20 July 2015

Seringapatnam, Mandya, Karnataka


“The reasons why Tipu was reviled are not far to seek. Englishmen were prejudiced against him because they regarded him as their most formidable rival and an inveterate enemy, and because, unlike other Indian rulers, he refused to become a tributary of the English Company. Many of the atrocities of which he has been accused were allegedly fabricated either by persons embittered and angry on account of the defeats which they had sustained at his hands, or by the prisoners of war who had suffered punishments which they thought they did not deserve. He was also misrepresented by those who were anxious to justify the wars of aggression which the Company's Government had waged against him. Moreover, his achievements were deliberately belittled and his character blackened in order that the people of Mysore might forget him and rally round the (Wadiyar) Raja, thus helping in the consolidation of the new regime”
– Mohibbul Hasan, “The History of Tipu Sultan” (1971)


"Welcome to the Historical City of Srirangapatna" - The Delhi Gate


On the 4th of May 1799, in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War fought at Seringapatnam (aka Srirangapatna), fell Badshah Nasib-ud-Daula Fath Ali Khan Tipu Sultan, the legendary “Tiger of Mysore” and the foremost of Indian Sultans who perennially and ferociously opposed the rapacious acquisitive and revenue policies of British East India “trading” Company, and so fierce was the terror he instilled in the hearts of his enemies and the respect he commanded even from them that the British officers who took part in the siege of his fortress were grudgingly compelled to commission a small square, grass-enshrouded garden and within it install a sober, evocative stone memorial indicating the hallowed spot where the formidable Sultan was killed in battle. Symbolically portraying the vanquishing of Tipu’s forces by depicting a British lion trampling upon a tiger, a commemorative medal was also issued by the Company’s Army to be awarded to all officers and soldiers who participated in the battle against the Sultan. His legacy survives in a series of disjointed monuments and relics from his majestic fortress-citadel scattered throughout the capital city Seringapatnam which has since become thoroughly overpopulated and come to occupy almost every portion of the grand fortress thereby turning it into a mere indifferent suburb of the beautiful city of Mysore, the erstwhile exclusive capital of the Wadiyar Dynasty (ruled AD 1399-1947) whom the fearless Tipu unceremoniously deposed from power  for a short interregnum – thus while modern-day Seringapatnam, consisting of brilliantly multihued block-like houses and apartment buildings with very little to offer in the name of historicity or architectural/artistic heritage, seems lost to the vagaries of human forgetfulness and urbanization, the few edifices that Tipu had designed and constructed, with their identical vibrant orange hues, rise like they were intended to as majestic beacons in a city now shorn of all its grandeur, ferocity and regal presence.


Commemorative - Here breathed his last the legendary "Tiger of Mysore"


Once more for the sake of recounting in a few words the courageous Sultan’s extraordinary history, I replicate the text from one of my earlier articles –

"An innovative genius and unparalleled military tactician who also possessed intimate knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, shooting, horse-riding, Hindi-Urdu writing, poetry and economic systems, Badshah Fath Ali Khan Bahadur Tipu Sultan was instructed in military tactics by French officers in service of his father Nawab Hyder Ali Khan and is credited with creating the first prototype rockets which he used in wars against the annexing armies of British East India “trading” Company whom he continued to oppose and fiercely resist all his short life. Technologically advanced and financially capable, he employed several skilled European weapon makers and mercenaries, was aware of the potent warfare technologies of his time, possessed an extremely strong naval force consisting of numerous war ships and frigates and even went to the extent of suggesting an alliance based on mutual admiration with Napoleon Bonaparte who came as far as Egypt on a conquering spree to unite their forces.. Despite his superb administrative, organizational and warfare capabilities, Tipu is considered (based on unreliable, highly biased early British sources who participated in wars against him) a fanatic bigoted Muslim and an extremely harsh, iconoclast ruler who heinously ordered destruction of numerous temples and shrines and oversaw the forceful conversion or merciless execution of hundreds of non-Muslims, especially Christians, besides following a “scorched earth” policy and pitilessly ravaging and impoverishing captured territories and destroying their economies and agrarian capabilities. His admirers continue to debate that he looked after his subjects irrespective of their religion and personal beliefs, employed Hindus at almost each of the influential court post and provided religious grants and protection against brigands to several Hindu temples, some of which existed in the immediate vicinity of his palace. Yet he remains a much abhorred and very controversial personality in Indian history – a patriot who relentlessly strived against foreign colonial rule, yet himself a foreigner who ruthlessly oppressed his subjects and executed those he considered unbelievers or heretics."
(Read the full post here – Pixelated Memories - Tipu Sultan Shahi Mosque)


