River Of Logs In British Era Calicut – Old Photo 1898
This is an old 1898 photograph of the river of logs in the British era Calicut, now Kozhikode. Bounty of logs floating down the river Kallai or Kallayi. Thousands of them of various sizes and girths. Also visible are Britishers and an Indian standing on top of the floating wood.
Since Calicut was under the rule of the Madras Presidency (British era) exporters and merchants were regular visitors for business. Not only for timber but also for spices, coffee, coconuts, and other produce. Those were mainly sourced from the hilly region of Wayanad in the Western Ghats that lay close by. The best teak wood and rosewood were sourced from the forests of Wayanad.
Even the Kallai was once the backbone of the timber trade at one time. Since forests rich in timber were located nearby in a bygone era. After the ban on logging in the 1980s, encroachments, and pollutions added to the degradation of a once grand river. Malabar timber was world-famous even before the arrival of Vasco da Gama in Kozhikode in 1498.
The timber from the Malabar region (Calicut was a part of this region) was of top quality. Especially rosewood and teak. The Britishers prized Malabar timber for the common use of furniture and house building. Teak was especially prized for shipbuilding by Europeans and Americans before steel ships came into the scene. Even the Royal British Navy in the 19th century sourced Malabar teak for the construction and repair of ships. Click on the photo for better view
Read more The Wood Legacy of Kallai.
Did you know- there is top quality timber from over 100 years lying at the bottom of the Kallai and if retrieved and auctioned the government of Kerala can make an immense fortune.
From the collection- 1906 Photo Postcard Raja Ravi Varma Portrait., Victoria Carriage In Bombay – Old Postcard 1940., Vintage Book 1912 – Kerala The Land Of Palms By I H Hacker., Aden, Bombay, Madras & Calcutta – Vintage Map 1910
The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, or stock photos or taken from other sources.