BISNAGAR, BISNAGA, BEEJANUGGER, n.p. These and other forms stand for the name of the ancient city which was the capital of the most important Hindu kingdom that existed in the peninsula of India, during the later Middle Ages, ruled by the Raya dynasty. The place is now known as Humpy (Hampi), and is entirely in ruins. [The modern name is corrupted from Pampa, that of the river near which it stood. (Rice, Mysore, ii. 487.)] It stands on the S. of the Tungabhadra R., 36 m. to the N.W. of Bellary. The name is a corruption of Vijayanagara (City of Victory), or Vidyanagara (City of learning), [the latter and earlier name being changed into the former (Rice, Ibid. i. 342, note).] Others believe that the latter name was applied onl y since the place, in the 13th century, became the seat of a great revival of Hinduism, under the famous Sayana Madhava, who wrote commentaries on the Vedas, and much besides. Both the city and the kingdom were commonly called by the early Portuguese Narsinga (q.v.), from Narasimha (c. 1490–1508), who was king at the time of their first arrival. [Rice gives his dates as 1488–1508.]

c. 1420.—“Profectus hinc est procul a mari milliaribus trecentis, ad civitatem ingentem, nomine Bizenegaliam, ambitu milliarum sexaginta, circa praeruptos montes sitam.”—Conti, in Poggins de Var. Fortunae, iv.

1442.—“…the chances of a maritime voyage had led Abd-er-razzak, the author of this work, to the city of Bidjanagar. He saw a place extremely large and thickly peopled, and a King possessing greatness and sovereignty to the highest degree, whose dominion extends from the frontier of Serendib to the extremity of the county of Kalbergah—from the frontiers of Bengal to the environs of Malabar.”—Abdurrazzak, in India in XV. Cent., 22.

c. 1470.—“The Hindu sultan Kadam is a very powerful prince. He possesses a numerous army, and resides on a mountain at Bichenegher.”—Athan. Nikitin, in India in XV. Cent., 29.

1516.—“45 leagues from these mountains inland, there is a very great city, which is called Bijanagher.…”—Barbosa, 85.

1611.—“Le Roy de Bisnagar, qu’on appelle aussi quelquefois le Roy de Narzinga, est puissant.”—Wytfliet, H. des Indes, ii. 64.

BISON, s. The popular name, among Southern Anglo-Indian sportsmen, of the great wild-ox called in Bengal gaur and gavial (Gavaeus gaurus, Jerdon); [Bos gaurus, Blanford]. It inhabits sparsely all the large forests of India, from near Cape Comorin to the foot of the Himalayas (at least in their Eastern portion), and from Malabar to Tenasserim.

1881.—“Once an unfortunate native superintendent or mistari [Maistry] was pounded to death by a savage and solitary bison.”—Saty. Review, Sept. 10, p. 335.

BLACAN-MATEE, n.p. This is the name of an island adjoining Singapore, which forms the beautiful ‘New Harbour’ of that port; Malay belakang, or blakang-mati, lit. ‘Dead-Back island,’ [of which, writes Mr. Skeat, no satisfactory explanation has been given. According to Dennys (Discr. Dict., 51), “one explanation is that the Southern, or as regards Singapore, hinder, face was so unhealthy that the Malays gave it a designation signifying by onomatopoea that death was to be found behind its ridge”]. The island (Blacan-mati) appears in one of the charts of Godinho de Eredia (1613) published in his Malaca, &c. (Brussels, 1882), and though, from the excessive looseness of such old charts, the island seems too far from Singapore, we are satisfied after careful comparison with the modern charts that the island now so-called is intended.

BLACK, s. Adj. and substantive denoting natives of India. Old-fashioned, and heard, if still heard, only from the lower class of Europeans; even in the last generation its habitual use was chiefly confined to these, and to old officers of the Queen’s Army.

[1614.—“The 5th ditto came in a ship from Mollacco with 28 Portugals and 36 Blacks.”—Foster, Letters, ii. 31.]

1676.—“We do not approve of your sending any persons to St. Helena against their wills. One of them you sent there makes a great complaint, and we have ordered his liberty to return again if he desires it; for we know not what effect it may have if complaints should be made to the King that we send away the natives; besides that it is against our inclination to buy any blacks, and to transport them from their wives and children without their own consent.”—Court’s Letter to Ft. St. Geo., in Notes and Exts. No. i. p. 12.

1747.—“Vencatachlam, the Commanding Officer of the Black Military, having behaved very commendably on several occasions against the French; In consideration thereof Agreed that a

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.