Malabar Manual Vol 2
APPENDIX XXI - CALICUT TALUK
By C. Kunhi Kannan.
Position, Boundaries, Soil and Area. -—The Calicut taluk occupies a central position in the district. It is situated in Lat. 11° 15' N., and Long. 75° 50' E. It is bounded on the north by the Kurumbranad and Wynaad taluks, on the east by the Wynaad and Ernad taluks, on the south by the Ernad taluk, and on the west by the Arabian Sea. The soil about the seaboard is brown or white sand ; in the interior it is red with gravel approaching in certain parts to a mixture of red and brown.
The approximate area of the taluk, according to the census report of 1881, is 339 square miles. Of this about 68,057 acres or 106 square miles are cultivated.
The demand on account of land revenue in the fasli year 1295 (1885—86) was Rs. 1,29,814 giving an average of Rs. 17/8 per acre of cultivated area.
Population.—The population of the taluk, including floating population, according to the census of 1881, is 205,962 (103,669 males and 102,293 females) against 189,734 as ascertained by the census of 1871. Of the former, which gives an average of 456 persons per square mile, 149,843 are Hindus, 52,942 Muhammadans, 3,126 Chiistians and 51 “others.'’
Under the head of education, the census of 1881 returned 6,384 persons as ‘'under instruction,” 18,721 as "instructed” and 180,857 as "illiterate including not stated”—a state of things which shows that education has not reached the masses. There were in the taluk 39,450 houses in 1881 against 36,479 in 1871. Of the former, 34,751 houses were occupied and 4,699 unoccupied. The average number of persons per occupied house is 5.7.
Division of the Taluk for Administrative Purposes.—The taluk comprises 41 amsams, each having an adhikari on a salary of Rs. 5½ per mensem, a menon on Rs. 6, and two peons on Rs. 3 each.. But in the Nagaram amsam, in which the capital of the district stands, there are two menons on Rs. 6 each and four peons on Rs. 3 each, whilst in the Panniyankara amsam, which has the largest revenue in the taluk, there are 3 peons.
In 1860, when the taluks of the district were reorganised, there were only 35 amsams allotted to Calicut taluk. But in 1866 six amsams in the Kurumbranad taluk, namely:-
1. Nodiyanad, 4. Annasseri,
2. Kilakkott, 5. Natuvallur,
3. Matavur, 6. Nanminda,
which were nearer to Calicut than the headquarters of Kurumbranad, were transferred to the Calicut taluk under the orders of Government, dated 5th September 1866, No. 2362.
Government Establishments maintained in the Taluk.—As the capital of the district all the important offices are located in the town of Calicut. They are- (1) the Collector's office including the District Board’s office. Assistant or Temporary Deputy Collector’s office, the Treasury Deputy Collector’s office, the Currency office, the Treasury and Press, the District Forest office and the District Board District Engineer’s office ; (2) the District and Sessions Court1 of South Malabar including the Sub-Court and the District Munsif’s Court ; (3) the office of the District Superintendent of Police ; (4) the office of the District Medical and Sanitary Officer ; (5) the office of the Executive Engineer, West Coast division ; (6) the Deputy Tahsildar's and Town Magistrate’s Court including the Sub-Jail ; (7) the Telegraph office ; (8) the Post office; (9; the Port office; (10) the office of the Superintendent of Customs; (11) the Police station; (12) the District Jail; (13) the Government College ; (14) the District Registrar’s office ; (15) the Branch Bank of Madras and (16) the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Salt and Abkari Revenue.
NOTEs: 1. The Zilla Court at Calicut was established in 1803. It was abolished in 1843 to make room for a Civil Court for which was substituted a District Court under Act III of 1873. END OF NOTEs
The Tahsildar’s office including the Sub-Jail is on a hill at Chevayur about four miles east of the town of Calicut. There is a Sub-Registrar’s office at Chevayur as well as at Tamarasseri in Kedavur amsam, about 19 miles from Calicut on the road to Vayittiri. There are Police stations at Ellatur, Naduvattam (Beypore), Kunnamangalam and Tamarasseri, Kanniparamba, Chevayur and Putupadi.
Short Description of the Town.—The Towns Improvement Act X of 1865 was extended to Calicut on the 3rd July 1866. The limits of the town for the purposes of the Act were —
North.—Road from the sea north of the barracks, past Rock Hall and East Hill, to the Conoily Canal at Karaparamba ;
East.—Road from Karaparamba to Kakodi bridge to intersection of the road running south near Florican Hill, and on to its intersection with the Calicut to Tamarasseri road—thence by said road to the canal —thence the canal to its intersection with the watercourse dividing the Komeri desam from the Valayanad desam of the Valayanad amsam — thence eastward along the line of the said watercourse and the northern boundary of the Valayanad desam to the foot of the Pokkunnu Hill - thence south-east along the foot of the hill, and from the hill along the eastern boundary of the Valayanad desam to the backwater at Attupurathu paramba—hence returning by the backwater to the Mangavu bridge, and from the bridge along the canal leading to the Beypore river to the portion of it called Kotta Pota, where the canal turns eastward ;
South.—Thence turning to the west along a foot-path leading to the Mammalli road, and from the road to the Tiruvachira or tank, and thence to the sea, keeping along the southern boundary of the Panniyankara desam of the Panniyankara amsam; including within those limits houses and premises wholly or in part within 100 yards of the outside of any boundary road –
Act X of 1865 (Municipal) was in force until 1871 when it was repealed by Act III of 1871, which again was replaced by Act IV of 1884. The extent of the municipal town is approximately 13 square miles.