Dark clouds, dark tidings? - One of Tipu's numerous powder magazines


Though the fortified city is located upon the flood plains of an ethereally beautiful, densely forested island within the Kaveri river in the district of Mandya, its association, both historic, legendary and geographic with the district of Mysore, has obliged many to seek its administrative unification with the latter from which it is located a mere 15 kilometers apart – presently however, it is accessible via the Mysore-Bangalore highway through a narrow, unimpressive branching road passing through the imposing, triple-storied “Delhi Gate” (also often referred to as “Bangalore Gate”), which though now miserably ruined and hideously layered with movie posters and election sloganeering (so much for the political correctness associated with the city and its inspiring history!), once formed the royal thoroughfare over which would have passed the authoritative Sultan regally seated on his elephant and escorted by his handsome cavalry and powerful royal guards. The idyllic, laidback life of the city spontaneously engulfs one as soon as one steps through the gateway and the vast beautiful green fields, glistening with crops and punctuating the line of low-lying residential quarters and remains of ruined palaces and cities crying for attention and conservation, seem like a disappointment against the enormous expectations of observing the splendor of the Sultan’s citadel. For someone from Delhi, used to seeing massive fortresses with towering walls, massive palatial complexes and serrated battlements equipped for defense, Seringapatnam, with its fragmented structures, insignificant gateways, ruined palaces and decrepit incoherent defenses, along with the modern-day boxed-in settlements that have become rooted within its peripheries, all ensconced cheek-by-jowl within the fortress’ diminutive (just barely out of reach of an energetic lithe goat!) and thick enclosing walls seems out of place with the flamboyant tales of its erstwhile inhabitants’ martial prowess and battle capabilities.


Celestial - The sluggish waters of river Kaveri


But then of course, the root cause of this desolation is not far from the surface – the repetitive unrelenting attacks by the combined forces of British East India Company, the Marathas of Maharashtra and the Nizam of Hyderabad had very nearly reduced the defenses to rubble; what remained was razed and destroyed by the victorious British, unrepentant and avaricious in their retribution against the fallen Tiger’s territories and possessions; post-independence governments were not very different and unquestionably, one might even say eagerly, gave way to the combined ravenous forces of urbanization and commercialization and failed miserably to safeguard the historic nature of the sites involved against encroachments and vandalism – point in case, Tipu’s residential Lal Mahal (“Red Palace”) that was said to be a simplistic affair externally but possessed several magnificent buildings and colonnades within, the remains of which subdued to mere stubs and boundary walls between 1807-09 on orders of Colonel Arthur Wellesley (later H.H. Lord The Duke of Wellington) to supply building material for the Wadiyar Maharaja’s palace in Mysore (refer Pixelated Memories - Mysore Palace), exist in close vicinity to the Delhi Gate and were unlawfully dug up by the local population once again a few decades ago when excavations revealed the presence of expensive gold and pearl articles – the government’s sole response, not unexpected, was to seal off the entire premises with strong iron railings and cease visitor entry in its entirety, notwithstanding the visitor’s credentials and/or intentions with regards observing the ruins. About the palace contemporary accounts note –

“a kind of colonnade painted green with red ornamental work, forming what is called the tiger stripe…Round the arched compartments of the roof, or ceiling, are disposed a variety of Arabic and Persian verses, applicable to the signs of the Zodiac, and importing the godlike superiority of the Sultan in his princely character.”

