he commanded to be erected a very beautiful temple of stone, and there are other pagodas that the captains and great lords caused to be erected.
So that, returning to the city of Bisnaga, you must know that before you arrive at the city gates there is a gate with a wall that encloses all the other enclosures of the city, and this wall is a very strong one and of massive stonework; but at the present time it is injured in some places. They do not fail to have citadels in it. This wall has a moat of water in some places, and in the parts where it was constructed on low ground. And there is, separate from it, yet another (defence) made in the following manner. Certain pointed stones of great height are fixed in the ground as high as a man's breast; they are in breadth a lance-shaft and a half, with the same distance between them and the great wall. This wall rises in all the low ground till it reaches some hill or rocky land. From this first circuit until you enter the city there is a great distance, in which are fields in which they sow rice and have many gardens and much water, which water comes from two lakes. The water passes through this first line of wall, and there is much water in the lakes because of springs; and here there are orchards and a little grove of palms, and many houses.
Returning, then, to the first gate of the city, before you arrive at it you pass a little piece of water and then you arrive at the wall, which is very strong, all of stonework, and it makes a bend before you arrive at the gate; and at the entrance of this gate are two towers, one on each side, which makes it very strong. It is large and beautiful. As soon as you pass inside there are two little temples; one of them has an enclosing wall with many trees, while the whole of the other consists of buildings; and this wall of the first gate encircles the whole city. Then going forward you have another gate with another line of wall, and it also encircles the city inside the first, and from here to the king's palace is all streets and rows of houses, very beautiful, and houses of captains and other rich and honourable men; you will see rows of houses with many figures and decorations pleasing to look at. Going along the principal street, you have one of the chief gateways, which issues from a great open space in front of the king's palace; opposite this is another which passes along to the other side of the city; and across this open space pass all the carts and conveyances carrying stores and everything else, and because it is in the middle of the city it cannot but be useful.
This palace of the king is surrounded by a very strong wall like some of the others, and encloses a greater space (TERAA MOOR CERCA) than all the castle of Lisbon.
Still going forward, passing to the other gate you see two temples connected with it, one on each side, and at the door of one of these they kill every day many sheep, for in all the city they do not kill any sheep for the use of the heathen (Hindus), or for sale in the markets, except at the gate of this pagoda. Of their blood they make sacrifices to the idol that is in the temple. They leave the heads to him, and for each sheep they give a SACO (CHAKRAM), which is a coin like a CARTILHA (QUARTILHA a farthing).
There is present at the slaughter of these beasts a JOGI (priest) who has charge of the temple, and as soon as they cut off the head of the sheep or goat this JOGI blows a horn as a sign that the idol receives that sacrifice. Hereafter I shall tell of these JOGIS, what sort of men they are.
Close to these pagodas is a triumphal car covered with carved work and images, and on one day in each year during a festival they drag this through the city in such streets as it can traverse. It is large and cannot turn corners.
Going forward, you have a broad and beautiful street, full of rows of fine houses and streets of the sort I have described, and it is to be understood that the houses belong to men rich enough to afford such. In this street live many merchants, and there you will find all sorts of rubies, and diamonds, and emeralds, and pearls, and seed-pearls, and cloths, and every other sort of thing there is on earth and that you may wish to buy. Then you have there every evening a fair where they sell many common horses and nags (ROCIS E SEMDEIROS), and also many citrons, and limes, and oranges, and grapes, and every other kind of garden stuff, and wood; you have all in this street. At the end of it you have another gate with its wall, which wall goes to meet the wall of the second gate of which I have spoken in such sort that this city has three fortresses, with another which is the king's palace. Then when this gate is passed you have another street where there are many craftsmen, and they sell many things; and in this street there are two small temples. There are temples in every street, for these appertain to institutions like the confraternities you know of in our parts, of all the craftsmen and merchants; but the principal and greatest pagodas are outside the city. In this street lodged Christovao de Figueiredo. On every Friday you have a fair there, with many pigs and fowls and dried fish from the sea, and other things the produce of the country, of which I do not know the name; and in like manner a fair is held every day in different parts of the city. At the end of this street is the Moorish quarter, which is at the very end of the city, and of these Moors there are many who are natives of the country and who are paid by the king and belong to his guard. In this city you will find men belonging to every nation and people, because of the great trade which it has, and the many precious stones there, principally diamonds.
The size of this city I do not write here, because it cannot all be seen from any one spot, but I climbed a hill whence I could see a great part of it; I could not see it all because it lies between several ranges of hills. What I saw from thence seemed to me as large as Rome, and very beautiful to the sight; there are many groves of trees within it, in the gardens of the houses, and many conduits of water which flow into the midst of it, and in places there are lakes (TAMQUES); and the king has close to his palace a palm-grove and other rich-bearing fruit-trees. Below the Moorish quarter is a little river, and on this side are many orchards and gardens with many fruit-trees, for the most part mangoes and areca-palms and jack-trees, and also many lime and orange trees, growing so closely one to another that it appears like a thick forest; and there are also white grapes. All the water which is in the city comes from the two tanks of which I have spoken, outside the first enclosing wall.
The people in this city are countless in number, so much so that I do not wish to write it down for fear it should be thought fabulous; but I declare that no troops, horse or foot, could break their way through any street or lane, so great are the numbers of the people and elephants.
This is the best provided city in the world, and is stocked with provisions such as rice, wheat, grains, Indian-corn, and a certain amount of barley and beans, MOONG, pulses, horse-gram, and many other seeds which grow in this country which are the food of the people, and there is large store of these and very cheap; but wheat is not so common as the other grains, since no one eats it except the Moors. But you will find what I have mentioned. The streets and markets are full of laden oxen without count, so that you cannot get along for them, and in many streets you come upon so many of them that you have to wait for them to pass, or else have to go by another way. There is much poultry; they give three fowls in the city for a coin worth a VINTEM, which coins are called FAVAOS; outside the city they give four fowls for a VINTEM.
