On the 222nd death anniversary of the mighty warrior Tipu Sultan, a man of many names, let us reminisce the Mysore king who was an impediment to the British dream of ruling Southern India until he breathed his last.
Who was Tipu Sultan?
The man with many names, Tipu Sultan was born as the eldest son to the Sultan of Mysore Hyder Ali and Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa on 20th November 1750 in Devanhalli.
Popularly known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, legends of his indomitable courage and bravery against the British East India company are stretched across borders and proudly passed on from one generation to another.
He assisted his father in battles from a very tender age and fought his first battle in 1766 at the age of 17. Apart from being renowned for his distinguished military skills, he was a great patron of innovation and is credited for the introduction of innovative strategies that truly revolutionized the kingdom of Mysore.
The ‘Tiger of Mysore’:
As per famous legend, Tipu Sultan came face-to-face with a tiger on a hunting trip with a friend when the tiger pounced on his friend and killed him. The tiger then jumped on him and when it was about to attack him, Tipu picked up his dagger and killed the tiger which earned him the name of “Tiger of Mysore”.
Tipu Sultan had a unique admiration for tigers. He had six tigers in his fortress-city Seringapatam, 200 miles west of Madras. For his reverence of tigers, he got his throne shaped and striped like a tiger. His war troops donned tiger badges, the hilt of his sword was in the form of a snarling tiger, and his favourite toy was a mechanical tiger straddling a British officer while the victim squealed in terror.
It was for this fascination and his fear among his subjects, his neighbors, and other Indian princes, who joined forces with the British against him that he was postulated with this title.
A patron of Innovation:
Tipu Sultan was way ahead of his time for introducing ground-breaking innovations in the economy and using unconventional and tech-savvy war tactics and tools that caught even the Britishers by surprise.
He is credited for the introduction of coinage in Mysore. He also introduced a new Mauludi lunisolar calendar and a new land revenue system that led to the growth of the Mysore silk industry. He is also known to have started the concept of tech-parks back in the 1700s.
The astute strategist and mighty warrior who valiantly resisted the British East India Company:
Tipu Sultan, the mighty warrior, and astute strategist left no stone unturned to expel the British forces out of his land.
He had an undying desire to push the British forces to the ruins and pulled it off very well during his reign. He halted the Britishers from marching Southern India for nearly 40 years along with his father Hyder Ali.
His refusal to submit to the Britishers was unshakable until he breathed last on the battlefield on 4th May 1799, as he fought the British in the 4th Anglo-Mysore war.