History dictates that it was this palace where British officials accepted the surrender of two of Tipu’s sons following the imposition of punitive terms of treaty upon his defeat in the Third Anglo-Mysore War (First Battle of Seringapatnam, 1792) and it was here eventually that his body was brought for preparation for burial upon his demise. But then, when have monuments and heritage structures ever been accorded their due dignity in this country?


Soaring - The painstakingly ornamented Masjid-i-Ala


Couple of meters from the Delhi Gate is located Tipu’s still functional Jama Masjid, the royal Friday congregational mosque, one of the most prominent edifices in Seringapatnam – built in 1782-84 upon the Sultan’s ascension to the throne and christened “Masjid-i-Ala” (“Mosque of the Ruler”), the mosque is a grand double-storied structure flanked on its two front corners by enormous, exquisitely ornamented octagonal minarets sculpted throughout with tiny decorative alcoves, realistic pine cone-like outbursts, slender embellished turrets, rectangular pigeon holes, highly-stylized leaf motifs and floral and geometric patterns. The unsurpassably beautiful yet humble prayer chamber situated on the first floor, painted a subdued pink-white that drastically contrasts against the brilliant saffron-orange of the rest of the structure, is adorned with a rococo of plasterwork designs, ornamental cusped arches, concave domed roofs transforming into massive stucco explosions of floral arrangements and calligraphy inscriptions pertaining to the 99 names of Allah. It possesses a colonnade against its front facade that is supported on unusually simplistically chiseled pillars and bear once more the ubiquitous lavishness of embellishments – decorative floral motifs, fascinating pilasters (fake, thin pillars) ornamented with densely detailed floral medallions supported on thin, equally well-described stalks and unbelievably beautiful cusped arches – that seem to have been a landmark of all buildings that Tipu conceived and commissioned. The ground floor boasts of shaded passageways accessible by arched entrances flanked by an overabundance of miniaturized alcoves which might have once been used to house earthen oil lamps to endow the entire building with an unearthly trance glow; a moderately-sized courtyard inset with a deep rectangular water tank along one corner and punctuated along its sides by finely plastered over graves (undeniably well-kept and also painted in the all-encompassing bright orange) exists around the mosque building – sadly however, the limited expanse of space envisioned within the mosque’s enclosing walls render photographing its enormity in its entirety inconceivable and one is denied the possibility of photographing both the floors, the expansiveness of the handsome minaret towers and the geographic spatial expanse of the structure in a single click – stepping back and clicking from afar is equally fruitless since now even though the minarets can be well-framed, the lower floors very nearly disappear behind the residential settlements that have mushroomed around the structure and the low buttresses of wilderness-covered rock that project from the ground in its near vicinity.


The physiognomy of a Sultan's mosque


Outside the mosque, we hired a local guide who promised to show us around the colossal fortress complex’s remains within three hours in his auto-rickshaw for a negotiable sum of Rs 300 depending on whether or not we liked his services and command over his beloved city’s history – admiringly, we ended up paying him Rs 350 following the passage of the whirlwind tour via which we explored almost every monument that the historic township has to offer and grudgingly conceded that dust covered, sweat drenched and tired, we would have been roaming the indiscernible streets were it not for the polite and talkative guide and his swift auto-rickshaw. The wide street immediately opposite the mosque, flanked on both sides by wilderness and small rock faces abutting from earth, leads first to the aforementioned memorialized spot where Tipu, who styled himself “Asad Allah ul-Ghalib” (“The Conquering Lion of God”), was killed fighting and his body was found at the conclusion of the day’s battle (he was supposedly killed by a British soldier who failed to recognize him but thrusted his sword through him nonetheless after being spellbound by his expensive robe and jewel-studded ornaments!), and eventually to the wretchedly ruined, tree and foliage reclaimed, “Water Gate”, one of the fortress’ secret gateways that were accessible to only a select few for swiftly reaching the Kaveri riverfront – upon the commencement of battle, it was through a significant breach adjacent this gateway which the Sultan, betrayed by his own minister Mir Sadiq, was trying to have mended that the British soldiers poured in the fortress to mercilessly annihilate over 10,000 of the brave soldiers of Mysore and cause the ensuing proceedings that in hindsight cannot but be regarded as a singularly landmark event in the subcontinent’s colonial history. Noted the Urdu poet-politician Allamah Muhammad Iqbal –

