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Tipu Sultan- Check Background, Battles and Wars

Introduction: Tipu Sultan, who reigned over the Kingdom of Mysore in India from 1750 to 1799, was born on November 10, 1750, in Devanahalli, Karnataka. The son of military officer Haidar Ali and Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa, he earned the moniker ‘Tiger of Mysore’ for his reputation as a powerful warrior and a well-educated ruler. Tipu Sultan is renowned for his military prowess and initiatives to modernize the administration and military of the Kingdom of Mysore. However, his legacy is a subject of controversy, as accusations of religious intolerance and persecution of non-Muslims in his kingdom persist, adding a nuanced layer to his historical significance.

Tipu Sultan’s Background

  • Tipu Sultan’s full name was Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Shahab, but he was commonly called Tipu by his parents, inspired by the local saint Tipu Mastan Aulia.
  • In 1766, at a very young age, he joined his father in the invasion of Malabar.
  • His military training included subjects like shooting, riding, and swordsmanship, overseen by military official Ghazi Khan.
  • Tipu Sultan’s education extended to studying the Quran, Islamic jurisprudence, languages, philosophy, and science.
  • At the age of 15, Tipu led a small force that successfully captured the family of the Malabar rulers.
  • Eventually, the King of Malabar surrendered to Hyder Ali due to the success of Tipu’s invasion.

Tipu Sultan Ruler of Mysore and Tiger of Mysore

  • Tipu Sultan (1750-1799): Ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India.
  • Eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali and Fathima Fakhr-un-Nisar.
  • Ascended to the throne in December 1782.
  • Signed a peace treaty with the British in 1784, assuming the title of Sultan of Mysore.
  • Known for military tactics and efforts to modernize administration and military.
  • Engaged in wars against the British, including the Anglo-Mysore Wars, with initial success but eventual defeat.
  • Fluent in multiple languages: Kannada, Persian, Arabic, and French.
  • Instituted administrative changes during his reign, introducing a new currency, a Mauludi lunisolar calendar, and a new land revenue system.
  • Encouraged the growth of the Mysore silk industry through his economic policies.
  • Despite being Muslim, maintained the respect of Hindu subordinates.
  • Earned the moniker ‘Tiger of Mysore’ for his martial prowess and significant impact on the region’s history.

Tipu Sultan and His Armed Forces

  • Tipu Sultan gained fame for resisting British colonialism and showcasing military prowess.
  • His armed forces were well-trained and equipped, featuring infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
  • Adopting the European model, Tipu used Persian command terms, with French military officers training his soldiers.
  • Modernization efforts included introducing rockets and the latest European firearms.
  • In 1796, he established a Board of Admiralty, envisioning a fleet of 22 battleships and 20 big frigates.
  • The Mysorean Rockets, a notable aspect of Tipu’s forces, were effectively used in battles against the British.
  • Tipu created iron tubes filled with explosives, mounting them on flags or bamboo poles for improved accuracy and range.
  • Despite plans for dockyards in Mangalore, Wajedabad, and Molidabad, they remained unrealized during his reign.
  • The military textbook Fathul Mujahidin was commissioned under his rule.
  • Tipu Sultan’s innovative tactics, including guerrilla strategies and surprise attacks, kept his enemies unsettled.

Tipu Sultan’s Role in the Development of the Mysore Kingdom

The role of Tipu Sultan in the development of the Mysore Kingdom is discussed below:

Art & Culture and Literature

  • Tipu Sultan’s library contained an extensive assortment of translated world literature.
  • He enjoyed personally noting observations about foreign countries.
  • Tipu invited Persians to India to educate artisans in crafting wooden toys, later renowned as Channapatna toys.
  • The ruler set up fresh markets and promoted the expansion of industries like silk, sandalwood, and iron.
  • Tipu Sultan also attracted global experts to contribute to the growth of Mysore’s silk cottage sector.

Economic Development

  • Establishing banking networks and cooperatives, Tipu Sultan raised capital from the public, returning the principal annually with interest, known as “nafa.”
  • Tipu created trading houses worldwide for Mysorean products, opting for a barter system and cashless transactions.
  • The goal was to cultivate a global market for Mysorean goods and labor, preventing the British and other Europeans from draining money out of India.
  • Recognizing that cash transactions could deplete Mysore’s purchasing power, he favored alternative trade methods.
  • In 1785, Tipu restricted local merchants from trading with the East India Company and banned the export of sandalwood, pepper, and cardamom through his kingdom’s ports.
  • Additionally, he eliminated middlemen in the collection of land tax, implementing measures to safeguard Mysore’s economic stability.

Infrastructure Development

  • He initiated the construction of the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam in Mandya.
  • Tipu’s industrial network extended throughout Mysore State, spanning from Bengaluru to Srirangapatna, offering employment opportunities for citizens across the region. Even in the face of British attacks on one center, he maintained control over the others.

Political Development

  • Tipu Sultan implemented state control over vital industries, monopolizing sugar, salt, iron, tobacco, and sandalwood, as well as silver, gold, and precious stones extraction.
  • His collaboration with the French against the British led to his interest in the Jacobin Club in 1797.
  • The Jacobin Club, prominent during the French Revolution, promoted equality and violence. Similarly, Tipu aimed to establish a Republic in Srirangapatna.
  • In Srirangapatna, he symbolically planted the Tree of Liberty, aligning with his vision of a Republic and demonstrating his revolutionary ideals.

Technological Development

  • Acknowledging the potential of technology and discipline, he founded ‘Taramandalpets’ or innovation hubs, akin to contemporary tech parks, in Bengaluru, Chitradurga, Srirangapatna, and Bidanur.
  • Ships arriving at his Mangalore port regularly carried a variety of devices, including telescopes and barometers.

Strategic & Military Development

  • Strengthening ties with the French in India, he modernized his army with their assistance.
  • Utilizing India’s rich tradition in working with ferrous metals like iron and steel, his centers developed an early version of the modern rocket, surpassing the Chinese “firecracker-type missiles” in effectiveness.
  • Constructing iron tubes filled with explosives, these were then raised on flags or bamboo poles and placed on ramps to enhance precision and range.
  • Tipu Sultan is recognized as the ‘Pioneer of rocket technology’ in India, credited for his advancements in this field.
  • He authored a military handbook, Fathul Mujahidin, providing insights into the workings of rockets.

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Who was known as the tiger of Mysore?

Tipu Sultan is known as the Tiger of Mysore due to his fearlessness and bravery.

Who succeeded Tipu Sultan?

Wodeyars succeeded Tipu Sultan after the Fourth Anglo-Mysore wars.

How did Tipu Sultan die?

Tipu Sultan died on May 4, 1799, while defending his capital Seringapatam in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War against the British Forces.

How many Anglo-Mysore wars took place?

There were a total of four Anglo-Mysore wars that took place between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company in the late 18th Century.

What is the contribution of Tipu Sultan?

The major contribution of Tipu Sultan includes the introduction of a new calendar and a coinage system, using new rocket systems known as Mysore rockets etc.

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