Monday, July 19, 2010

A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar -part 5

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[370] 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.[371]

On leaving India[372] 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.[373] Only
on the road from Batecala[374] to a town called ZAMBUJA, there are some
ranges with forests; nevertheless the road is very even. From Batecala
to this town of Zambur[375] 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,[376] 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[377] 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,[378] 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.[379]

And this kingdom marches[380] 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[381] has, and Ozemelluco.[382]
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,[383] 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[384]
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;[385] 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.[386]

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,[387] 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,[388] 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?)[389] 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,[390] 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[391] 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[392]
there, which, as it seems to me, has the width of a falcon-shot,[393]
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[394] and butter and other things
which they make of fruit,[395] 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,[396] 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,[397] 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,[398] and this is his title --
"Crisnarao Macacao,[399] king of kings, lord of the greater lords of
India, lord of the three seas and of the land." He has this title[400]
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,[401]
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,[402] 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[403] 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;[404] 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[405] 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[406] and the
things he had brought for him, with which he was greatly delighted;
principally with certain organs[407] 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 PATECA[408]of 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,[409]
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,[410] 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[411] 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,[412] which issues from a great open space[413]
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.[414]

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,[415] 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[416] 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,[417] pulses, horse-gram,[418]
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,[419] which coins are called FAVAOS;[420]
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[421] 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.[422] Then to see
the many loads of limes that come each day, such that those of Povos
are of no account,[423] 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,[424] 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;[425] 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.[426]

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,[427] and it stands over
against this city of Nagumdym; the other is called AOPERADIANAR,[428]
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 [429] 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)[430] 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;[431] in one
it has a ...[432] 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[433] 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,[434] 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[435] 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[436] 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),[437] 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[438] 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,[439] 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,[440] 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[441]
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[442]
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.[443] 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,[444] 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,[445] 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[446] 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,[447] 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,[448]
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;[449]
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.[450]
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,[451] 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 ...[452] 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,[453] 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.[454]
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,[455]
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.[456]

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,[457] 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.[458] 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[459] 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[460] 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 (?)[461] made with other hollows
(?) all gilt.[462] In the supports (or pedestals) on the top[463]
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;[464] 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[465] 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.[466]

On the east side is another city called Ardegema,[467] which is the
name of the principal wife of this king, and it is new, and he built
it for love of her.

No comments:

Post a Comment