PALKEE-GARRY, s. A ‘palankin-coach,’ as it is termed in India; i.e. a carriage shaped somewhat like a palankin on wheels; Hind. palki-gari. The word is however one formed under European influences. [“The system of conveying passengers by palkee carriages and trucks was first established between Cawnpore and Allahabad in May 1843, and extended to Allyghur in November of the same year; Delhi was included in June 1845, Agra and Meerut about the same time; the now-going line not being, however, ready till January 1846”(Carey, Good Old Days, ii. 91)]

1878.—“The Governor-General’s carriage…may be jostled by the hired ‘palkigharry,’ with its two wretched ponies, rope harness, nearly naked driver, and wheels whose sinuous motions impress one with the idea that they must come off at the next revolution.”—Life in the Mofussil, i. 38.

This description applies rather to the cranchee (q.v.) than to the palkee-garry, which is (or used to be) seldom so sordidly equipt. [Mr. Kipling’s account of the Calcutta palki gari (Beast and Man, 192) is equally uncomplimentary.]

PALMYRA, s. The fan-palm (Borassus flabelliformis), which is very commonly cultivated in S. India and Ceylon (as it is also indeed in the Ganges valley from Farrukhabad down to the head of the Delta), and hence was called by the Portuguese par excellence, palmeira or ‘the palm-tree.’ Sir J. Hooker writes: “I believe this palm is nowhere wild in India; and have always suspected that it, like the tamarind, was introduced from Africa.” [So Watt, Econ. Dict. i. 504.] It is an important tree in the economy of S. India, Ceylon, and parts of the Archipelago as producing jaggery (q.v.) or ‘palm-sugar’; whilst the wood affords rafters and laths, and the leaf gives a material for thatch, mats, umbrellas, fans, and a substitute for paper. Its minor uses are many: indeed it is supposed to supply nearly all the wants of man, and a Tamil proverb ascribes to it 801 uses (see Ferguson’s Palmyra-Palm of Ceylon and Tennent’s Ceylon, i. 111, ii. 519 seqq.; also see BRAB).

1563.—“…A ilha de Ceilão…ha muitas palmeiras.”—Garcia, ff. 65v–66.

1673.—“Their Buildings suit with the Country and State of the inhabitants, being mostly contrived for Conveniency: the Poorer are made of Boughs and ollas of the Palmeroes.”— Fryer, 199.

1718.—“…Leaves of a Tree called Palmeira.”—Prop. of the Gospel in the East, iii. 85.

1756.—“The interval was planted with rows of palmira, and coco-nut trees.”—Orme, ii. 90, ed. 1803.

1860.—“Here, too, the beautiful palmyra palm, which abounds over the north of the Island, begins to appear.”—Tennent’s Ceylon, ii. 54.

PALMYRA POINT, n.p. Other-wise called Pt. Pedro, [a corruption of the Port. Punta das Pedras, ‘the rocky cape,’ a name descriptive of the natural features of the coast (Tennent, ii. 535)]. This is the N.E. point of Ceylon, the high palmyra trees on which are conspicuous.

PALMYRAS, POINT, n.p. This is a headland on the Orissa co ast, quite low, but from its prominence at the most projecting part of the combined Mahanadi and Brahmani delta an important landmark, especially in former days, for ships bound from the south for the mouth of the Hoogly, all the more for the dangerous shoal off it. A point of the Mahanadi delta, 24 miles to the south-west, is called False Point, from its liability to be mistaken for P. Palmyras.

1553.—“…o Cabo Segógora, a que os nossos chamam das Palmeiras por humas que alli estam, as quaes os navigantes notam por lhes dar conhecimento da terra. E deste cabo…fazemos fim do Reyno Orixá.”—Barros, I. ix. 1.

1598.—“…2 miles (Dutch) before you come to the point of Palmerias, you shall see certaine blacke houels standing vppon a land that is higher than all the land there-abouts, and from thence to the Point it beginneth againe to be low ground and…you shall see some small (but not ouer white) sandie Downes…you shall finde being right against the point de Palmerias…that vpon the point there is neyther tree nor bush, and although it hath the name of the Point of Palm-trees, it hath notwithstanding right forth, butone Palme tree.”—Linschoten, 3d Book, ch. 12.

[c. 1665.—“Even the Portuguese of Ogouli (see HOOGLY), in Bengale, purchased without scruple these wretched captives, and the horrid traffic was transacted in the vicinity of the island of Galles, near Cape das Palmas.”—Bernier, ed. Constable, 176.]

1823.—“It is a large delta, formed by the mouths of the Maha-Nuddee and other rivers, the northernmost of which insulates Cape Palmiras.”—Heber, ed. 1844, i. 88.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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