The sources from which the municipal income is derived are —
(a) an annual tax on arts, professions, trades and callings, and on offices and appointments at the rates specified in the Act ;
(b) an annual tax on lands and buildings not exceeding 7½ per cent on the annual value of such lands and buildings ;
(c) a half-yearly tax on vehicles with springs, palanquins and animals at rates not exceeding those specified in the Act ;
(d) a half-yearly tax on carts and other vehicles without springs at a rate not exceeding Rs. 2 for each half year in respect of every such vehicle ; and
(e) tolls on vehicles and animals entering the municipal limits at rates not exceeding those prescribed in the Act.
The purposes to which the funds raised under the Act are applied are —
(a) the construction, repair and maintenance of streets and bridges and other means of communication ;
(b) the construction and repair of hospitals, dispensaries, lunatic asylums, choultries, markets, drains, sewers, tanks and wells, the payment of all charges connected with the objects for which such buildings have been constructed, the training and employment of medical practitioners, vaccinators, the sanitary inspection of towns and villages, the registration of births and deaths, the lighting of the streets, the cleaning of streets, tanks and wells, and other works of a similar nature ;
(c) the diffusion of education, and with this view - the construction and repair of school-houses, the establishment and maintenance of schools either wholly or by means of grants-in-aid, the inspection of schools and the training of teachers ;
(d) other measures of public utility calculated to promote the safety, health, comfort or convenience of the people ;
(e) the payment of salaries, leave allowances, pensions, gratuities and compassionate allowances to servants employed by the Municipal Council ; and
(f) the payment of all expenses specially provided for by the Act, but not included under preceding clauses (a) to (e).
The revenue of the Calicut Municipality during the official year ending 31st March 1886 was Rs. 56,925 and expenditure during the period was Rs. 48,294.
The population of the municipal town of Calicut, according to the census of 1881, was 57,085 (30,009 males and 27,076 females) against 48,338 returned by the census of 1871.
The latter figure cannot be considered as accurate, inasmuch as it embraced the population of the amsams of Nagaram, Kasaba and Kachcheri only, which are wholly included within the Municipality. The census of 1881 includes the population of the above three amsams, as well as of such parts of Edakkad, Panniyankara, Valayanad and Kottuli amsams as are within the Municipality.
The population of the town is classified as follows : —
There are 10,152 houses in the town, being 8,540 occupied and 1,512 unoccupied. The average number of persons per occupied house is 6.7. The density of population is 4,391 per square mile.
There is a Protestant church called the St. Mary’s Church at Calicut, which was built in June 1863. Before its erection the Anglican community held Sunday service in a portion of the Collector’s office. There is an old European cemetery close to the beach and not far from the new Custom house, where there are several graves and tombs—the earliest inscription goes back to the seventeenth century. The tomb built by the friends of Mr. Conolly, the Collector of Malabar, who was assassinated by Mappillas, is in this cemetery.
The history of the Roman Catholic Church, Calicut, which is interesting, is briefly as follows : —
In 1513 A.D., a treaty was concluded between the Portuguese and the Zamorin, in which the latter allowed the former to erect a factory at Calicut to which was attached a chapel.
On the 4th of March 1724 a Portuguese man-of-war, called Mater de Deos, anchored in the Calicut roads, and its commander, Pedro Guedes de Magalhaens, effected a treaty on behalf of Pedro Mascurenhas, Coude de Somdomil, the Portuguese Viceroy and Captain General of India, with the Zamorin in the presence of Mons. Andre Molandin, chief of Moye (Mahe), who became surety for the execution of the treaty. By this the Zamorin undertook, inter alia, the erection of ‘‘a church of stone and mortar with a parochial house, vestry, porch and a belfry having a bell weighing 150 lb.” This treaty was, it appears, engrossed on a copper plate, which, it is said, remains in the possession of the Portuguese Government at Goa to this day.
Towards the close of the year 1724, Mons. Molandin named above informed the authorities at Goa that the Zamorin had deposited 17,000 fanams as the price of a bell to be cast at Goa, that the building of the church had been commenced and that the Zamorin had in the presence of the Vicar, Bernado da Sa, given a moor merchant, Bamacheri Isumali, as surety to pay all further expenses for the completion of the work.
About 1725, the church was completed, dedicated to “Mater de Deos”, and the Zamorin granted a garden in perpetuity for the support of the church.