“Jafar az Bengal va Sadiq az Deccan,
Nang-e-Adam, Nang-e-Deen, Nang-e-Watan”
(“Mir Jafar of Bengal and Mir Sadiq of Deccan are a disgrace to all mankind, their religion and their country.”)


Ruined!


A massive, gnarled Banyan tree grows next to the gate and vermillion-drenched stone sculptures placed within the hollows of its thick roots provide testimony to the worship of serpent deities (“Naga”) considered capable of bestowing fertility and child birth. Notwithstanding the gateway’s crumbling and abandoned condition with its walls tumbling down along its sides and its plasterwork peeling away to reveal the brick and stone layers underneath, an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) green board appears next to it, ironically and perhaps with a touch of sarcasm, declaring it a “Protected Ancient Monument”.

The city was christened after Sri Ranganatha, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God of life and nourishment, who is still worshipped in a gigantic Dravidian temple complex in the heart of the fortress which Tipu, despite his oft-quoted barbaric iconoclastic character, not only allowed to uninterruptedly survive but also patronized. The bewilderingly majestic temple complex, an eye-opening epitome of medieval Hindu temple architecture that grandly endures throughout south India, is dated to have been commissioned in AD 984 by Tirumalaiah, a local vassal of the Ganga Dynasty (reign AD 350-1000), and was expanded and ornamented with additional features and sculptures by Emperors belonging to the Hoysala Dynasty (reign AD 1026-1343), Vijaynagara Kingdom (reign AD 1336-1646) and the Wadiyars/Wodeyars. Presently classified as a monument of immense national importance and a well-renowned Hindu pilgrimage site, the temple complex, surmounted by a lofty layered pyramidal tower sculpted with representations of deities and religious iconography, is accessible through a soaring “Gopuram” (pyramidal entrance gateway), the only feature that we witnessed (and photographed) given that the exceedingly long slithering queues of devotees lining up for offering devotions (and worries) to the deity would have claimed over an hour and a half to negotiate! Such is the belief that people, not just from the surrounding localities but from all over southern India, have in the deity whom they know as “Adi Rangaswamy” (literally, “the First Lord Ranga”) since the temple is the first of the five dedicated to Sri Ranganathaswamy located upon the meandering banks of the sacred river Kaveri.


Immensity visualized - The ancient shrine of Sri Ranganathswamy


The river can be spotted in all its illustriousness by following a narrow dusty path towards the right side of the temple gateway that couple of hundred meters later leads straightaway to a sharp cliff face veiled by numerous jackfruit trees weighed down further by extremely large (and unsettling!) beehives. The river bargains its way across rocky banks teeming with lush foliage and a superficial absence of all wildlife (although it is swarming with crocodiles) and overlooking it are some of Tipu’s orange-sopping armories, arsenals, powder magazines (one of which is said to have blown itself during one of the Battles of Seringapatnam thereby rendering offense unviable along this face of the fortress) and a featureless white dungeon redolent of death and torture which the ferocious Sultan employed on numerous occasions with mind-numbing impunity to chastise his prisoners, especially captured British commanders and generals. For some indiscernible reason of its own understanding, ASI has christened the dreadful dungeon as “Bailey’s Prison” after Colonel Bailey who perished here as a consequence of his wounds and the ill-treatment forced upon him as a captive in the penitentiary. Bailey had commanded the British forces against the might of Mysore under Hyder Ali (reign AD 1772-82) in the Second Anglo-Mysore War (Battle of Pollilur, 1780) in which the former were crushingly defeated following the explosion of their gunpowder tumbrils upon being set afire by a bombardment of Tipu’s highly effective incendiary rockets. That the British took lessons from the defeat and soon thereafter adopted highly-sophisticated and lethal rocket technology in their military arsenal reminds one of the following lines from the book “Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?” by Anita Rau Badami –

