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The Tiger of Mysore: History of Tipu Sultan, a secular ruler who reconstructed many temples

Tiger of Mysore popularly known as “Sher-e-Mysore” , Tipu Sultan was a legendary ruler of Mysore who dared to oppose the British rule in Southern India. He defeated the British in the first and second Anglo-Mysore War and forced them to accept his terms and conditions as found in Treaty of Madras and Mangalore.

Tipu Sultan was born at Devanhalli of Mysore in 1750. His father was Hyder Ali. His father named him Fateh Ali but very he used to call as Tipu to remember the local saint Tipu Mastan Aulia.


Tipu Sultan became the ruler of Mysore in 1782 after his father’s death. His father had political association with the French. Tipu learnt military tactics and strategies from the French. He captured Malabar when he was 15 year old.




He was the first ruler who used rockets against the British forces. These rockets were iron cased fitted with swords in them. Tipu Sultan wrote a Military Manual “Fathul Mujahidin” in which he gave the details of the functioning of Mysore Rockets.




The British carried many Mysore rockets to England in 1801. Col. William Congreve came up with first rocket based on the technology of Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.



Hyder Ali renovated Bangalore Fort into a stone fort in 1761. Inside the Bangalore Fort there is Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace made of wood. Its construction was stated during the reign of Hyder Ali but it was completed in Tipu Sultan’s period. It is the best example of Indo-Islamic architecture.




Tipu Sultan completed the construction of Lal Bagh Botanical Garden in Bangalore which was started by Haider Ali. It has a large collection of tropical plants, an aquarium and a lake. It is one of the tourist spot of Bangalore.




Tipu Sultan fought four wars against the British. The first two wars were won by him. In the third was he has to surrender his two sons aged 8 and 10 to the British. In the fourth of Srirangapatnam, Tipu Sultan was defeated in 1799 and was killed.




After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, the British carried the Sword and Ring of Tipu Sultan as war trophies. These were kept in the British Musuem till 2004. Later, Indian liquor businessman, Vijay Mallya bought the sword of Tipu Sultan in an auction.







Tipu Sultan was a secular ruler, he reconstructed many temples and he promoted Sericulture in Karnataka. He banned liquor. When he came to know that women in Kerala are prohibited from wearing blouse, he sent blouses to them. He used to say that he can never become the slave of the British. His saying “It is better to live one day as a Tiger than a hundred years as a Jackal”. He promoted communal harmony. One of his ministers was Krishnacharya Purniya.