The church management went on smoothly till the invasion of Malabar by Hyder Ali in 1766. In that year the Portuguese Vicar and Factor waited on Hyder Ali and obtained an order to Madye, Raja of Coimbatore and Governor of Calicut, for the payment of 2,420 fanams annually to the Vicar of the church. Hyder All also ordered that the rent and revenue or benefits of the landed property should not be appropriated.
In 1775 the church, which was then under the immediate Jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Cranganore and Cochin, was repaired.
The Mysorean Government continued its payment to church till 1781, when Sirdar Khan, Tippu’s fouzdar, stopped the allowance. But the Vicar raised the revenue from the glebe lands till 1788, when a Brahman named Daxapaya came as Tippu's Revenue Collector of Calicut, and demanded from the Vicar, Gabriel Gonsalves, the church revenues and imprisoned him ; but the Vicar effected his escape with the connivance of Arshed Beg Klhan, Tippu’s fouzdar, and fled to Tellicherry.
The Vicar returned to Calicut and resumed possession of the church lands in 1792, when Malabar came under the East India Company. But the Company "had caused 500 coconut trees belonging to the church to be cut down” as they had rendered "the English Factory close and unhealthy and impeded also the sight of the flagstaff.” The Vicar therefore applied in March 1793 to the Malabar Commissioners for "a just indemnification and for permission to collect the rent on houses built on church ground agreeably to immemorial custom and privileges as per the Zamorin’s grant, engraved on copper plate still preserved at Goa.”
The Vicar’s petition was repeated to Mr. Farmer, the Supravisor of Malabar, who wrote to the Bombay Government showing an account of the annual rents of the church lands and allowances made by the former Governments and stating that he has since October 1793 paid Rs. 50 per mensem to the Vicar, and adding "that the collections formerly made by the Padre will now be made by the Company, in which by the increasing number who flock to our Government there will be a progressive increase."
On the 24th December 1793, the Bombay Government agreed to allow the Padre Rs. 50 "for his own maintenance expenses, for the servants and repairs of the church ’’—-an allowance which has been continued to this day.
Although it would appear that the rents of all the glebe lands were to be collected by the East India Company as proposed by Mr. Farmer in 1793, yet it is said that the church records up to 1825 show that a large extent of lands obtained by endowments and legacies remained with the church and was leased by the Vicars. In 1835, Vicar Leonard Areline de Casta stated that "on the acquisition of the country by the English a part of the land was taken possession of by them with the view of answering certain public ends, and a commutation in money at the rate of Rs. 50 per month was granted for the support of the curate as well as other expenses of the church."
In 1838, by the Bull of Pope Gregory XVI, this church, along with other churches on the Malabar Coast, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Verapoly. In 1850 this church, with other churches in Malabar and Canara, was placed under the Carmelites.
In 1862 an orphanage and asylum was started. For completing the building the Madras Government paid Rs. 2,000 in 1875 and Rs, 1,500 in 1882.
The Carmelite Mission established a convent and girls’ school and a school for boys in lieu of the old parochial school. These schools are now in a thriving condition. The boys' school was up to the end of 1884—85 aided from Municipal funds, but in 1885-86 it was recognised as a poor European school for which grant-in-aid is paid from Provincial funds. The strength of the boys’ school on the 31st March 1886 was 172, whilst that of the girls' school was 94.
In December 1878 the Malabar and Canara Portuguese Missions were, by the Bull of Pope Pius IX, placed under the Jurisdiction of the Jesuits, under whom it remains.
In 1878 another charitable institution was attached to the Roman Catholic Mission at Calicut, denominated the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. It has since been divided into two branches—St. Mary’s conference and St. Francis Xavier’s conference. The poor and helpless of every creed are here assisted in their temporal necessities.
There is a small Roman Catholic chapel called the Chapel of the Holy Cross at Calicut on the road to Wynad about two furlongs north of the Mananchira tank. It was a thatched chapel until last year, when it was substantially built by a member of the Roman Catholic congregation.
There is also a Basel Mission Church at Calicut, The history of the Mission is briefly noted below : —
In May 1842 the Mission was established by the Rev. J. M. Fritz. In the same year, two Malayalam schools and a Tamil school were opened. One of the former was raised to the standard of a high school in 1879.
In 1845 a girls’ orphanage was opened, and in connection with it female education commenced. This institution existed until 1882, when it was amalgamated with that at Chombala in Kurumbranad taluk.
In 1854 the erection of the Basel Mission Church at Calicut was commenced, and it was on 20th December 1855 used for the first time.
The Basel Mission cemetery is about a mile to the north of the church in a compound which lies between the trunk and the Wynaad road.
In 1855 a carpenter’s workshop and a weaving establishment with six looms were opened. In the former, Christians and Heathens are employed, and in the latter the number of workmen exceed 100.