In this country there are many partridges, but they are not of the same sort or quality as ours: they are like the ESTARNAS of Italy.
There are three sorts of these: one class has only a small spur such as those of Portugal have; another class has on each foot two very sharp spurs, almost as long and thick as one's finger; the other class is painted, and of these you will find the markets full; as also of quails, and hares, and all kinds of wild fowl, and other birds which live in the lakes and which look like geese. All these birds and game animals they sell alive, and they are very cheap, for they give six or eight partridges for a VINTEM, and of hares they give two and sometimes one. Of other birds they give more than you can count, for even of the large ones they give so many that you would hardly pay any attention to the little ones they give you, such as doves and pigeons and the common birds of the country. The doves are of two kinds; some are like those in Portugal, others are as large as thrushes; of the doves they give twelve or fourteen for a FAVAO; the pigeons are the same price as the other birds. Then the sheep that they kill every day are countless, one could not number them, for in every street there are men who will sell you mutton, so clean and so fat that it looks like pork; and you also have pigs in some streets of butchers' houses so white and clean that you could never see better in any country; a pig is worth four or five FANAMS. Then to see the many loads of limes that come each day, such that those of Povos are of no account, and also loads of sweet and sour oranges, and wild BRINJALS, and other garden stuff in such abundance as to stupefy one. For the state of this city is not like that of other cities, which often fail of supplies and provisions, for in this one everything abounds; and also the quantity of butter and oil and milk sold every day, that is a thing I cannot refrain from mentioning; and as for the rearing of cows and buffaloes which goes on in the city, there is so much that you will go very far before you find another like it. There are many pomegranates also; grapes are sold at three bunches a FANAM, and pomegranates ten for a FANAM.
On the north side of the city is a very great river with much water, in which are many fish, which fish are very unwholesome, and in this river there is that which passes for (SIC. IN ORIG.); other streams flow into it, which make it very large.
Now as to the places on the bank of this river. There is a city built there which they call SENAGUMDYM, and they say that of old it was the capital of the kingdom, but there now live in it few people; it still has good walls and is very strong, and it lies between two hill-ranges which have only two entrances. A captain lives in this city for the king. People cross to this place by boats which are round like baskets; inside they are made of cane, and outside are covered with leather; they are able to carry fifteen or twenty persons, and even horses and oxen can cross in them if necessary, but for the most part these animals swim across. Men row them with a sort of paddle, and the boats are always turning round, as they cannot go straight like others; in all the kingdom where there are streams there are no other boats but these.
There are also in this city places where they sell live sheep; you will see the fields round the city full of them, and also of cows and buffaloes it is a very pretty sight to see, and also the many she-goats and kids, and the he-goats so large that they are bridled and saddled. Many sheep are like that also, and boys ride them.
Outside the city walls on the north there are three very beautiful pagodas, one of which is called VITELLA, and it stands over against this city of Nagumdym; the other is called AOPERADIANAR, and this is the one which they hold in most veneration, and to which they make great pilgrimages.
In this pagoda, opposite to its principal gate which is to the east, there is a very beautiful street of very beautiful houses with balconies and arcades, in which are sheltered the pilgrims that come to it, and there are also houses for the lodging of the upper classes; the king has a palace in the same street, in which he resides when he visits this pagoda. There is a pomegranate tree  above this first gate, the gate has a very lofty tower all covered with rows of men and women and hunting scenes and many other representations, and as the tower goes narrowing towards the top so the images diminish in size. Passing this first gate, you come at once into a large courtyard with another gate of the same sort as the first, except that it is rather smaller throughout; and passing this second gate, there is a large court with verandahs all round on pillars of stone, and in the middle of this court is the house of the idol.
Opposite the principal gate stand four columns, two gilded and the other two copper, from which, owing to their great age as it seems to me, the gold has worn off; and the other two are also of copper, for all are of copper. That which stands nearest the gate of the temple was given by this King Crisnarao who now reigns here, and the others by his predecessors. All the outer side of the gate of the temple up to the roof is covered with copper and gilded, and on each side of the roof on the top are certain great animals that look like tigers, all gilt. As soon as you enter this idol-shrine, you perceive from pillar to pillar on which it is supported many little holes in which stand oil lamps, which burn, so they tell me, every night, and they will be in number two thousand five hundred or three thousand lights. As soon as you pass this shrine you enter another small one like the crypt (CINZEYRO) of some church; it has two doors at the sides, and thence onward this building is like a chapel, where stands the idol which they adore. Before you get to it there are three doors; the shrine is vaulted and dark without any light from the sky; it is always lit with candles. At the first gate are doorkeepers who never allow any one to enter except the Brahmans that have charge of it, and I, because I gave something to them, was allowed to enter. Between gate and gate are images of little idols. The principal idol is a round stone without any shape; they have great devotion for it. This building outside is all covered with copper gilt. At the back of the temple outside, close to the verandahs of which I have spoken, there is a small idol of white alabaster with six arms; in one it has a  and in the other a sword, and in the others sacred emblems (ARMAS DE CASA), and it has below its feet a buffalo, and a large animal which is helping to kill that buffalo. In this pagoda there burns continually a lamp of GHEE, and around are other small temples for houses of devotion.
The other temples aforesaid are made in the same manner, but this one is the principal one and the oldest; they all have many buildings and gardens with many trees, in which the Brahmans cultivate their vegetables and the other herbs that they eat. Whenever the festival of any of these temples occurs they drag along certain triumphal cars which run on wheels, and with it go dancing-girls and other women with music to the temple, (conducting) the idol along the said street with much pomp. I do not relate the manner in which these cars are taken, because in all the time that I was in this city none were taken round. There are many other temples in the city of which I do not here speak, to avoid prolixity.
