In 1816 May fourth, Benjamin Bailey and his wife Elizabeth Ella started their journey to India from the Portsmouth dock in a ship named ‘Hero’. They were accompanied by Bailey’s sister Sarah Archer and her husband Rev.Dowson. At the Cape of Good Hope the sea turned rough and it delayed their journey for some time. They reached the Madras port on 9th September 1816. They were really tired after a long journey so they decided to take rest for a month in Madras. On 16th October they set out for Kochi by road. They travelled on horseback and bullock carts. It took a month to reach Kochi. Rev. Norton was there to receive them. He took them to Alappuzha and Rev. Norton’s assignation was to educate Bailey in Malayalam language.
Sunil Thiruvaniyoor considers all these historical facts and clubs the incidents together to accommodate them in a single relief panel. The Hero is a ship not a boat, however, in Sunil’s relief ‘Hero’ is depicted as a ship and approaching the Kochi shore. The Madras interlude is removed from the narrative, so is the case of their travel by road to Kochi and by boat to Alappuzha. In Sunil’s vision the ship Hero comes straight to the Kerala shore and people who have assembled there are from the same place. One of them seems to be a king himself and three others are his courtiers. One plebian is also represented in the left hand corner of the relief. The shore is rich with its flora and the undulating hills are scene at the horizon line.