Tipu Sultan, the king of Mysore

The ‘Tiger of Mysore’ Tipu Sultan, who bravely fought the British and was known for introducing innovative administrative schemes and military technology, was born on November 20, 1750, in Devanahalli (Bengaluru).

Tipu’s father, Hyder Ali, who served as a military officer at the Mysore kingdom, became the powerful person in Mysore by 1761. Tipu’s mother, Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa, was the daughter of the governor of Kadapa Fort. As a child, Tipu learned several languages, including Hindustani, Arabic, and Kannada, and he was trained in military aspects such as shooting and fencing. French officers employed by Hyder Ali taught military tactics to a young Tipu, who as a teenager participated in the First Mysore War of 1766 against the British and the campaign of 1767.

Tipu Sultan, celebrated as a hero of colonial resistance, was defeated and killed on May 4, 1799, in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war by the forces of the British East India Company. Tipu Sultan is also popularly known as the Tiger of Mysore. Historians have differing views on why the sultan of Mysore was called so.

He succeeded his father in December 1782 and 1784 concluded peace with the British and assumed the title of the sultan of Mysore. In 1789, however, he provoked a British invasion by attacking their ally, the raja of Travancore. He held the British at bay for more than two years, but by the Treaty of Seringapatam (March 1792) he had to cede half his dominions. He remained restless and unwisely allowed his negotiations with Revolutionary France to become known to the British. 

On that appearance, the governor-general, Lord Mornington, launched the fourth Mysore War. Seringapatam now Shrirangapattana, Tippu’s capital, was stormed by British-led forces on May 4, 1799, and Tippu died leading his troops in the violation.

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