Tipu Sultan – the Tiger of Mysore!

It must have been a life of untold luxury in the 1780s and 1790s – if you were the Chief!
I suspect the harshness of life here today – for most people – would seem luxurious to the pesants of the late 18th century!
Just returned from Srirangapatnam (good luck with pronouncing that!) – the island city / fortress and HQ of said Tipu Sultan – ruler hereabouts who so harried (and hated) the Brits that they tried 4 times to oust him from ower. Finally suceeded in 1799 – the troops led by (wouldny ya know it!) the Duke of Wellington…………
some of Tipu’s belongings now in the Queens cllection at Windsor (the gold and diamond bits, natch) and there’s a working “toy” showing a Tiger mauling a British soldier to death – clockwork and now in the V&A in London!! which he had made after the first 3 winning battles.

Srir etc etc (see above) is a magnificent walled city set on a p[roontory where the river Cauvery divides. It sits at one end – so can be better defending on the landward side as the rive rproects the back. The island itself is diamond shape, which provided fuher defence. It loks almost like a Mayan or Aztec ruin – where the walls are huge blocks of stone, so neatly fitted together, but in many places now overgrown. The complex ccontains two ancient (8th/9th) century temples – left unharmed by the conquering Brits! And further down the ‘diamond’ are Tipus summer palace and the Mausoleum where he, his father and mother all all interred.
The summer retreat- so cleverly designed, is superbly cool on the hottest day -a combination of location above the river, and ingenious use of windows, blinds etc.

I bathed in the river – well up to my knees anyway. Since the Temple guide leaflet – in wonderfully eccentric English – tells me that all my sins will be forgiven.
That’s a great relief after all these years…

My favourite bit was where I spotted a old gate by the road – not part of the tour stuff at all – and it turned out to be the ‘River Gate’ from the city – some of it’s old walls still there – other parts laid alongide the river for ladies who were doing there washing there. I had another paddle there to be safe and even noted some carvings lost lost from the walls on the stones as I clambered in and out of the water.
Photos etc will have to wait till I can download them in Australia.

For now – I am off to re-arrange a chnage of hotel tomorrow. Chnage for the heck of it – different part of town etc.
Dusk settling in – it is dark by 6.30/7.00 alll year round.

I wrote a poem for Tipu Sultan but didn’t expect to see an internet access today so that will have to wait. Dripping with jewels or not, I’d quite fancy the role!

Tipu Charles, Raconteur of Mysore.

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