In 1868 a mercantile mission shop was opened. It is the only shop at Calicut, which fully meets the demand of the public. In 1874 the Mission started the works. Here machines of German make are used for manufacturing tiles after the European fashion, for which there is an ever-increasing demand. The tile works furnish employment for more than 150 persons both Christians and Heathens. Here it must be noted that these industrial establishments are entirely of a charitable character.
In 1876 a caste girls’ school was opened in Calicut, and in 1883 a congregation girls’ school with nearly 100 pupils was also started.
There are seven Hindu temples of note in the town of Calicut. They are-
The Talli temple is in kasaba amsam in a locality of same name in the heart of the Calicut town close to the Zamorin’s old palace. The temple is a very ancient one, and is 218 feet long from east to west and 270 feet broad from north to south. It is dedicated principally to Siva, though Vishnu, Bhagavati, Ganapati and Ayyappan fim also worshipped.
The temple contains suptures of a high order as well as paintings intended to perpetuate Hindu religious legends. Attached to the temple is a tank in pretty good preservation with laterite steps. The tank is 240 feet long from east to west and 349 feet broad from north to south, and is used for bathing purposes. Close to this is a tank known as Kandamkulam, also used for washing. It is 349 by 140 feet. Talli is densely populated by Brahmans, Nayars and others. A festival is celebrated for a week annually in the month of Medam (March-April) at the Talli temple.
The Tiruvannur temple is in Panniyankara amsam, 2½ miles from the town in a desam (hamlet), from which the temple derives its name. Originally the name appears to have been Tirumunnur (the holy three hundred). The Zamorin lives near the temple. His Putiya (new) Kovilakam (palace) branch is also located at Tiruvannur, another branch called the Padinhare Kovilakam is in Valayanad amsam, Mankavil desam, and a third one, called the Ambadi Kovilakam, is in kasaba amsam.
The chief object of worship in this temple is Siva, though Vishnu, Ganapati and Ayyappan are also collaterally worshipped. This temple is a very ancient one, is elaborately sculptured, and contains paintings. The newly erected gateway is interesting, being in style precisely similar to the bastis at Mudabidri in South Kanara erected by the Jains. The temple is 246 feet long from east to west and 198 feet wide from north to south. The Zamorin maintains a Brahman feeding house at Tiruvannur.
The Varakkal temple is in Edakkad amsam and is 96 feet long from east to west and 66 feet broad from north to south. It is on an eminence, and is dedicated to Bhagavati, Ganapati, Ayyappan and Dakshinamurthi. It is fabled that the image in this temple was placed by Parasu Rama with his own hands. The temple contains sculptures. The dasra festival is celebrated annually with great eclat in this temple. Thousands of people congregate here for the performance of ancestral obsequies on the occasion of new moon in the month of Tulam (October-November).
On this day all married men among the native community in Calicut are, by custom, expected to go to their wives’ houses with presents in the shape of sweetmeats, plantains, etc., on pain formerly of having their marriages dissolved, a custom perpetuated in a couplet which runs when translated as follows : —
“Failure to visit on the occasion of Varakkal new moon, entails forfeiture of relationship.” വരക്കൽ വാവിന്നു വന്നില്ലെങ്കിൽ, ബന്ധംമുറിഞ്ഞത അടയാളം.
There is a tank attached to the temple for washing purposes which is 228 feet long from east to west and 390 feet broad from north to south.
Bilattikulam temple is in kacheri amsam, in which Vettakarumakan is worshipped. It is 24½ feet long from east to west and 19½ feet broad from north to south. A festival is celebrated here for forty days in December and January.
The tank attached to the Bilattikulam temple is 378 feet from east to west and 160 feet from north to south, and is used for washing purposes.
The Arikkodikavu temple is in kasaba amsam in which Bhagavati, Ayyappan and Andimahakalan are worshipped. The temple is 120 feet long from north to south and 108 feet broad from east to west. In the month of Kanni (September-October) a festival lasting for 10 days is celebrated here.
The Kokkolikott temple is also in Kasaba amsam dedicated to Siva. It is 120 feet long and 84 feet broad.
The Bhairagimadham temple is in nagaram amsam in which Siva, Parvati, Ganapati and Hanuman are worshipped. It is in the very heart of the Calicut town behind the southern row of the main big bazaar. It is in the possession of the Bhairagis, a sot of ascetic gowda Brahmans who emigrated from Northern India. It is a small temple being only 20 by 12 feet.
There are no less than 40 mosques in the town of Calicut. The most important of them are the two Jamatt mosques, Shekkinde Palli and Palaya Palli. Besides these there are several other suburban mosques.
The two Jamatt mosques lie on either side of the big tank known as Kuttichira in the middle of the Mappilla quarters in Calicut. The one on the south of the tank is 144 by 114 feet, and the other on the north is 115½ by 64½ feet. The Kuttichira tank is 410 feet long, north to south and 210 feet wide, east to west. It is built in laterite and is used for washing purposes.
