The Sultan of Mysore
Sultan Tipu was born on 20th November 1750 in Devanahalli modern day Bangalore. Tipu Sultan was also called Fateh Ali. Hayder Ali was Tipu Sultan’s father who himself was a military personal in service to the Mysore Kingdom. He came in power in 1761 and was crowned as the Sultan. Mother of Tipu Sultan was also a noble lady who was a daughter of the governor of Kadapa. Tipu Sultan in his younger days was energetic and full of life. He was a smart student as well. He had a fine grip on Hindi Language, Persian and Arabic. He was fond of riding and shooting.
Tipu Sultan acquired his military training under the supervision of a French instructor at the teenage of 15. He stood by his father against the British forces in 1766. He himself was a fine military leader as he commanded the cavalry corps when he invaded Carnatic in 1767, when he was just 17 years old. In the second Anglo Mysore war British forces invaded the fort of Mahe which was under control of French forces. Hayder Ali who was the Sultan at that time ordered Tipu his son to launch a counter attack and deployed 10,000 men under his command. Tipu Sultan over powered Colonel Baillie with ease. He captured his men which dented the British forces.
When Tipu Sultan came in power he proved to be a brilliant administrator. Being a leader in a country where majority of the population was Hindu, Sultan Tipu had a firm Faith in Islam. He used to go to mosque every day to say his prayers. He paid special attention for the well being of his people. During his tenure he completed the project of Lal Bagh which was started by his father during his era. He enhanced the road network, built mosques, hospitals, public buildings. He built he first church in Mysore which pin points a fact that he respected all the religions. During his reign the economy of Mysore saw reached great heights as he started the trade with countries such as Oman, Afghanistan and France. Tipu Sultan’s heroics against the British forces in the first and second Anglo-Mysore wars enhanced the reputation of his state. Mysore was known to be the school and training centre for military and war tactics.
It is said that Tipu Sultan was a fine soldier and a capable leader. He was so clever in his moves that no one could guess on which front he was fighting. He was sharp and witty. He was brilliant with his maneuver tactics. He is among the few leaders in India who defeated the British forces. He managed to control a good amount of land in the South and also defeated Nizams. Tipu himself wanted to become a Sufi but his father knew his capabilities and insisted him to change his mind.
During the third Anglo-Maratha war Tipu Sultan faced tough resistance from the British Forces, the Allied forces of Marathas and Nizams. During the battle Tipu Sultan asked French forces for the help but failed to get them on the field. Hence he signed the charter of surrender and had to give some of the land of Mysore to the British Army. He also sent his two sons as the hostage of war.
When the fourth Anglo-Mysore war broke out the city was surrounded by more or less 26,000 armed when in collaboration with the forces of Marathas and Nizams. While on the other end Tipu Sultan had about 25,000 men against 60,000 men. There were 12 military battalions and 1800 cavalry men against the Tiger of Mysore. Sultan and his men fought with bravery and courage while they were guarding their capital. Tipu Sultan was killed during this battle in 1799.
Tipu Sultan was a brave leader and fine soldier he said “one day of life lived as a tiger is far better than hundred years of living a as a jackal”.