The first town we entered in the country of Malabar was that of Abi Sardar which is small, and is situated on a large estuary of the sea. We next came to the city of Kakanwar, which is large, and also upon an estuary of the sea. It abounds in the sugar-cane. The Sultan is an infidel. He sent his son as a pledge to our vessel, and we landed accordingly, and were honourably received. He also sent presents to the ship, as marks of respect to the Emperor of India. It is a custom with them, that every vessel which passes by one of their ports shall enter it, and give a present to its Sultan; in this case they let it pass, but otherwise they make war upon it with their vessels; they then board it out of contempt, and impose a double fine upon the cargo, just in proportion to the advantage they usually gain from merchants entering their country.

        We next arrived at the city of Manjarun, which is situated upon a large estuary of the sea, called the "estuary of the wolf," and which is the greatest estuary in the country of Malabar. In this place are some of the greatest merchants of Persia and Yemen. Ginger and black pepper are here in great abundance. The king of this place is the greatest of the kings of Malabar, and in it are about four thousand Mohammedan merchants. The king made us land, and sent us a present.

        We next came to the town of Hili, which is large and situated upon an estuary of the sea. As far as this place come the ships of China, but they do not go beyond it; nor do they enter any harbour, except that of this place, of Kalikut, and of Kawlam.

        The city of Hili is much revered both by the Mohammedans and infidels, on account of a mosque, the source of light and of blessings, which is found in it. To this seafaring persons make and pay their vows, whence its treasury is derived, which is placed under the control of the principal Moslem. The mosque maintains a preacher, and has within it several students as well as readers of the Koran, and persons who teach writing.


        We next arrived at the city of Jurkannan, the king of which is one of the greatest on these coasts. We next came to Dadkannan, which is a large city abounding with gardens, and situated upon a mouth of the sea. In this are found the betel leaf and nut, the cocoa-nut and colocassia. Without the city is a large pond for retaining water, about which are gardens. The king is an infidel. His grandfather, who had become Mohammedan, built its mosque and made the pond. The cause of the grandfather's receiving Islamism was a tree, over which he had built the mosque.

        This tree is a very great wonder; its leaves are green, and like those of the fig, except only that they are soft. The tree is called Darakhti Shahadet (the tree of testimony), darakht meaning tree. I was told in these parts, that this tree does not generally drop its leaves; but, at the season of autumn in e very year, one of them changes its color, first to yellow, then to red; and that upon this is written, with the pen of power, "There is no God but God; Mohammed is the Prophet of God"; and that this leaf alone falls. Very many Mohammedans, who were worthy of belief, told me this; and said that they had witnessed its fall, and had read the writing; and further, that every year, at the time of the fall, credible persons among the Mohammedans, as well as others of the infidels, sat beneath the tree waiting for the fall of the leaf: and when this took place, that the one half was taken by the Mohammedans, as a blessing, and for the purpose of curing their diseases; and the other, by the king of the infidel city, and laid up in his treasury as a blessing; and that this is constantly received among them.

        Now the grandfather of the present king could read the Arabic; he witnessed, therefore, the fall of the leaf, read the inscription, and, understanding its import, became a Mohammedan accordingly. At the time of his death he appointed his son, who was a violent infidel, to succeed him. This man adhered to his own religion, cut down the tree, tore up its roots, and effaced every vestige of it. After two years the tree grew, and regained its original state, and in this it now is. This king died suddenly; and none of his infidel descendants, since his time, has done any thing to the tree.


        We next came to the city of Fattan (Pattan), the greater part of the inhabitants of which are Brahmins, who are held in great estimation among the Hindoos. In this place there was not one Mohammedan. Without it was a mosque, to which the Mohammedan strangers resort. It is said to have been built by certain merchants, and afterwards to have been destroyed by one of the Brahmins, who had removed the roof of it to his own house. On the following night, however, this house was entirely burnt, and in it the Brahmin, his followers, and all his children. They then restored the mosque, and in future abstained from injuring it; whence it became the resort of the Mohammedan strangers.

        After this we came to the city of Fandaraina, a beautiful and large place, abounding with gardens and markets. In this the Mohammedans have three districts, in each of which is a mosque, with a judge and preacher.

        We next came to Kalikut, one of the great ports of the district of Malabar, and in which merchants from all parts are found. The king of this place is an infidel, who shaves his chin just as the Haidari Fakeers of Room [=Constantinople] do. When we approached this place, the people came out to meet us, and with a large concourse brought us into the port. The greatest part of the Mohammedan merchants of this place are so wealthy, that one of them can purchase the whole freightage of such vessels as put in here; and fit out others like them.