Shekkinde Palli (mosque) is 48 by 32 feet and is looked upon with much reverence by Mappillas. It is said to have been built over the grave of a Mappilla named Suppikkavittil Shaikh Mamu Koya, who by his piety approached in sanctity in the opinion of Mappillas to that of a Saiyid. He is said to have died more than 300 years ago. This mosque is constantly resorted to by Mappillas for the adjustment of civil and other disputes by the test of oath.
Palaya Palii which is 56 by 30 feet is looked upon as an ancient institution as its name indicates.
The West Hill barracks, built on an eminence commanding a good view of the sea and the surrounding country, lie in Edakkad amsam within the Municipality. A detachment of European soldiers is garrisoned here. The detachment was first stationed at Calicut in 1849 owing to frequent Mappilla outrages. It was removed to Malapuram in 1851, but again brought back on the assassination of Mr. Conolly, the Collector of Malabar, on the 12th September 1855 in his bungalow on the West Hill.
The Lighthouse at Calicut was built in February 1847. It is a column of laterite in chunam, 102½ feet high, and the white dioptric fourth order light is visible in clear weather at 14 miles. The Calicut port bears from Sacrifice Rock south-east distant 20 miles. Vessels should anchor in 5 fathoms mud. The merchants find it more convenient, when the sea breezes are strong, to load from the beach 1 or 2 miles to the north of the lighthouse, where there is always less surf than opposites the town.
Large Kotiyas and Pattimars are built on the beach 1½ miles south of the lighthouse, by the entrance of the Kallai river or creek, where the shore is also smooth, being partially protected by the Coote reef. There is a patch of rocky ground with 4 fathoms least water, having 6 fathoms mud, all around it, bearing west north-west distant 3¾ miles from the lighthouse. This is supposed to be the shoal discovered by Captain Hogg of the "Juliana.’’
Calicut reef, on which the sea breaks in one part almost always where there is only two feet at low water, is of irregular outline. This shoal-patch of two feet is in its centre, and bears from the lighthouse south south-west ½, west 1½ miles, and is distant 6 cables’ lengths from the nearest shore abreast. The southern extremity of this reef (which is generally called the Coote reef after the late East India Company sloop-of-war Coote which was lost there) lies 2 cables’ lengths to the south of the centre breakers.
To the south and east of the reef, the bottom is soft mud. There is a considerable extent of anchoring ground for small coasting craft in 2 and 2½ fathoms at low water, partially protected from north-west winds by the reef. A red buoy to mark the western extreme of this reef, as a guide to small coasting vessels, was moored two cables’ lengths west by north from the most shallow part.
Seaward of the reef are numerous dangerous rocky patches, but none have less than two fathoms on them. This foul ground extends more than two miles off shore. One patch of 13 feet at low water bears southwest ¾, west 1¾ miles from the lighthouse, and another with a similar depth south south-west ½, west rather more than two miles. It is high water on full and change at Calicut and Beypore at 12 hours 15 minutes ; springs rise little more than 4 feet, but extraordinary tides as much as 5 feet ; neaps rise 2½ feet.
Calicut south-west shoal bears from the lighthouse about south-west by west 2½ miles. On the northern extremity of this shoal, with the lighthouse bearing east north-east, are rocks in 4 fathoms, and on its western edge rocks in 4½ fathoms. Over the centre of the shoals are numerous rocky heads, with 3 fathoms on them, and 3¾ to 4½ fathoms between them. These are the rocks on which the “Juliana” first struck when Captain Hogg anchored in 5 fathoms, lighthouse bearing east north-east.
On the inner or eastern side of the shoal was 4 fathoms clear ground, with the water decreasing gradually towards the shore. When there is any sea on, it breaks, and may generally be seen. On the outer edge are rocks in 3½ fathoms with 2 and 2½. The remains of the “Juliana” lay in 3½ fathoms south-west, ¾ south, about 1¾ miles from the lighthouse.
There is said to be another dangerous ledge, bearing west from the lighthouse, from 1½ to 3¾ miles distant On the northern side of this shoal, with the lighthouse east ¾ south are 4 fathoms, and on the southern side with lighthouse east ¾ north 4 fathoms ; on the western extremity 4¾ fathoms. Ships approaching from either the south or the north intending to anchor, ought not to come inside of 8 fathoms till the lighthouse bears east by south, then steer for the anchorage.
The best anchorage in Calicut roads is, during the north-east monsoon, in 5½ fathoms, with the lighthouse about east by south. This is a convenient berth for the new screw-pile. The best distinguishing mark for Calicut in the morning is the house amongst trees on the hill more than 2 miles north of the lighthouse ; in the afternoon, the white column of the light-house shows well 10 miles off. The Camel’s Hump, or Wavulmullay, over 7,000 feet above the sea level (the culminating peak of the Wynad mountains which stand 20 miles west of the Nilgiri range) bears from Calicut lighthouse north-east by east ½, east 23½ miles.
It may be seen in clear weather, as soon as a vessel is on the bank of soundings. In the hazy weather of March and April, it is frequently indistinct from the anchorage off Calicut. The southern extremity of the mountain range is rather abrupt, the mountains thence receding far to the east.