You should know that among these heathen there are days when they celebrate their feasts as with us; and they have their days of fasting, when all day they eat nothing, and eat only at midnight. When the time of the principal festival arrives the king comes from the new city to this city of Bisnaga, since it is the capital of the kingdom and it is the custom there to make their feasts and to assemble. For these feasts are summoned all the dancing-women of the kingdom, in order that they should be present; and also the captains and kings and great lords with all their retinues, except only those whom the king may have sent to make war, or those who are in other parts, or at the far end of the kingdom on the side where (an attack) is feared, such as the kingdom of Oria and the territories of the Ydallcao; and even if such captains are absent in such places, there appear for them at the feasts those whom I shall hereafter mention.
These feasts begin on the 12th of September, and they last nine days, and take place at the king's palace.
The palace is on this fashion: it has a gate opening on to the open space of which I have spoken, and over this gate is a tower of some height, made like the others with its verandahs; outside these gates begins the wall which I said encircled the palace. At the gate are many doorkeepers with leather scourges in their hands, and sticks, and they let no one enter but the captains and chief people, and those about whom they receive orders from the Chief of the Guard. Passing this gate you have an open space, and then you have another gate like the first, also with its doorkeepers and guards; and as soon as you enter inside this you have a large open space, and on one side and the other are low verandahs where are seated the captains and chief people in order to witness the feasts, and on the left side of the north of this open space is a great one-storeyed building (TERREA); all the rest are like it. This building stands on pillars shaped like elephants and with other figures, and all open in front, and they go up to it by staircases of stone; around it, underneath, is a terrace (CORREDOR) paved with very good flagstones, where stand some of the people looking at the feast. This house is called the House of Victory, as it was made when the king came back from the war against Orya, as I have already told you. On the right side of the open space were some narrow scaffoldings, made of wood and so lofty that they could be seen over the top of the wall; they were covered at the top with crimson and green velvet and other handsome cloths, and adorned from top to bottom. Let no one fancy that these cloths were of wool, because there are none such in the country, but they are of very fine cotton. These scaffoldings are not always kept at that place, but they are specially made for these feasts; there are eleven of them. Against the gates there were two circles in which were the dancing-women, richly arrayed with many jewels of gold and diamonds and many pearls. Opposite the gate which is on the east side of the front of the open space, and in the middle of it, there are two buildings of the same sort as the House of Victory of which I have spoken; these buildings are served by a kind of staircase of stone beautifully wrought, one is in the middle and the other at the end. This building was all hung with rich cloths, both the walls and the ceiling, as well as the supports, and the cloths of the walls were adorned with figures in the manner of embroidery; these buildings have two platforms one above the other, beautifully sculptured, with their sides well made and worked, to which platforms the sons of the king's favourites come for the feasts, and sometimes his eunuchs. On the upper platform, close to the king, was Christovao de Figueiredo, with all of us who came with him, for the king commanded that he should be put in such a place as best to see the feasts and magnificence. That I may not forget to tell of the streets that are in the palace I here mention them. You must know that inside the palace that I have spoken of is the dwelling of the king and of his wives and of the other women who serve them; as I have already said, who are twelve thousand in number; and they have an entrance to these rows of houses so that they can go inside. Between this palace and the House of Victory is a gate which serves as passage to it. Inside there are thirty-four streets.
Returning to the feasts, you must know that in this House of Victory the king has a room (CASA) made of cloth, with its door closed, where the idol has a shrine; and in the other, in the middle (of the building), is placed a dais opposite the staircase in the middle; on which dais stands a throne of state made thus, it is four-sided, and flat, with a round top, and a hollow in the middle for the seat. As regards the woodwork of it, you must know that it is all covered with silk cloths (?SOAJES), and has lions all of gold, and in the spaces between the cloths (SOAJES) it has plates of gold with many rubies and seed-pearls, and pearls underneath; and round the sides it is all full of golden images of personages, and upon these is much work in gold, with many precious stones. In this chair is placed an idol, also of gold, embowered in roses and flowers. On one side of this chair, on the dais below, stands a head-dress; this also is made in the same manner; it is upright and as high as a span, the top is rounded, it is all full of pearls and rubies and all other precious stones, and on the top of it is a pearl as large as a nut, which is not quite round. On the other side is an anklet for the foot made in the same fashion; it is another state jewel, and is full of large pearls and of many rubies, emeralds, and diamonds, and other stones of value; it will be of the thickness of a man's arm. In front of all this, at the edge of the dais, resting on a support were some cushions where the king was seated during all these feasts. The feasts commence thus:
You must know that when it is morning the king comes to this House of Victory, and betakes himself to that room where the idol is with its Brahmans, and he performs his prayers and ceremonies. Outside the house are some of his favourites, and on the square are many dancing-girls dancing. In their verandahs round the square are many captains and chief people who come there in order to see; and on the ground, near the platform of the house, are eleven horses with handsome and well-arranged trappings, and behind them are four beautiful elephants with many adornments. After the king has entered inside he comes out, and with him a Brahman who takes in his hand a basket full of white roses and approaches the king on the platform, and the king, taking three handfuls of these roses, throws them to the horses, and after he has thrown them he takes a basket of perfumes and acts towards them as though he would cense them; and when he has finished doing this he reaches towards the elephants and does the same to them. And when the king has finished this, the Brahman takes the basket and descends to the platform, and from thence puts those roses and other flowers on the heads of all the horses, and this done, returns to the king. Then the king goes again to where the idol is, and as soon as he is inside they lift the curtains of the room, which are made like the purdahs of a tent, and the king seats himself there where these are, and they lift them all. Thence he witnesses the slaughter of twenty-four buffaloes and a hundred and fifty sheep, with which a sacrifice is made to that idol; you must know that they cut off the heads of these buffaloes and sheep at one blow with certain large sickles which are wielded by a man who has charge of this slaughter; they are so sure of hand that no blow misses. When they have finished the slaughter of these cattle the king goes out and goes to the other large buildings, on the platforms of which is a crowd of Brahmans, and as soon as the king ascends to where they stand they throw to the king ten or twelve roses those (that is) who are nearest to him. Then he passes all along the top of the buildings, and as soon as he is at the end he takes the cap from his head, and after placing it on the ground turns back (to the place) where the idol is; here he lies extended on the ground. When he has arisen he betakes himself to the interior of the building, and enters a garden (or walled enclosure QUYNTAL) where they say that a little fire has been made, and he throws into the fire a powder made up of many things, namely, rubies and pearls and all other kinds of precious stones, and aloes and other sweet-scented things. This done, he returns to the pagoda and goes inside and stays a little, at which time enter by the other door some of his favourites who are in the building, and they make their salaam. Then he goes back to the place whence he threw the flowers to the horses, and as soon as he is here all the captains and chief people come and make their salaam to him, and some, if they so desire, present some gifts to him; then as they came so they retire, and each one betakes himself to his own dwelling. And the king withdraws to the interior of his palace by that gate which I have already mentioned that which stands between the two buildings that are in the arena (TERREYRO); the courtesans and bayaderes remain dancing in front of the temple and idol for a long time. This is what is done during the morning of each day of these nine days, with the ceremonies I have mentioned, and each day more splendid (than the last).
