Saturday, 17 March 2018

Srirangapatna Fort from where Tipu Sultan fought against early British imperialism

Srirangapatna Fort, Karnataka. HolidayIQ
Built in the 15th century, the historical Srirangapatna Fort in Srirangapatna town, Karnataka is one of the outstanding monuments built during the Vijayanagar Empire. Built by  Timmanna Nayaka in 1454,  the the double-walled formidable fort gained prominence during the  reign of Tipu Sultan - "the Tiger of Mysore". Earlier, after1495, the fort changed hands - Wodeyars, Nawab of Arcot and Marathas had a hold on the fort.  In the later part of 17th century, the Wodeyars moved the capital to Srirangapatna from Mysore   and during the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1734–66), the kingdom became a strong military force. Later Military General  Hyder took control of the kingdom as the political situation was choatic under the Wodeyars. For a brief period the Marathas seized the control from Hyder Ali. Later Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali's son in 1872 took control over the fort and began the reinforcement of the fort.  Tipu  was the sworn enemy of  the British and their dishonest dealing and at the same time  had a military alliance with the French rulers in India under Napoleon. Fully fortified and consolidated, the architecture part of it was taken care of by the French. This was done, keeping in view, the increasing risk of raids from other states as well as the British.  On the western and northern sides the river Cauvery flows and this gave the ruler addition protection and safety. Unfortunately during the major raids by the British led by Col. Wellesly,  Lal Mahal and Tipu's palace were heavily damaged. Tipu was killed within the portals of this fort on 4 may 1799 and the British ingenuously  made the advancements across the river using the gateway  on the river bank at mid day when the watchman was asleep, while
additional troops were already hidden in the trenches. This national monument is being taken care of by the ASI. 

There are two dungeons for the prisoners and seven outlets - safety exits in case of total capture of the fort. Included in the fort are the Colonel Bailey's Dungeon, Thomas Inman's Dungeon, Daria Daulat Bagh, Gumbaj containing tomb of Tipu Sultan, Juma Masjid (Masjid-E-Ala),Sri  Ranganatha swami temple, besides, monument where Tipu's body was found. The massive triangular shaped fort made of double walled granite is 40 foot tall on all three sides and can be accessed by two gateways - Mysore and Elephant gate ways.
Srirangapatna ranganatha swami temple.wikipedia
Srirangapatna ranganatha swami temple, YouTube
 Above image: A profile of the gopuram (tower) over entrance in the Ranganatha swamy temple at Srirangapatna. It is  believed to have been built by Sri Ramanuja, the proponent of Vaishnadvaita philosophy with the grants from Dwarasamudra, the 12th century Hoysala king. Tipu's palace entrance is opposite to the temple. Tipu Sultan never destroyed this temple and also the other temple Narasimha Swami temple near by. The Wodeyar kings of the Kingdom of Mysore also patronized this temple.
Srirangapatna fort.Jumma Masjid (Masjid-i-Ala). ASI Bengaluru
Above image: Situated on a higher platform, the Jumma Masjid ( Masjid-i-Ala) inside the fort forms a landmark of Srirangapatna across the river Cauvery for people coming from Bangalore. Built during 1786-87 by Tipu, the mosque located close to the Bangalore Gate has two minarets. The balconies with gallery  separate each stage of the minaret. In the minarets as well as the walls of the rectangular terrace there is a 
series of arched openings. The two story  Masijid has no dome A Madrasa is functioning 
in the  mosque,  where the essence of of Islam is imparted.
Srirangapatna fort, Colonel Bailey's Dungeon, wikipedia. org.

Above image: Bailey's Dungeon - the captives  were subject to tough punishments here. One being they were chained at the wrists and tied to the stone slab with wrists in the cold water. Tipu Sultan built these dungeons to punish the British, in particular. Col. Bailey spent much of his confinement here, hence the dungeon is named after him. He died in 1780.
Daria Daulat Bagh,Hi! Bengaluru
Above image: Daria Daulat Bagh (literally 'Garden of the Wealth') is a palace situated in the city of Srirangapatna, an island in the river Kaveri, about 14 km from Mysore in southern India. It is mostly made out of teak wood.  The Dariya Daulat Palace (Summer Palace) that is set amidst beautiful gardens called D
Daria Daulat Bagh. Tipu Sultan popularly known as the "Tiger of Mysore", built this palace in 1784.
Rocketman Tipu Sultan of Mysore. The Better India

Srirangapatna fort. rocket court in ruin
Above image: Tipu's world famous missiles launched from the place in the above image. It was in ruins long ago. I do not know the present condition of the place where Tipu had set the launch pads. To the visitors' it is an eye-sore. This place's saga of 18th century rocts is hidden in rubbish and broken stones.
Historians  described the Mysorean rockets  developed by Tipu as the scourge of the British. His father, earlier, used the missiles against the British and took them by surprise. Tipu's  ingenuity and courage  got  him the sobriquet "Tiger of Mysore". Tipu Sultan's rocket- missile with iron-cased heat resistant tube could travel long distance and cause formidable damage on the enemy side. The raining dangerous missiles  had the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, on the run for cover and safety in the fourth Mysore war. Some of these rockets were seized by the British army and are currently on display at London's Royal Artillery Museum.

Tipu Sultan has become an immortal Indian ruler in Indian history and, as for his push for Islam during his reign, he, despite his remarkable records, remains a riddle.