The District Jail at Calicut was formerly situated close to the French Loge at Calicut. The jail was removed to a hill about two miles from the beach to the east on 17th November 1869, when buildings were erected at a cost of Rs. 92,393. On the 3Ist December 1885, there were 200 prisoners in the jail.
The pier at Calicut was built in 1871 at a cost of Rs. 64,000. It is close to the new customs office, about half a mile north of the lighthouse. The pier is 400 feet long, and barges drawing from 3 to 6 of water are employed at the T end for the importation and exportation of goods. The pier went out of order in 1883, when, with the permission of Government, a company of local merchants, designated the Calicut Pier and Warehouse Company Limited, to carry on the business of warehousemen and to levy cranage and other dues and tolls, was started with a capital of Rs. 5,000, which was utilised for repairing the pier.
A Telegraph office was opened at Calicut in September 1856. It is now held in a rented building adjoining the Captain's tank to the south of the Roman Catholic church in close proximity to the District Court premises.
The Post office at Calicut is also held in a private building rented for the purpose. It is not far from the Telegraph office.
There is a club for Europeans on the beach which was started on the 8th February 1864. Connected with the club is a station library maintained by subscriptions.
The hospital and dispensary at Calicut was opened in October 1845, under the auspices of Government. It was transferred to the Municipality when it was instituted at Calicut. It is now kept up at Municipal expense supplemented by a grant from the District Board. The dispensary has an endowment of Rs. 13,000 collected by private subscriptions and invested in Government securities yielding Rs. 520 per annum as interest.
The lunatic asylum at Calicut was established on 20th May 1872 at a cost of Rs. 39,250. It is about 2½ miles east of Calicut on the road to Chevayur. It is built on a hill called Kutiravattam. On the 31st March 1885, there were 149 lunatics in the asylum.
The Municipality maintains a public bungalow and a mussaferkhana in the town. These are in the neighbourhood of the Mananchira tank, which is a reservoir of excellent drinking water. It has laterite steps on four sides. It is 420 feet east to west, and 488 feet north to south.
A few yards to the south-east of this tank is another called Mutalakulam. It was originally octagonal in shape, but has by time become dilapidated resulting in the change of its original form. It was included in the premises of the Zamorin's old palace which lay contiguous to it. The compound on which the Zamorin's old residence stood, called the Kottaparamba, immediately adjoins the tank on the south. The installation of the Zamorin takes place to this day in this Kottaparamba, divided by the Beypore road into the eastern and western portion. The spot where the ceremony takes place is marked by an upright granite pillar in the eastern portion.
Two newspapers are published in Calicut town. One in English, entitled the Malabar and Travaucore Spectator, and the other the Kerala Patrika in Malayalam. A monthly Malayalam periodical called Paropakari, edited by a Muhammadan, is also published at Calicut.
There are at present three registered public presses at Calicut in addition to the Government Press. They are the Spectator Press, Vidya Vilasam Press and James’ Press. A press is also maintained at Karaparamba by a European firm which is used more by the firm than by the general public.
In 1885 the European and Eurasian inhabitants of Calicut organised themselves into two companies of Volunteer Rifles. These companies and others located at Tellicherry, Wynad and Cochin, with a section at Palghat and numbering altogether about 300 men, were amalgamated into the “Malabar Volunteer Rifles” under a Major Commandant with headquarters at Calicut.
The French have a Loge1 in Calicut "Occupee par un gardien." The Loge consists of 6 acres on the sea-shore about half a mile north of the Calicut Light-house and adjoins the old district jail site. The exact facts connected with the foundation of the French factory are involved in doubt. It was apparently obtained by the French from the Zamorin, but there is nothing to lead to the supposition that the Zamorin had ever conceded to them anything more than mere commercial privileges within the limits of the Loge.
The Zamorin appeared to have exercised fiscal and judicial authority within its limits—an authority which neither Hyder Ali nor Tippu Sultan ever bestowed on the French after the Zamorin’s power ceased.
NOTEs: 1. The name of "loge” or "comptoir" is given to factories or isolated establishments comprehending one house with the adjacent grounds where France had the right to have her flag flying and to form factories, &c. (Pharoah and Co.’s Gazetteer of 1855.) END OF NOTEs
Beyond the fact that the landed property and houses are untaxed, there is nothing to distinguish the Loge from the rest of Calicut. It is doubtful what rights the French Government has in it. As it has been altogether omitted from the treaty of Versailles, dated the 3rd September 1783, it has been held that the French had no sovereign rights in it. The Loge was restored to the French on 1st February 1819.
In the first capitulation of Mahe made by Monsieur Louet, Commander-in-Chief of the French garrison at Mahe, and signed on the 10th February 1761, it was agreed in article 9 that "the French factory at Calicut shall be suffered quietly to enjoy the privileges of neutrality observed there.”