        Here we waited three months for the season to set sail for China: for there is only one season in the year in which the sea of China is navigable. Nor then is the voyage undertaken, except in vessels of the three descriptions following: the greatest is called a junk, the middling sized a zaw, the least a kakam. The sails of these vessels are made of cane-reeds, woven together like a mat; which, when they put into port, they leave standing in the wind. In some of these vessels there will be employed a thousand men, six hundred of these sailors, and four hundred soldiers. Each of the larger ships is followed by three others, a middle-sized, a third-, and a fourth-sized. These vessels are nowhere made except in the city of El Zaitun in China, or in Sin Kilan, which is Sin El Sin. They row in these ships with large oars, which may be compared to great masts, over some of which five and twenty men will be stationed, who work standing. The commander of each vessel is a great Emir. In the large ships too they sow garden herbs and ginger, which they cultivate in cisterns (made for that purpose and) placed on the sides of them. In these also are houses constructed of wood, in which the higher officers reside with their wives: but these they do not hire out to the merchants. Every vessel, therefore, is like an independent city. Of such ships as these, Chinese individuals will sometimes have large numbers: and, generally, the Chinese are the richest people in the world.


        Now, when the season for setting out had arrived, the Emperor of Hindustan appointed one of the junks, of the thirteen that were in the port, for our voyage. El Malik Sambul, therefore, who had been commissioned to present the gift, and Zahir Oddin, went on board: and to the former was the present carried. I also sent my baggage, servants, and slave-girls on board, but was told by one of them, before I could leave the shore, that the cabin which had been assigned to me was so small, that it would not take the baggage and slave girls. I went, therefore to the commander, who said, There is no remedy for this; if you wish to have a larger, you had better get into one of the kakams (third-sized vessels): there you will find larger cabins, and such as you want. I accordingly ordered my property to be put into the kakam. This was in the afternoon of Thursday, and I myself remained on shore for the purpose of attending divine service on the Friday. 

        During the night, however, the sea arose, when some of the junks struck upon the shore, and the greatest part of those on board were drowned; and the rest were saved by swimming. Some of the junks, too, sailed off, and what became of them I know not. The vessel in which the present was stowed, kept on the sea till morning, when it struck on the shore, and all on board perished, and the wealth was lost. I had, indeed, seen from the shore the Emperor's servants, with El Malik Sambul and Zahir Oddin, prostrating themselves almost distracted: for the terror of the sea was such as not to be got rid of. I myself had remained on shore, having with me my prostration carpet and ten dinars, which had been given me by some holy men. These I kept as a blessing, for the kakam had sailed off with my property and followers. The missionaries [=representatives] of the King of China were on board another junk, which struck upon the shore also. Some of them were saved and brought to land, and afterwards clothed by the Chinese merchants.

        I was told that the kakam in which my property was, must have put into Kawlam [=Quilon]. I proceeded, therefore, to that place by the river. It is situated at the distance of ten days from Kalikut. After five days I came to Kanjarkara, which stands on the top of a hill, is inhabited by Jews, and governed by an Emir who pays tribute to the King of Kawlam. All the trees (we saw) upon the banks of this river, as well as upon the seashores, were those of the cinnamon and bakam, which constitute the fuel of the inhabitants: and with this we cooked our food. Upon the tenth day we arrived at Kawlam, which is the last city on the Malabar coast. In this place is a large number of Mohammedan merchants; but the king is an infidel. In this place I remained a considerable time, but heard nothing of the kakam and my property. I was afraid to return to the Emperor, who would have said, How came you to leave the present, and stay upon the shore? for I knew what sort of a man he was, in cases of this kind. I also advised with some of the Mohammedans, who dissuaded me from returning, and said:, He will condemn you because you left the present: you had better, therefore, return by the river to Kalikut.


        I then betook myself to Jamal Oddin, King of Hinaur [=Onore], by sea, who, when I came near, met me and received me honourably, and then appointed me a house with a suitable maintenance. He was about to attend on divine service in the mosque, and commanded me to accompany him. I then became attached to the mosque, and read daily a khatma [=complete Qur'an reading] or two. At this time the King was preparing an expedition against the island of Sindabur. For this purpose he had prepared two and fifty vessels, which, when ready, he ordered me to attend with him for the expedition. Upon this occasion I opened the Koran, in search of an omen; and, in the first words of the first leaf which I laid my hand upon, was frequent mention of the name of God, and (the promise) that he would certainly assist those who assisted him. I was greatly delighted with this; and, when the King came to the evening prayer, I told him of it, and requested to be allowed to accompany him. He was much surprised at the omen, and prepared to set out in person. After this he went on board one of the vessels, taking me with him, and then we sailed. When we got to the island of Sindabur, we found the people prepared to resist us, and a hard battle was accordingly fought. We carried the place, however, by divine permission, by assault. After this the King gave me a slave girl, with clothing and other necessaries; and I resided with him some months.

        I then requested permission to make a journey to Kawlam, to inquire after the kakam with my goods. He gave me permission, after obtaining a promise that I would return to him. I then left him for Hinaur, and then proceeded to Fakanawr, and thence to Manjarur, thence to Hili, Jarafattan, Badafattan, Fandaraina, and Kalikut, mention of which has already been made. I next came to the city of Shaliat, where the shaliats are made, and hence they derive their name. This is a fine city: I remained at it some time, and there heard that the kakam had returned to China, and that my slave girl had died in it: and I was much distressed on her account. The infidels, too, had seized upon my property, and my followers had been dispersed among the Chinese and others.

        I then returned to Sindabur to the King Jamal Oddin, at the time when an infidel king was besieging the town with his troops. I left the place, therefore, and made for the Maldive Islands, at which, after ten days, I arrived.

*on to chapter 8*

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