Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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I20     India and the Roman Empire

After this, the traveller arrived at the Tamil
country, Damirike^. The chief ports mentioned
are Muziris, in the country of Kerobothra or
Keralaputra, the Western Tamil kingdom, and
Nelkynda, in the kingdom of Pandya (Pandion)
or Madura. Muziris, as we have already seen,
was shunned by travellers on account of bad
anchorage and the pirates. It is almost certainly
Muyiri-kotta, the modern Cranganore 2. Nelkynda
(Nil-kantha, perhaps) was somewhere in the
Cochin backwaters. At the mouth of the back¬
waters stood Barake, the port mentioned by
Pliny. Nelkynda became about this time the
most important of the Indian ports. This was
partly due to the blockade of the Northern Deccan
coast by the ships of Broach. The chief reason,
however, is to be sought in the pepper-trade,
for which, after the epoch-making discovery of
Hippalus, it became the chief port. After this,
it completely eclipsed even Broach^. The exports
of Nelkynda were most multifarious. Pepper
and other condiments, drugs like spikenard and
malobathrum, jewels like beryls, pearls, diamonds
and sapphires, ivory and silk from Bengal, and
tortoise-shell from the Golden Chersonese, were
the   chief.     As   we   have   already   noticed,   the

1 This is surely the correct reading. MSS. Limirike,
which is meaningless.

^ Not Mangalore,  as formerly held.

^ It is mentioned by Pliny, Ptolemy, the author of the
Geography of Ravenna, and in the Peutinger Tables.
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