Industries and Manufactures.—In the town of Calicut a weaving establishment and tile works are maintained by the Basel Mission. Soda water machines are worked by two Parsi merchants. Coffee and ginger curing is undertaken by several European and Native firms and traders. A Bombay merchant has opened a large coir manufactory close to the south beach road, about a mile south of the old Custom house, at which more than 100 persons are daily at work in dressing fibre and twisting coir.
The Malabar Spinning and Weaving Company, Limited, was started in November 1883, with a capital of Rs. 6,00,000. The buildings are in course of construction, and the Company have not started business yet. The premises are in Panniyankara amsam.
Railway Stations, Roads, Bridges, Canals, etc.—The Madras Railway, which had its terminus at Beypore, will shortly be extended to Calicut. The line has been formed and rails laid and the station is in course of construction in the heart of the town. The line, it is expected, will be open for traffic in the course of a year.
The aggregate length of roads maintained by the Municipality is 52 miles.
There is a very extensive street of bazaars known as the big bazaar extending inland from the beach in an unbroken line about a mile in length. Several narrow cross-streets lead from the main one.
There is a temporary wooden bridge over the Kallai river. It will be replaced by the railway iron bridge which is so designed as to suit the local traffic as well. Near this bridge is a Government timber depot, where teak and saplings, from the Nilambur plantations, are floated down and stored.
The Conolly canal connects the Kallai with the Ellatur river and thus provides an uninterrupted line of water communication from Beypore to Badagara, a distance of 37 miles. A list of ferries in the taluk is given below :
In Edakkad amsam is a small Mappilla village known as Putiyangadi (new bazaar), about three miles from Calicut town. Here lives the Mappilla priest, called Putiyangadi Tangal of pure Arab extraction. There is a Jamatt mosque here said to be more than 130 years old, 72 by 30 feet in size. A festival is celebrated here annually. Though a small Mappilla hamlet, Putiyangadi possesses eight mosques.
In Panniyankara amsam there is a locality called Gomukham (cow's face) on the sea-shore where Hindus resort for ablutions as a place of sanctity on occasions of new moon and eclipse.
In Cheruvannur amsam at Mammalli, about 7 miles from Calicut, there is a coffee-curing establishment under European management.
There is in this amsam an important Hindu temple called the Cheruvannur temple dedicated to Siva, Subramanyan, Ayyappan, Ganapati and Dakshinamurtti. The roof of the shrine is copper plated. The temple is sculptured. On a beam is a comparatively recent Malayalam writing that the temple was built by the Uralars. The temple is 99 by 44 feet in size, and a festival is celebrated annually for 41 days called Mandala Vilakku in December and January.
In this amsam are the Marakkat works once noted for its iron manufacturies.
Beypore is a mall town in an amsam of the same name. It was formerly known as Vaypura and Vada Parapanad. Tippu Sultan named the town “Sultan patnam’’. It lies between Lat. 11° 10' N., and Long. 75° 60' 30" E. According to the census of 1871, there were 1,102 houses ; the population was 6,214. In the census of 1881 there were 1,119 houses with a population of 6,739 souls.
Though many attempts have been made to utilise the great natural advantages of its position, it was not until 1858, when Challiyam Island, on the opposite bank of the river, was made a terminus of the Madras Railway, that the town became of importance. Tippu selected it as the site of the capital of Malabar, but hardly a vestige of its short-lived importance has survived.
In 1797 sawmills, in 1805 a canvas factory, in 1848 iron works and, later still, ship-building works were started here, but all from one cause or another have failed. In 1858 the railway created the present town, and Beypore is every year becoming busier. But the extension of the railway to Calicut is likely to result in the reversion of Beypore to its old state of a fishing village.
The Beypore bar admits crafts of 300 tons to the river, and at low spring-tides, gives soundings of 12 to 14 feet and at high tides from 16 to 18 feet.
In Beypore amsam there are four Kovilakams called —
1. Manayatt kovilakam, | 3. Pudia kovilakam,
2. Nediyal kovilakam, | 4. Panangat kovilakam,
belonging to the family of the Beypore branch of the Parappanad family. There is also a Hindu temple containing sculptures and dedicated to Siva, Ganapati and Bhagavati with a laterite built tank and a Brahman feeding-house. The temple is 180 by 138 feet. There is a travellers’ bungalow as well as a Sea Customs office here.
There is a place of sanctity for Hindus on the sea-shore in this amsam, called Kotesvaram for purposes of ablution on occasions of new moon or eclipse.
In Valayanad amsam there is an ancient temple called Srivalayanad temple. The roof of the shrine is copper plated. It is 192 feet long by 144 feet broad. There are elaborate sculptures on the gopuram. The temple belongs to the Zamorin. An annual festival lasting for 8 days is celebrated in this temple in the month of Makaram (December-January), when the image of Bhagavati worshipped in the temple is taken in procession round the temple on an elephant’s back with great pomp.
