TIPU SULTAN of Mysore (r.1782-99)


*MAP*
You'll find him, by name, down in the far southwest
Haidar Ali's and Tipu's domain of Mysore, in Joppen historical maps: *Haidar's domain in 1780*; *Mysore in 1784*; *South India in 1795*; and the *Wilkinson maps*
Haidar Ali, an able and energetic wielder of power, fought the British in the first two Anglo-Mysore wars, but died suddenly in 1782
Some of the many extant portraits of HaidarAli's son, Tipu Sultan, whose mascot and symbol was a tiger; see also *"The Tiger and the Thistle"*
Right from the first, it was hard for the British to keep track of what he might be up to, and hard to decide on the proper response
In Mysore city, Tipu had a very impressive palace that later burnt down; the new one that replaces it is still guarded by six formidable tigers
His island-fort town of SERINGAPATAM (now Shrirangapatam, near Bangalore) was dominated by a notable mosque and conspicuous temple gopurams
In Seringapatam Tipu also had a summer palace, the elaborately frescoed Darya Daulat
His special mechanical tiger was designed to savage a British soldier; the British responded with their own symbolic attacks (Tipu was later duly demonized by *Sir Walter Scott*)
He minted some coins with very Indic elephant designs
Infuriated by Tipu's military successes, and fortified by alliances with the Peshwa and the Nizam, General Cornwallis prepared to move against Mysore once again
The Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-92) was fought in defiance of the Company's prohibition against such military expansionism
In 1792, after his defeat, Tipu was obliged to hand over two of his sons to General Cornwallis as hostages for his future good behavior; he later ransomed them
The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99) culminated in the final "Storming of Seringapatam" in 1799
Above all, Tipu's death seemed to be an emblematic, dramatic, romantic moment for the British; *an early Bollywood view of his death*; *the finding of his body*
His vicissitudes gave rise to political cartoons, his exploits inspired a British board game-- and now he's depicted as a religious martyr too
The domed tomb near Seringapatam where Tipu, and Haidar Ali and his wife, are buried



 
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