“(Bibi-ji) had a sneaking admiration for these fair-skinned people who had infiltrated every part of the world with their manners and customs and languages, who had managed to make even a refrigerator of a country like Canada a place of comfort and plenty. Unlike the Panjauri villagers who assigned everything to Fate, the goras, Bibi-ji noticed with admiration, wanted to know why and what and when. It was not boats or horses that had transported them to all corners of the world, but their long noses, which quivered with a desire to poke into everything. Their sky-colored eyes watered with the need to peer under every stone, their white fingers itched to take everything apart until they understood it, learnt how it worked, found what they needed to make their own lives better.”


Haunted? Terrifying at least! - Tipu's dungeons


The punitive structure, comprising of a series of long, low-roofed vaulted cells supported upon thick pillars and bearing resilient stone rings through which were bound the chains shackling the inmates, possesses minimalistic openings in the center of the roof to allow sunlight and air to filter through and is located on a considerably lower terrain, a sort of dugout that vindictively exposes it to the elements, than its immediate surroundings. Conjecture is that the prisoners were chained facing the wall so as to torturously remain standing upright throughout their captivity and were forced to eat disgracefully like horses off the stone ledges protruding from the further walls.

The penultimate landmark we visited in the fortified city was the graceful summer residence “Daria Daulat Bagh” (“The Sea of Wealth Garden”) of Tipu Sultan, conceived and constructed in AD 1784 – set within a large Persian-style “Charbagh” garden (whereby a larger compound is divided into smaller squares by means of tree-lined walkways, ornamental water channels and fountains), the teakwood-built square residence seated upon a high stone platform is surrounded by wide colonnades and supported on numerous arches open to wind from all four directions with every conceivable surface of its exterior walls, prominent protruding windows (“jharokhas”) and roof extravagantly gilded and mesmerizingly painted into numerous vibrant, multihued panels depicting stylized motifs, vases possessing evocative and realistic flowers and foliage, and huge frescoes portraying elaborate battle scenes and regal processions including the aforementioned ignonimous defeat of the British Army at the Battle of Pollilur.


Deterioration - Daria Daulat Palace


Photography is sadly prohibited within the building and it is really, really tiresome and time consuming to convince the guards posted around to allow one to click a few photographs of at least the excellently painted exterior surfaces. The limited dimly-lit interiors have been converted into a small museum depicting fierce battle scenes, outstanding maps, antique weapons, old paintings, mediocre furniture, a huge, rather too flappy dress said to have been Tipu’s own garment and the aforementioned commemorative medallions issued by the British East India Co. following the 1799 Battle of Seringapatnam. Following the battle of course, the graceful little residence was overtaken by the British forces and served as the official residence of Lord Wellesley. One cannot fail to notice the brilliantly (and quite recently) painted orange dove coats, strongly conflicting against the subdued brown-greens of the residence and surrounding expansive gardens, that are located immediately along the garden’s periphery walls on either side of the entrance gateway and appear like smaller, more rotund versions of the Jama Masjid’s twin minarets. This is the only monument on the trail that is thankfully properly maintained, efficiently restored and ticketed by the ASI (Entrance fees: Indians and citizens of SAARC countries: Rs 5; others: Rs 100).