Now, returning to the feasts. At three o'clock in the afternoon every one comes to the palace. They do not admit every one at once (they allowed us to go into the open part that is between the gates), but there go inside only the wrestlers and dancing-women, and the elephants, which go with their trappings and decorations, those that sit on them being armed with shields and javelins, and wearing quilted tunics. As soon as these are inside they range themselves round the arena, each one in his place, and the wrestlers go close to the staircase which is in the middle of that building, where has been prepared a large space of ground for the dancing-women to wrestle. Many other people are then at the entrance-gate opposite to the building, namely Brahmans, and the sons of the King's favourites, and their relations; all these are noble youths who serve before the king. The officers of the household go about keeping order amongst all the people, and keep each one in his own place. The different pavilions are separated by doors, so that no one may enter unless he is invited.
Salvatinica, who is the principal person that enters the building, supervises the whole, for he brought up the king and made him king, and so the king looks on him like a father. Whenever the king calls to him he addresses him as "Lord (SENHOR) Salvatinica," and all the captains and nobles of the realm make salaam to him. This Salvatinica stands inside the arena where the festivals go on, near one of the doors, and from there gives the word for the admission of all the things necessary for the festival.
After all this is done and arranged the king goes forth and seats himself on the dais I have mentioned, where is the throne and the other things, and all those that are inside make their salaam to him. As soon as they have done this the wrestlers seat themselves on the ground, for these are allowed to remain seated, but no other, howsoever great a lord he be, except the king so commands; and these also eat betel, though none else may eat it in his presence except the dancing-women, who may always eat it before him. As soon as the king is seated in his place he bids to sit with him three or four men who belong to his race, and who are themselves kings and the fathers of his wives; the principal of these is the king of Syrimgapatao and of all the territory bordering on Malabar, and this king is called Cumarvirya, and he seats himself as far in front as the king on the other side of the dais, the rest are behind.
There the king sits, dressed in white clothes all covered with (embroidery of) golden roses and wearing his jewels he wears a quantity of these white garments, and I always saw him so dressed and around him stand his pages with his betel, and his sword, and the other things which are his insignia of state. Many Brahmans stand round the throne on which rests the idol, fanning it with horsetail plumes, coloured, the handles of which are all overlaid with gold; these plumes are tokens of the highest dignity; they also fan the king with them.
As soon as the king is seated, the captains who waited without make their entrance, each one by himself, attended by his chief people, and so on, all in order; they approach and make their salaams to the king, and then take their places in the pavilions (VERAMDAS) which I have previously described. As soon as these nobles have finished entering, the captains of the troops approach with shields and spears, and afterwards the captains of the archers; these officers are all stationed on the ground around the arena in front of the elephants, and they constitute the king's guard, for into such a place no man may enter bearing arms, nor near to where the king is. As soon as these soldiers have all taken their places the women begin to dance, while some of them place themselves in the circular galleries that I have said were (erected) at their gate of entrance. Who can fitly describe to you the great riches these women carry on their persons? collars of gold with so many diamonds and rubies and pearls, bracelets also on their arms and on their upper arms, girdles below, and of necessity anklets on the feet. The marvel should be otherwise, namely that women of such a profession should obtain such wealth; but there are women among them who have lands that have been given to them, and litters, and so many maid-servants that one cannot number all their things. There is a woman in this city who is said to have a hundred thousand PARDAOS, and I believe this from what I have seen of them.
Then the wrestlers begin their play. Their wrestling does not seem like ours, but there are blows (given), so severe as to break teeth, and put out eyes, and disfigure faces, so much so that here and there men are carried off speechless by their friends; they give one another fine falls too. They have their captains and judges, who are there to put each one on an equal footing in the field, and also to adjust the honours to him who wins.
In all this portion of the day nothing more is done than this wrestling and the dancing of the women, but as soon as ever the sun is down many torches are lit and some great flambeaux made of cloth; and these are placed about the arena in such a way that the whole is as light as day, and even along the top of the walls, for on all the battlements are lighted lamps, and the place where the king sits is all full of torches. As soon as these are all lit up there are introduced many very graceful plays and contrivances, but these do not stop long; they only approach where the king is and then go out. Then there enter others in other fashion, with battles of people on horseback; these horses are like the hobby-horses made in Portugal for the feast of the Corpo de Dios; others come with casting-nets, fishing, and capturing the men that are in the arena. When these amusements are ended, they begin to throw up many rockets and many different sorts of fires, also castles that burn and fling out from themselves many bombs (TIROS) and rockets.
