Its Buildings, More
Especially The Temples And Shrines Of Their Idols, Are Larger And More
Splendid Than Those Of Cochin.
The haven is excellent, the country is well
stored with provisions, and the condition of the people resembles in all
things what has been formerly said of the inhabitants of Calicut.
inhabitants are idolatrous Malabars, having among them many rich Moorish
merchants, more especially since the war broke out between us and the
zamorin, as many of these merchants had left Calicut to reside at Coulan.
They trade with Coromandel, Ceylon, the Maldive islands, Bengal, Pegu,
Camatia, and Malava. The rajah or king of this state rules over an
extensive kingdom, in which there are many rich cities and several good
harbours; by which means he has a large revenue, and is able to maintain a
great military force, but the men are mostly of a low stature: He
entertains in his palace a guard of three hundred women, armed with bows
and arrows, who are very expert archers, and they bind up their breasts
very tight with bandages of silk and linen, that they may not stand in the
way of using their bows. This rajah usually resides in a city named Calle,
and is generally at war with the king of Narsinga.
In the city of Coulan, which is governed by certain officers or aldermen,
there is a church which was built by the apostle St Thomas, who came here
to preach the Catholic faith, and made many converts both among the
idolaters and others, who have handed down the Christian belief from
generation to generation, so that there are at least twelve thousand
families of Christians scattered abroad in the country, in which they have
churches in many places.
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