Saturday, May 2, 2009

Srirangapatna - A historical place near Mysore

History of Srirangapatna

Srirangapatna is a 5x1 km wide island surrounded by two tributaries of Cauvery, 124 km away from Bangalore and 15 km to the North East of Mysore on Mysore-Bangalore Highway. The king of Vijayanagar built a fort here in 1454AD. After a long period of 150 yrs when the last king of Vijayanagar empire handed over the fort to the Wadyar king of Mysore, the capital of Mysore was shifted to Srirangapatna (1610-1761 AD). Hyder Ali ousted the Marathas in 1759 and dethroned the Wadyar king in 1761 to become the ruler of Srirangapatna. However, Hyder's son Tipu Sultan (born in 1750 and his mother was a Hindu) made an encloser around Srirangapatna by wall and ditch. Preventing repeated attacks by the British, French, Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas, the Hero of the Sword, Tipu Sultan—Tiger of Mysore was killed by the British after a reign of 17 yrs. It was Colonel Arthur Wellesley of East India Company who was responsible for Tipu's murder. According to his plan a traitor opened the water gate and the British force entered easily. Srirangapatna went under British rule on 4 May, 1799. And on 6 May, 1799, Wellesley became the governor of Srirangapatna. Though much of Srirangapatna was destroyed in the war, the North Western part of the fort, the dream child of Hyder Ali and Tipu, still exists as a symbol of courage and independence. Rampart, Dariya Daulat, Minar, Juma Mosque, dungeon or underground cell, Museum, Gangadhareswar of the 16th century, Narsimha Temple of the 17th century and Sriranganathswami, all remind of the past.

This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel

Places to see in Srirangapatna

The Tomb of Tipu is located at the northern gate of the fort (right side of the entrance). Opens 8-00 am to 1-00 pm and 4-00 pm to 8-00 pm.

Sriranganathswami Temple

Sriranganathswami Temple was built in 894 AD by governor Thirumalayar of the Ganga kings.The Hoysal and Vijayanagar kings renovated the temple several times. The great Vaishnav philosopher Ramanuja after leaving Cholas' Tamilandu in 1133 came here to settle. In course of time the name of the place became familiar as Srirangapatna which was derived from Sriranganathswami. There is a huge image of Lord Vishnu made of black stone. Here, Vishnu is in slumber. The five-storey Gopuram in South Indian style is also a feature of the temple. Different incarnations of Vishnu are depicted in the temple.
The decorated, well sculptured chariot in front of the temple was donated by Hyder Ali. Tipu himself was also a devotee of Sriranganath. Rathyatra and a fair are held every year on the occasion of Rathsaptami in the month of Magh (December) . Nearby, there is a Shiva Temple.

St Philomena church
In Srirangapatna there is St Philomena church, built by the Mysore king in 1933. It is 165 ft high and the third largest church in India.

Dariya Daulat Bag
Dariya Daulat Bag (the treasure of river), a beautiful flower garden encircled by the river Cauvery 1 km to the east of the fort, was established in 1784 in Parsian style. In the midst of this garden, there was the summer palace of Tipu, built in Indo-Serasenic style. This teak wooden palace is a historical souvenir of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Sword, blood stained clothes and other personal belongings are kept in the palace. British Colonel Arthur Wellesley also stayed here for a period. Though faded out, the Parsian miniature frescos on French-British-Mysore war remind the history. On the western wall, frescos of Tipu and Hyder Ali, engaged in the battle of 1780 against British; on the eastern wall, Tipu as a host to the kings of neighbouring states are notable paintings. There is also a museum on the 1st floor.

This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel

Jamia-e-Tipu Masjid
3 km to the east of Dariya Daulat, under the open sky there is the Gambuj (or Minar) Jamia-e-Tipu Masjid (mosque), supported by 36 pillars, made of black stone. Engraved on cream coloured wood with ivory carved design, this graveyard or tomb of Tipu is really beautiful. The wall of this tomb is sheathed in tiger skin. War between Tipu (supported by the French) and the British, lifestyle of the Nawabs are depicted in the fresco paintings by the British soldiers. In the east is buried the mother of Tipu, and in the west Tipu himself. This tomb was built by Tipu in 1784 as a graveyard or tomb of his father Hyder Ali. With the personal collections of Tipu a museum is thereon the 1st floor. Except Friday, it remains open from 9-00 am to 5-00 pm. Climbing up the minaret (of 200 steps) of Jumma Mosque, built in 1784, you see the ruins of the fort or scenery of Srirangapatna. In the balcony of the hall, quotations from the Quran are depicted. And to the west there is mihrab.

How to reach Srirangapatna
Route No. 125 bus leaves from city bus stand in Mysore every hour. From Mysore there are trains at 6-00,6-45,8-05, 15-40, 16-20,18-05, 18-25, 23-30. It takes only 15 minutes to reach Srirangapatna and from here to Bangalore. There are buses on conducted tours; auto and tonga are available in the city.

Hotels / Accomodation at Srirangapatna

3 km from bus stand of the city, adjacent to temple, there is KSTDC's Hotel Mayura River View, Srirangapatna-571438, Dist Mandya, Ph: (08236) 652114, Food is available at the canteen.

PWD's Travellers Bungalow and Inspection Bungalow,

Amblee Holiday Resort Ph:(08236) 652326

Complete Travel information of Mysore

This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel

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