When these fireworks are finished, there enter many triumphal cars which belong to the captains, some of them sent by those captains who are waging war in foreign parts; and they enter thus. The first belongs to Salvatinica, and they come in one after the other. Some of the cars appear covered with many rich cloths, having on them many devices of dancing-girls and other human figures; there are other cars having tiers one on top of another, and others all of one kind; and so in their order they pass to where the king is. When the cars have gone out they are immediately followed by many horses covered with trappings and cloths of very fine stuff of the king's colours, and with many roses and flowers on their heads and necks, and with their bridles all gilded; and in front of these horses goes a horse with two state-umbrellas of the king, and with grander decorations than the others, and one of the lesser equerries leads it by the bridle. In front of this horse goes another caracoling and prancing, as do all horses here, being trained in that art. You must know that this horse that is conducted with all this state is a horse that the king keeps, on which they are sworn and received as kings, and on it must be sworn all those that shall come after them; and in case such a horse dies they put another in its place. If any king does not wish to be sworn on horseback, they swear him on an elephant, which they keep and treat with equal dignity.
These horses, then, going in the way I have stated, pass twice round the arena and place themselves in the middle of the arena in five or six lines, one before the other, and the king's horse in front of them, all facing the king; they stand in such a way that between them and the men there is an open space all round. As soon as they are arranged in this way and are all quiet there goes out from the inside of the palace a Brahman, the highest in rank of those about the king, and two others with him, and this chief Brahman carries in his hands a bowl with a cocoanut and some rice and flowers, while others carry a pot of water; and they pass round by the back of the horses, which all stand facing the king; and after performing his ceremonies there, he returns to the palace.
After this is over you will see issuing from inside twenty-five or thirty female doorkeepers, with canes in their hands and whips on their shoulders; and then close to these come many eunuchs, and after these eunuchs come many women playing many trumpets and drums and pipes (but not like ours) and viols, and many other kinds of music, and behind these women will come some twenty women-porters, with canes in their hands all covered with silver, and close to them come women clothed in the following manner. They have very rich and fine silk cloths; on the head they wear high caps which they call COLLAES, and on these caps they wear flowers made of large pearls; collars on the neck with jewels of gold very richly set with many emeralds and diamonds and rubies and pearls; and besides this many strings of pearls, and others for shoulder-belts; on the lower part of the arms many bracelets, with half of the upper arm all bare, having armlets in the same way all of precious stones; on the waist many girdles of gold and of precious stones, which girdles hang in order one below the other, almost as far down as half the thigh; besides these belts they have other jewels, and many strings of pearls round the ankles, for they wear very rich anklets even of greater value than the rest. They carry in their hands vessels of gold each as large as a small cask of water; inside these are some loops made of pearls fastened with wax, and inside all this a lighted lamp. They come in regular order one before the other, in all perhaps sixty women fair and young, from sixteen to twenty years of age. Who is he that could tell of the costliness and the value of what each of these women carries on her person? So great is the weight of the bracelets and gold and jewels carried by them that many of them cannot support them, and women accompany them assisting them by supporting their arms. In this manner and in this array they proceed three times round the horses, and at the end retire into the palace. These women are maids of honour to the queens, and so are the others that go with them; on each day of these nine days of the feast one of the queens sends, each on her own day, her ladies with the others. The officials, in honour of the feast, have the days divided between them in accordance with their custom as already arranged by the king; and these women come every day most richly attired, taking pleasure in strewing themselves in such things, and in making a display each one of what she possesses.
When these women retire the horses also go, and then come the elephants, and after making their salaam they too retire. As soon as they are gone the king retires by a small door which is at the end of the building. Then the Brahmans go and take an idol, and carry it to the House of Victory, where is the room of cloth that I have spoken of; and the king at once comes from within, and goes to where the idol is, and offers his prayers and performs his ceremonies. Then they bring there more buffaloes and sheep, and kill them in the same way as before, and then come the professional women to dance. As soon as the slaughter of the buffaloes and sheep is over the king retires, and goes to his supper; for he fasts all these nine days, and (each day) they eat nothing until all is finished, and their hour for food is midnight. The bayaderes remain dancing before the idol a long time after all this is done.
In this way are celebrated these festivals of nine days; on the last day there are slaughtered two hundred and fifty buffaloes and four thousand five hundred sheep.
When these days of festival are past, the king holds a review of all his forces, and the review is thus arranged. The king commands to pitch his tent of Mecca velvet a full league from the city, at a place already fixed for that purpose; and in this tent they place the idol in honour of which all these festivals are celebrated. From this tent to the king's palace the captains range themselves with their troops and array, each one in his place according to his rank in the king's household. Thus the soldiers stand in line; but it does not appear to you to be only one line but in some places two or three, one behind the other. Where there was a lake it was surrounded with troops, and where the road was narrow they were drawn up on the plain; and so on the slope of the hills and eminences, in such a way that you could see neither plain nor hill that was not entirely covered with troops. Those on foot stood in front of those on horses, and the elephants behind the horses; in this array was each captain with his troops. The captains who had their stations inside the city, since the soldiers could not be drawn up on the flat roofs of the houses, put up scaffoldings across the mouths of the streets to hold the troops, in such a way that all were full, both outside and in.
