A Brief History of Mysore

The south of Karnataka has a very strong connection with history. Mysore standing tall and bold in this sphere. Chitradurga has also a couple of historical stories to narrate.

Mysore abounds with history. It starts with the activity of pre-historic man traced on the banks of the Cauvery and its tributaries. Traces of neolithic and megalithic phases have been found there. Mysore district has been rich in inscriptions, with the history of various dynasties. No district in Karnataka has so many inscriptions as Mysore. Many places in the district are associated with mythological stories as well.

Many dynasties have ruled Mysore and neighbouring places. Some of the important ones are the Gangas, who ruled the longest period from 4th to 10th century. The Cholas ruled from 10th century onwards and the Hoysalas from 10th century to the 15th century. Later the Vijayanagar ruled from 14th century followed by the Mysore Wodeyar or Yadu dynasty .

The traces of these dynasties can be found in major historical places like Talkad, Srirangapatna, Mysore and the neighbouring district of Kodagu considered to be an important place historically.Located on the banks of the Cauvery, Talkad is one of the oldest towns in Karnataka, some of its past lying buried in the sand dunes of the Cauvery River.

Talakad was the capital of the Ganga rulers of 6th century, and later came under the Hoysalas. These two rulers have made significant contribution by way of construction of temples in the town.Thus making it temple town, these temples date back to 10th century. The construction activity went on till about 17th century.

Another place of historical significance is Srirangapatna, deriving its name from Lord Ranganatha.The temple dedicated to Ranganatha is over a 1,000 years old, proclaiming the historical background of the city. Srirangapatna is an island town encircled by the river Cauvery. The temple of Lord Sriranganatha is said to have been built by the Chieftain Thirumalaiah in 894 AD. This was once the capital of Haider Ali & his son Tippu Sultan, “The Tiger of Mysore”. In the 18th century, Marathas attacked Srirangapatna & forced heavy payments.

Haider pushed back the Marathas & saved the Kingdom. In 1799 Tippu fought a fierce Battle (Battle of Mysore) against the British & fell bravely defending his capital.

Srirangapatna remains in a ruined state recalling the battles fought & the past glory. Besides the mythological association of the town, the town has assumed significance for the heroism of Haider Ali Khan and Tipu Sultan in fighting the British in association with the French. Several remnants of this period are visited by hundreds of tourists today. It was also the capital of the Vijayanagar representatives and later Mysore rulers, during whose period Srirangapatna had witnessed glorious days.

Tiger roars

Tipu was one of the greatest national heroes that Karnataka produced. He assumed the sovereignty of Mysore on the death of his father, Haider Ali.B orn in 1753 at Devanahalli., the place where Hyder distinguished himself, he was named after a Muslim saint of Arcot, for whom Haider had a special veneration.

Tipu accompanied his father in 1766 to Mangalore and displayed his dash and courage in attacking the Paleyagar of Balam. He helped his father in capturing the forts of Tirapatur and Vaniambadi. While he was engaged against the British, Hyder Ali passed away. Tipu assumed the control of the affairs and sat on the throne on December 29, 1782.

Tipu has left a deep impression on the history of Karnataka. He instilled in the minds of the people the spirit of patriotism and love for their country. A good administrator he gave encouragement to agriculture. He established a highly centralized administration manned by seven departments.

Tipu also found time to patronize art. To his period belongs the Daria-daulat Bagh palace, Masjid-e-Ala at Srirangapatna and the summer palace at Bangalore. It is the opinion of scholars that Tipu’s administration was better and his people happier than in other states. This brief survey of his achievements shows that Tipu was a remarkable personality