Myths & facts about Tipu Sultan

Tipu Sultan, born as Sultan Fateh Ali Sahab Tipu on 1st December, 1751. He was named after Saint Tipu Mastan Aulia of Arcot. He took the place of his father on the throne after his father’s death due to cancer in 1782. His father Hyder Ali was initially the soldier of the Mysore Kingdom and then rose to the post of Dalavayi (commander-in-chief) to Krishnaraja Wodeyar II. He became the De facto ruler of Mysore as Sarvadhikari (Chief Minister) in 1761. It was then later that his son Tipu Sultan took over the throne as the ruler of Mysore.Tipu Sultan is known as the greatest leader of his times and also the freedom fighter who fought 4 battles against the Britishers, known as the Anglo-Mysore War between 1767 to 1799.

Tipu Sultan is known for the various contributions he has made for his kingdom during his reign. He helped in setting up the silk industry which was a result of reforming the land revenue system in Mysore, the military system was made better  through having French-trained army, his relationship with his neighboring kingdoms was also organized, many administrative innovations were introduced along with new coinage system and also people got to know about calender.  Above all, his bravery, artillery skills and war techniques are celebrated till date.         And as a result of all this he is also called the “Tiger of Mysore”. Now the historians give their opinions on this and the reasons for him to be called so. Historians have different views on this and they stand determined to believe in their views.

Few historians say that Tipu Sultan was called the “Tiger of Mysore” because once when he had been to the forest for hunting along with his friend, both of them encountered a tiger on their way. The tiger pounced on his friend and killed him. When the tiger proceeded towards Tipu Sultan, his gun and dagger slipped from his hands. Before he could pick either of them the tiger was over him. He had to either be killed by the tiger or save himself – he chose the latter and managed to pick up his dagger and to kill the tiger. Since then he is called the “Tiger of Mysore”. Few others say that Tipu Sultan’s insignia bore a picture of a tiger and the attire of his soldiers looked like the stripes of a tiger. His fascination for animals gave the reason to be called the “Tiger of Mysore”.  Few others have a viewpoint that because of his bravery, valour and skills gave him the name as “Tiger of Mysore”. Hence the exact reason is not clear as to why Tipu Sultan was called the “Tiger of Mysore”but his capabilities are still remembered by people and celebrate him for his bravery and contributions to the kingdom and the whole of South India.

In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war Tipu Sultan was killed at the Hoally (Diddy) Gateway in the war against the East India Company in 1799. The next day he was buried at the Gumaz, next to the grave of his father.In 2015, the Government of Karnataka initiated the celebration of Tipu Sultan Jayanthi on November 20th every year. The then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from the Congress Party initiated the celebration by the Minority Welfare department and later by the Kannada & Culture department. However later in 2019, BJP party was ruling the Government and B S Yediyurappa the then Chief Minister cancelled the celebration and it still stands cancelled.


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