Now I should like to describe to you how they were armed, and their decorations. The cavalry were mounted on horses fully caparisoned, and on their foreheads plates, some of silver but most of them gilded, with fringes of twisted silk of all colours, and reins of the same; others had trappings of Mecca velvet, which is velvet of many colours with fringes and ornaments; others had them of other silks, such as satins and damask, and others of brocade from China and Persia. Some of the men with the gilded plates had them set with many large precious stones, and on the borders lace-work of small stones. Some of these horses had on their foreheads heads of serpents and of other large animals of various kinds, made in such a strange manner that they were a sight to see for the perfection of their make. The horsemen were dressed in quilted tunics, also of brocade and velvet and every kind of silk. These tunics are made of layers of very strong raw leather, and furnished with other iron (plates) that make them strong; some have these plates gilded both inside and out, and some are made of silver. Their headpieces are in the manner of helmets with borders covering the neck, and each has its piece to protect the face; they are of the same fashion as the tunics. They wear on the neck gorgets (COFOS) all gilded, others made of silk with plates of gold and silver, others of steel as bright as a mirror. At the waists they have swords and small battle-axes, and in their hands javelins with the shafts covered with gold and silver. All have their umbrellas of state made of embroidered velvet and damask, with many coloured silks on the horses. They wave many (standards with) white and coloured tails, and hold them in much esteem which tails are horses' tails. The elephants in the same way are covered with caparison of velvet and gold with fringes, and rich cloths of many colours, and with bells so that the earth resounds; and on their heads are painted faces of giants and other kinds of great beasts. On the back of each one of them are three or four men, dressed in their quilted tunics, and armed with shields and javelins, and they are arrayed as if for a foray. Then, turning to the troops on foot, there are so many that they surround all the valleys and hills in a way with which nothing in the world can compare. You will see amongst them dresses of such rich cloths that I do not know where they came from, nor could any one tell how many colours they have; shield-men with their shields, with many flowers of gold and silver on them, others with figures of tigers and other great beasts, others all covered with silver leaf-work beautifully wrought, others with painted colours, others black and (so polished that) you can see into them as into a mirror, and their swords so richly ornamented that they could not possibly be more so. Of the archers, I must tell you that they have bows plated with gold and silver, and others have them polished, and their arrows very neat, and so feathered that they could not be better; daggers at their waists and battle-axes, with the shafts and ends of gold and silver; then you see musqueteers with their musquets and blunderbusses and their thick tunics, all in their order, with their  in all their bravery; it was indeed a thing to see. Then the Moors one must not forget them for they were there also in the review with their shields, javelins, and Turkish bows, with many bombs and spears and fire-missiles; and I was much astonished to find amongst them men who knew so well how to work these weapons.
The king leaves his palace riding on the horse of which I have already told you, clothed in the many rich white cloths I have mentioned, with two umbrellas of state all gilded and covered with crimson velvet, and with the jewels and adornments which they keep for the purpose of wearing at such times: he who ever wears such jewels can understand the sort of things so great a lord would wear. Then to see the grandeur of the nobles and men of rank, I cannot possibly describe it all, nor should I be believed if I tried to do so; then to see the horses and the armour that they wear, you would see them so covered with metal plates that I have no words to express what I saw, and some hid from me the sight of others; and to try and tell of all I saw is hopeless, for I went along with my head so often turned from one side to the other that I was almost falling backwards off my horse with my senses lost. The cost of it all is not so much to be wondered at, as there is so much money in the land, and the chiefs are so wealthy.
There went in front of the king many elephants with their coverings and ornaments, as I have said; the king had before him some twenty horses fully caparisoned and saddled, with embroideries of gold and precious stones, that showed off well the grandeur and state of their lord. Close to the king went a cage such as is seen at Lisbon on the day of the Corpo de Dios festival, and it was gilded and very large; it seemed to me to be made of copper or silver; it was carried by sixteen men, eight on each side, besides others who took their turns, and in it is carried the idol of which I have already spoken. Thus accompanied the king passed along gazing at his soldiers, who gave great shouts and cries and struck their shields; the horses neighed, the elephants screamed, so that it seemed as it the city would be overturned, the hills and valleys and all the ground trembled with the discharges of arms and musquets; and to see the bombs and fire-missiles over the plains, this was indeed wonderful. Truly it seemed as if the whole world were collected there.
In this way it went on till the king arrived at the place where the tent was that I have already mentioned, and he entered his and performed his usual ceremonies and prayers. You must not think that when the king passed the troops moved from their positions, on the contrary they stood motionless in their places till the king returned. As soon as the king had finished his ceremonies he again took horse and returned to the city in the same way as he had come, the troops never wearying of their shouting; as soon as he passed by them they began to march. Then to see those who were on the hills and slopes, and the descent of them with their shouts and beating of shields and shaking of arrows and bows that were without count. Truly, I was so carried out with myself that it seemed as if what I saw was a vision, and that I was in a dream. Then the troops began to march to their tents and pavilions in the plains, which were in great number; and all the captains accompanied the king as far as the palace, and thence departed to rest themselves from their labour.
Now I desire you to know that this king has continually a million fighting troops, in which are included 35,000 cavalry in armour; all these are in his pay, and he has these troops always together and ready to be despatched to any quarter whenever such may be necessary. I saw, being in this city of Bisnaga, the king despatch a force against a place, one of those which he has by the sea-coast; and he sent fifty captains with 150,000 soldiers, amongst whom were many cavalry. He has many elephants, and when the king wishes to show the strength of his power to any of his adversaries amongst the three kings bordering on his kingdom, they say that he puts into the field two million soldiers; in consequence of which he is the most feared king of any in these parts. And although he takes away so many men from his kingdom, it must not be thought that the kingdom remains devoid of men; it is so full that it would seem to you as if he had never taken away a man, and this by reason of the many and great merchants that are in it. There are working people and all other kinds of men who are employed in business, besides those who are obliged to go into the field; there are also a great number of Brahmans. In all the land of the heathen there are these Brahmans; they are men who do not eat anything that suffers death; they have little stomach for the use of arms.
Should any one ask what revenues this king possesses, and what his treasure is that enables him to pay so many troops, since he has so many and such great lords in his kingdom, who, the greater part of them, have themselves revenues, I answer thus: These captains whom he has over these troops of his are the nobles of his kingdom; they are lords, and they hold the city, and the towns and villages of the kingdom; there are captains amongst them who have a revenue of a million and a million a half of PARDAOS, others a hundred thousand PARDAOS, others two hundred, three hundred or five hundred thousand PARDAOS, and as each one has revenue so the king fixes for him the number of troops he must maintain, in foot, horse, and elephants. These troops are always ready for duty, whenever they may be called out and wherever they may have to go; and in this way he has this million of fighting men always ready. Each of these captains labours to turn out the best troops he can get because he pays them their salaries; and in this review there were the finest young men possible to be seen or that ever could be seen, for in all this array I did not see a man that would act the coward. Besides maintaining these troops, each captain has to make his annual payments to the king, and the king has his own salaried troops to whom he gives pay. He has eight hundred elephants attached to his person, and five hundred horses always in his stables, and for the expenses of these horses and elephants he has devoted the revenues that he receives from this city of Bisnaga. You may well imagine how great these expenses may be, and besides these that of the servants who have the care of the horses and elephants; and by this you will be able to judge what will be the revenue of this city.