At Tamarasseri, in Kedavur amsam, there is a palace belonging to the Kottayam Raja. Close to it is a tank which is 240 by 144 feet. It is not in a state of preservation, but there are indications of its having been built in laterite. As stated elsewhere, there is a Sub-Registrar’s office here as well as a chattram maintained by the District Board. At Putupadi, in this amsam, there is a chattram kept up by a native landlord. There is also a comfortable little hotel for Europeans travelling to and from the Wynad planting districts. Tamarasseri ghaut is much used for the export of coffee from Wynad.
In Kanniparamba amsam, there is a temple dedicated to Siva, Vishnu, Ganapati, Ayyappan and Dakshinamurtti. It is 132 feet square. It is a very ancient temple so much so that it is fabled to have been founded by Kannwa Rishi commemorated in the Maha Bharata.
In Kanniparamba amsam, there is on the rocky pinnacle of a hill a pit which is four koles square and half a kole deep, from which, according to native popular belief, holy water gushes out daily in the morning in the month of Edavam (April-May) for a nalika (20 minutes) when it miraculously becomes dry. It is also said that the holy water begins to flow on the occasion of Sivaratri festival in Kumbham (February- March). Pilgrims aggregating 3,000 in number assemble on this hill on such occasions. This hill has been noticed in Ward and Connor’s memoir.
Fairs and Markets.—At Karamparamba, in Kacheri amsam, a weekly fair is held on every Monday, when more than 1,000 persons resort to it from rural parts. A weekly fair on every Sunday is held in Manasseri amsam and at Kedayur every Tuesday. In the town of Calicut, the Municipality maintains two important markets There are also several petty markets in the town licensed by the Municipality.
Archœology.—Kaulanur desam in Annasseri amsam, 8 miles north of Calicut, there are two rock-cut caves. In Kannankara desam there are three menhirs and a stone circle.
In Nagaram amsam, in Machchinde mosque, is a slab let into the wall, having an inscription in Arabic, Canarese and an unknown language. It is much injured by time and weather.
In Chevayur, 3 miles north-east of Calicut, exists a sepulchral rock-cut cave ; an erect pillar stands in the middle of the main chamber. The hole at the top of the cave was covered by a block of stone which hid it from sight. Several pots and parts of a sword were found in it.
In Iringallur amsam, 3 miles east of Calicut, there is a dolmen. In the desam of Kottul, there are four such dolmens, and in Kayilamatham one. They are all surrounded by stone circles.
In Kanniparamba, 11 miles east of Calicut in the hamlet of Kalpalli, there is a toppikal or hat-stone. In Atuvatu and Mavur, there is a menhir in each, and in Palangat, a rock-cut cave.
In Karipuram temple, in Payipalasseri desam, Kilakkott amsam, 15 miles north-east of Calicut, there is an inscription in old Tamil on a slab.
In Koduvalli amsam, 16 miles north-east of Calicut in Chorgotur desam in the temple, is a granite slab with an inscription in old Tamil. There is also a menhir here as well as in Manapuram desam. In the temple at the latter desam, there is an inscription in old Tamil on a granite slab.
In Kovur amsam, 5 miles from Calicut, in Velliparamba desam, a cave was discovered in the backyard of a private honse. It was opened and closed again by the house-owner.
In Padinhattummuri amsam, 6½ miles north of Calicut, a number of very interesting rock-cut caves were excavated, from which a quantity of pottery was unearthed. An account, of the place with two plates of engravings was published in Vol. VIII of the Indian Antiquary. The articles found in the cells were sent to the Madras Museum.
In Puttur amsam, 12½ miles east north-east of Calicut, in the temple in the Chokur desam, there is an inscribed granite slab with an old Tamil inscription. In the desam of Ketayantur is a dolmen and a rock-cut cave, and in Chokur desam there is a menhir. Picture source: pazhayathublogspotin
In Talakulattur amsam, 8 miles north of Calicut, there is an old temple with an illegible inscription on a stone.
In Valayanad amsam, 2 miles east south-east of Calicut, in Konneri desam, there is a rock-cut cave now filled up.
Trigonometrical Survey Station—Pokkunnu in Valayanad amsam is the only Trigonometrical Survey station in the Calicut taluk.
Dams and Anicuts.—In Karannur amsam, there is a dam known as the Muliyar nada, which is constructed for the protection of cultivation.
At Putiyachira on the road to Chevayur, there was some time back a lock in the Conolly canal for the protection of cultivation from the influx of salt water. It is not now repaired as the water traffic is of more importance. The Conolly canal passes through the amsams of Kasaba, Kottuli, Kachcheri, Edakkad, Karannur, Makkada and Elattur, and connects the Kallayi with the Elattur river.
1. Appendices 1
2. Appendices 2
3. Port rules
6. Mr. Græme’s Glossary 1
7. Mr. Græme’s Glossary 2
8. Mr. Græme’s Glossary 3
12. Chirakkal Taluk
22. Kottayam Taluk
25. Wynad Taluk
28. Calicut Taluk
29. Ernad Taluk
32. Walluvanad Taluk
33. Palghat Taluk
34. Palghat Forest
35. Ponnani Taluk
36. Cochin Taluk