The Taxes in Zamorin’s Calicut

In a society organised on the feudal model the sole burden upon land was service. Land-tax was unknown in Malabar before the Mysorean occupation. The sources from which the Zamorin derived his revenue were:—

(1) Cherikkal lands or the royal estates. They were held in proprietory right, and it is from the proceeds of these lands that the expenses of the household were chiefly met.

(2) Amkam or fee for permitting to stand a trial by battle. This varied according to the means of the parties, and was sometimes as high as 1,000 fPanams.

(3)  Chumkam or tolls and duties. I his was generally 6% ad valorem on all imports and exports.

(4) Ela or proceeds of kingdoms and estates confiscated for various reasons.

(5) Kola or forced contribution for particular emergencies.

(6) Tappu or mulcts for unintentional offences.

(7) Pila or fines imposed upon law-breakers and criminals

(8) Purushantaram or succession fee, exacted whenever a change in succession took place among the Naduvalis and the feudatories.

(9) Pulayattu pennu or the proceeds from the sale of lewd or adulterous women outcasted by the community.

(10) Kalcha or presents. Besides the usual presents for Onam and Vishu, every one who sought an interview had to offer a present. It depended on the party and the occasion.

(11) Ponnarippu or the sifting of gold.

(12) Panamadi or profits of coinage, which were estimated at about Rs 5,000 before Haidar’s invasion.

(13) Attaladakkam or the right of escheat on failure of heirs.

(14) Adimappanam or the poll-tax paid by the bondsmen.

(15) Ara or the fee for keeping a suspect in detention.

(16) Tura or the poll-tax levied at the ports from boatmen.

(17) Changatam, or fee for special protection in the form of an escort for a long or short period.

(18) Atinha urukktil and Utanha urukkal or ships which had drifted ashore or which had been compelled to put in at a port which was not their destination and wrecks respectively. These rights were claimed by the Zamorin only against enemy countries and nationalities.

(19) Rakshabhogam or fee for protection without any time limit.

(20) Anappiti or royalty on elephants caught in the forests.

(21) Fees levied for conferring titles, honours and other privileges, and for the settlement of disputes.

(22) Kappam or the annual tribute in cash or kind from the feudatory chiefs, which was regarded more or less as a voluntary offering.


The Zamorin also enjoyed certain perquisites. These were:-

(1) Aimmula or cow with five udders.

(2) Mummula or cow with three udders.

(3) Chenkompu or cattle that had killed a man or animal.

(4) Kannutapulli or cattle having a white spot near the corner of the eye.

(6) Puval or animal having a white spot at the lip of the tail.

(6) Kompu or the tusk of au elephant killed or dead.

(7) Kuruka, or the leg of a deer, wild bog or other eatable wild animal killed in hunting.

(8) Val or the tail of a tiger.

(9) Toal or the skin of a tiger or deer.

(10) Kinattil Panni or wild hog fallen in the well.


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