This king of Bisnaga has five kings his subjects and vassals, besides other captains and lords having large territories and great revenues; whenever a son happens to be born to this king, or a daughter, all the nobles of the kingdom offer him great presents of money and jewels of price, and so they do to him every year on the day of his birth.
You must know that when these feasts of which I have spoken are ended, at the beginning of the month of October, when eleven of its days are past, they make great feasts, during which every one puts on new, and rich, and handsome cloths, each one according to his liking, and all the captains give their men handsome cloths of many colours, each one having his own colour and device. On the same day they give great gifts of money to the king, it is even said that they give on that day to the king in money a million and five hundred thousand gold PARDAOS, and each PARDAO is worth three hundred and sixty REIS, and from this you will be able to know how many REIS there will be. I wish you to know that on this day begins their year; it is their New Year's Day, and for this they make the feast and give the gifts; and it is not to be wondered at, for we also do the same on New Year's Day. They begin the year in this month with the new moon, and they count the months always from moon to moon.
And now I wish you to know that the previous kings of this place for many years past have held it a custom to maintain a treasury, which treasury, after the death of each, is kept locked and sealed in such a way that it cannot be seen by any one, nor opened, nor do the kings who succeed to the kingdom open them or know what is in them. They are not opened except when the kings have great need, and thus the kingdom has great supplies to meet its needs. This king has made his treasury different from those of the previous kings, and he puts in it every year ten million PARDAOS, without taking from them one PARDAO more than for the expenses of his house. The rest remains for him, over and above these expenses and of the expenses in the houses of his wives, of whom I have already told you that he keeps near him twelve thousand women; from this you will be able to judge how great is the richness of this kingdom, and how great the treasure that this king has amassed.
And if any one does not know what a PARDAO is, let him know that it is a round gold coin, which coin is not struck anywhere in India except in this kingdom; it bears impressed on it on one side two images and on the other the name of the king who commanded it to be struck; those which this king ordered to be struck have only one image. This coin is current all over India. Each PARDAO, as already said, is worth three hundred and sixty REIS.
After all these things (feasts) had passed the king betook himself to the new city, of which I have already told you that he delights in it much because it was made and peopled by him, of which I have already told you. In two years the king built this city. The king was received by the citizens with great feasts, and the streets were hung with rich cloths, and with many triumphal arches under which he passed. In this city the king held another review of the troops of his guard, and he distributed pay to all because it was the beginning of the year, and it is their custom to pay salaries year by year. An inspection is held by the officers of his house, and they write down the name of each one, and the marks that he has on his face or body. There are men of the guard who have a thousand PARDAOS pay, and others eight hundred, others six hundred and more, and a little more or less; there is a difference, and also a difference in the persons. Some men of them who are of higher rank than others have two horses or three, and others have no more than one. These troops have their captains, and each captain goes with his guard to mount guard at the palace according to order and custom; the king has in his guard five hundred horse, and these watch outside the palace armed with their weapons. There are two watches inside, and people with swords and shields.
The king, then, being in his new city, as I have said, Christovao de Figueiredo begged him of his kindness that he would permit him to be shown the palace of the city of Bisnaga, forasmuch as there had come with him many Portuguese who had never been in Bisnaga, and they would rejoice to see it, in order to have somewhat to tell of on their return to their own lands, whenever God should take them there. The king at once commanded that they should be shown certain of his residences, for that of his wives no one ever sees. As soon as we had returned to the city of Bisnaga, the governor of that place, who is called Gamdarajo, and is brother of Salvatinica, showed us the palace.
You must know that on entering that gate of which I have spoken, by which the ladies serving the king's wives make their exit when they come to the feast, opposite to it there is another of the same kind. Here they bade us stand still, and they counted us how many we were, and as they counted they admitted us one by one to a small courtyard with a smoothly plastered floor, and with very white walls around it. At the end of this courtyard, opposite this gate by which we entered, is another close to it on the left hand, and another which was closed; the door opposite belongs to the king's residence. At the entrance of this door outside are two images painted like life and drawn in their manner, which are these; the one on the right hand is of the father of this king, and the one on the left is of this king. The father was dark and a gentleman of fine form, stouter than the son is; they stand with all their apparel and such raiment as they wear or used to wear when alive. Afterwards, wishing to pass in at this door, they again counted us, and after they had finished counting us we entered a little house which contained what I shall now relate.
As soon as you are inside, on the left hand, are two chambers one above the other, which are in this manner: the lower one is below the level of the ground, with two little steps which are covered with copper gilded, and from there to the top is all lined with gold (I do not say "gilded," but "lined" inside), and outside it is dome-shaped. It has a four-sided porch made of cane-work over which is a work of rubies and diamonds and all other kinds of precious stones, and pearls, and above the porch are two pendants of gold; all the precious stonework is in heart-shapes, and, interweaved between one and another, is a twist of thick seed-pearl work; on the dome are pendants of the same. In this chamber was a bed which had feet similar to the porch, the cross-bars covered with gold, and there was on it a mattress of black satin; it had all round it a railing of pearls a span wide; on it were two cushions and no other covering. Of the chamber above it I shall not say if it held anything because I did not see it, but only the one below on the right side. In this house there is a room with pillars of carved stone; this room is all of ivory, as well the chamber as the walls, from top to bottom, and the pillars of the cross-timbers at the top had roses and flowers of lotuses all of ivory, and all well executed, so that there could not be better, it is so rich and beautiful that you would hardly find anywhere another such. On this same side is designed in painting all the ways of life of the men who have been here even down to the Portuguese, from which the king's wives can understand the manner in which each one lives in his own country, even to the blind and the beggars. In this house are two thrones covered with gold, and a cot of silver with its curtains. Here I saw a little slab of green jasper, which is held for a great thing in this house. Close to where this jasper is, I.E. underneath some arches where is the entrance into the palace, there is a little door closed with some padlocks: they told us that inside it there was a treasury of one of the former kings.
