Srirangapatna is a town in the Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka. The entire town is enclosed by the river Kaveri (also spelt as Cauvery) to form a rocky island. The town is named after Sri Ranganatha Temple, one of the many ancient structures found here. The ruins of the magnificent Srirangapatna fortress that stands here is the main tourist attraction.
The history of Srirangapatnacan be traced back to 9th century A.D., when the Ganga dynasty ruled this region, from their capital at Talakkadu.
Later, the Vijayanagara viceroys ruled it. The Mysore Wodeyars took possession of this place during the reign of Raja Wodeyar, which ultimately became the capital of Mysore under the rule of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, till it was captured by the British in 1799 A.D.
During The Battle of Seringapatam, Tipu Sultan was killed within the premises of the fort of Srirangapatna, infamously betrayed by one of his own confidants. The spot where he ultimately fell is marked by a memorial.
Illustrative of the Fort
The magnificent Srirangapatna fort has four main entrances known by the names of Delhi, Bangalore, Mysore Water and Elephant gates. The fort has a double wall defense system, which makes it impenetrable. Tipu Sultan’s residence was inside this fort. A simple structure within the Fort is believed to be the ‘rocket court’ or the launch pad from where Tipu’s soldiers used to launch their missiles. Inside the fort, there is a mosque and the Ranganathaswamy Temple; outside the fort is the tomb of Tipu, the Gumbaz.
Take a ride
The island is scattered with many historic and religious monuments. The spiritual holiness of its pious landscape weighs down beautifully with the nostalgic air of its valour past. Let us take a look at the popular ‘attractions’ of this island.
The Summer Palace
Built in 1784, Daria DaulatBagh was the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan. The name indicates that it was built with the wealth acquired from seatrade. Made of teak, this structure has ornate and beautiful frescoes (a painting done in watercolour on wet plaster). This palace has now been converted into a museum, which exhibits Tipu’s belongings and paintings. It was declared a National Monument in the year 1959.
Gumbaz is a huge mausoleum in the middle of an expensive garden, built by Tipu that now houses the mortal remains of Tipu Sultan, his father Hyder Ali and his mother. Designed in a typical Persian form, it is a square shaped mausoleum with ivory inlaid doors and black marble pillars. The walls are painted in tiger stripes, that is correlated with Tipu Sultan.
Lal Mahal is the remains of one of Tipu’smost beautiful palace. This double storied ornate palace was built in 1791. The palace had advanced underground piping. It is said that Tipu had restrained four tigers near its entrance. It is believed that, from this Tipu’s Palace, there is a hidden way which leads to another Tipu’s Mahal in Sakleshpur.The British, who used it for some time as a military post afterkilling Tipu in the Mysore war in 1799 A.D., demolished the greater part of this palace.