The Reflective Indian

India – History and Society – for those who wish to think and learn for themselves

Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore

Tipu Sultan (1750 – 1799), the Tiger of Mysore, as he is popularly remembered, was perhaps the last of the Indian kings to offer significant resistance to the British armies in India. He and his father Hyder Ali ruled Mysore defeating local Indian rivals and the British on several occasions. Tipu’s death in 1799 lead to the eventual submission of peninsular India to the British. To quell future rebellions, Tipu’s family were first interned in Vellore fort and then eventually  were moved on to Calcutta after the Indian Mutiny of 1857, where they have lived for many years. As their state pensions have shrunk in relation to inflation over the last hundred and fifty years, they now live in poverty, making their ends meet as rickshaw pullers. Calcutta’s most famous central mosque is called the Tippoo mosque and there still remains a muslim graveyard in central Calcutta specifically laid out for Tipu’s family. The family’s plight has been the subject of media attention, with state and central governments now providing some support.

Tipu has often portrayed in a negative light by British writers, historians and artists. Here is an interesting article by Willian Dalrymple on Tipu and his legacy. Please click on the link below:

Guardian 2005 Tipu Sultan

Here is another article from History Today, which describes the defeat and death of Tipu Sultan on the 4th of May, 1799.

History Today  – Tipu Sultan

To view Tipu’s ring and sword from the British Museum, view the link below:

British Museum – Tipu ring and sword

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