As soon as we left this house we entered a courtyard as large as an arena for beast-fights, very well plastered, and almost in the middle are some pillars of wood, with a cross beam at the top all covered with copper gilt, and in the middle four chains of silver links with hooks which are caught one into the other; this serves for a swing for the wives of the king. At the entrance of this courtyard on the right hand we mounted four or five steps and entered some beautiful houses made in the way I have already told you for their houses are single-storeyed houses with flat roofs on top, although on top there may be other houses; the plan is good, and they are like terraces. There is a building there built on many pillars, which are of stone-work, and so also is all the work of the roof, with all the rest of wood (MANERIA), and all the pillars (with all the other work) are gilded so that they seem as if covered with gold.
Then at the entrance of this building in the middle nave, there is, standing on four pillars, a canopy covered with many figures of dancing-women, besides other small figures which are placed in the stone-work. All this is also gilded, and has some red colour on the under-sides of the leaves which stand out from the sculpture. You must know that they make no use of this building because it belongs to their idol and to the temple. At the end of this is a little closed door where the idol is. Whenever they celebrate any festival of this idol, they carry it on a golden throne and put it underneath that canopy which is made for that purpose; and then come the Brahmans to perform their ceremonies there, and the dancing-girls come to dance.
Descending from this building, we passed on the left side of the courtyard, and we entered a corridor which runs the whole length of it, in which we saw some things. On entering the corridor was a cot suspended in the air by silver chains; the cot had feet made of bars of gold, so well made that they could not be better, and the cross-bars of the cot were covered with gold. In front of this cot was a chamber where was another cot suspended in the air by chains of gold; this cot had feet of gold with much setting of precious stones, and the cross-bars were covered with gold. Above this chamber was another, smaller, and with nothing in it save only that it was gilt and painted. Passing this chamber, along the same corridor in front was a chamber which this king, commanded to be made; on the outside were figures of women with bows and arrows like amazons. They had begun to paint this chamber, and they told us that it had to be finer than the others, and that it was to be all plated with gold, as well the ground below as all the rest. Passing this corridor and mounting up into another which is higher, we saw at one end three caldrons of gold, so large that in each one they could cook half a cow, and with them were others, very large ones, of silver, and also little pots of gold and some large ones. Thence we went up by a little staircase, and entered by a little door into a building which is in this manner. This hall is where the king sends his women to be taught to dance. It is a long hall and not very wide, all of stone sculpture on pillars, which are at a distance of quite an arm's length from the wall; between one and another is an arm's length and a half, perhaps a little more. These pillars stand in that manner all around the building; they are half-pillars (?) made with other hollows (?) all gilt. In the supports (or pedestals) on the top are many great beasts like elephants, and of other shapes; it is open so that the interior is seen, and there are on the inner side of these beasts other images, each placed according to its character; there are also figures of men turned back to back, and other beasts of different sorts. In each case from pillar to pillar is a cross-bar (the architrave) which is like a panel, and from pillar to pillar are many such panels; there are images of old men, too, gilded and of the size of a cubit. Each of the panels has one placed in this way. These images are over all the building. And on the pillars are other images, smaller, with other images yet more subordinate, and other figures again, in such a way that I saw this work gradually diminishing in size on these pillars with their designs, from pillar to pillar, and each time smaller by the size of a span as it went on, becoming lost; so it went dwindling gradually away till there remained of all the sculptured work only the dome, the most beautiful I ever saw. Between these images and pillars runs a design of foliage, like plates (A MANEYRA DE LAMINES), all gilt, with the reverses of the leaves in red and blue, the images that are on the pillars are stags and other animals, they are painted in colours with the pink on their faces; but the other images seated on the elephants, as well as those on the panels, are all dancing women having tattle drums (tom-toms).
The designs of these panels show the positions at the ends of dances in such a way that on each panel there is a dancer in the proper position at the end of the dance; this is to teach the women, so that if they forget the position in which they have to remain when the dance is done, they may look at one of the panels where is the end of that dance. By that they keep in mind what they have to do.
At the end of this house on the left hand is a painted recess where the women cling on with their hands in order better to stretch and loosen their bodies and legs; there they teach them to make the whole body supple, in order to make their dancing more graceful. At the other end, on the right, in the place where the king places himself to watch them dancing, all the floors and walls where he sits are covered with gold, and in the middle of the wall is a golden image of a woman of the size of a girl of twelve years, with her arms in the position which she occupies in the end of a dance.
They did not show us more than this. The residence of the women no one may see except the eunuchs, of whom I have already told you. From here we returned by the way we had entered to the second gate, and there they again counted us.
Of the city of Bisnaga they say that there are more than a hundred thousand dwelling-houses in it, all one-storeyed and flat-roofed, to each of which there is a low surrounding wall, and in this city the king lives most of the time. On the north side are rocky hills; a river runs between them, and the wall runs along the top of them, and on the farther side is a city called Nagumdym; and it has only three gates, namely one by the river, which they cross in boats embarking just at this gate; one on the other side which is to the north, this is a stronger gate; and one on the north-west side, a little gate between two very high ridges; and it is such a bad road that only one horseman can pass out a time.
And on the north-west side (of Bisnaga) is another city called Crisnapor connected with Bisnaga, in which are all their pagodas, those in which they most worship, and all the revenue of this city is granted to them, and they say that they have a revenue of a hundred thousand PARDAOS OF gold. The pagodas are high and have great buildings with many figures of men and women, all in lascivious attitudes.
On the south side is the other city called Nagalapor in a plain; in it the Ydalcao stopped with all his forces when he besieged Bisnaga, and he razed it to the ground; but already it is again rebuilt, and this is a league from Bisnaga.
On the east side is another city called Ardegema, which is the name of the principal wife of this king, and it is new, and he built it for love of her.