Colors of Mysore


Said to have been built in AD 1719, the principal gateway of the fortress – “Elephant Gate” – located somewhere midway between the Daria Daulat Bagh and Tipu’s multi-tiered, utterly despoiled Flagstaff Tower (“Bateri”) from which one can have a bird’s eye view of the entire city, has recently been spruced up as part of an ASI-driven conservation effort (among other consequences of which is indeed the impeccably glaring coats of bright orange paint that were dowsed upon most of the monuments and bastions within the fortress complex) – opposite the gateway has been created an artificial mound over which are mounted miniscule replicas of the grand Sri Ranganathswamy temple, the magnificent Masjid-i-Ala and the simplistic summer residence flanked by childish-looking bastions and cannons.

Stunningly beautiful and delicately designed, Sultan Tipu’s family mausoleum, located near the Daria Daulat Bagh, is referred to as “Gumbaz” ("Domed structure") and was commissioned by him upon the uneventful demise of his father. The painstakingly sculpted structure, composed of a massive rectangular chamber surrounded by wide pillared colonnades and surmounted in its entirety by a high-necked, spellbinding onion dome crafted into such a kaleidoscope of geometric and floral motifs that one cannot but help gape at it awestruck and afterwards, when the initial bewilderment at its magnificence has tided over, continue photographing it from indescribably numerous angles and perspectives. Also noteworthy is the adaptation of highly polished, dark coffee brown Amphibolite rock to carve the stately pillars that delineate the colonnades. The moderately-proportioned and yet impressively exquisite mausoleum can be considered as the family funerary zone of Tipu’s family the same way that Humayun’s superlative mausoleum in Delhi is the resting place of several generations of Mughal Emperors, princes and princesses (refer Pixelated Memories - Humayun's Tomb complex).


Exquisite!


The spectacularly flamboyant interiors, painted opulently in lively, unbelievably strong shades of reds, orange and green, bear Tipu’s favorite “Bubri” or stylized tiger-stripe motif with which he passionately adorned every entity, living or not, associated with his being, including his soldier’s uniforms, his residences, weapons and cannons and even his father’s mausoleum! Within a wooden enclosure lie three massive graves within which respectively lie in eternal slumber the impressive Nawab Hyder Ali, his wife Fakhr un-nisa Fatima Saydani Begum Sahiba (daughter of Mir Muinuddin Sahib, Governor of Kurumgunda and Cudappa) and their son Sultan Fath Ali Khan Tipu Sahib – all three draped with enormous cloth sheets, the last obviously immense and glittering tiger-striped. Visitors treat the mausoleum like a dargah (sacred tomb of a holy man), referring to the enigmatic Sultan as “Hazrat Shaheed” (“Martyred Saint”) and celebrating his “urs” (death celebrations) the way one would do at a Sufi mausoleum with great festivities and decorations – the caretakers too, referring to themselves as poor men employed by the surviving descendants of Sultan Tipu, provide everyone with fragrant flower petals to drape the sarcophagus with – this of course entails an immense crowd around the enclosure at nearly, well, every single moment that the mausoleum is open for visitor entry and consequentially clicking an uncrowded, isolated photograph (the way I prefer it) is very nearly impossible – I did click three but had to spend slightly over half an hour standing in a corner of the chamber attempting to not touch the walls in any manner lest I spoil their ethereally beautiful painted surface. It is said that when the mortal remains of the martyred Tipu were found amidst the bloodied corpses and other ghastly residues of the fearsome battle, he was discovered to be smiling in death with his sabre clasped tightly in his hands, numerous sword, bayonet and bullet wounds on his head and body and not a single defensive weapon upon him. Fifteen years later, Scottish novelist-poet-playwright Sir Walter Scott (lived 1771-1832) could not help admonishing Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France and Italy (reign AD 1804-14), by comparing him to the noteworthy Tipu and his lesser-known father thus –

“Although I never supposed that he (Napoleon) possessed, allowing for some difference of education, the liberality of conduct and political views which were sometimes exhibited by old Hyder Ali, yet I did think he might have shown the same resolved and dogged spirit of resolution which induced Tipu Sahib to die manfully upon the breach of his capital city with his sabre clenched in his hand."


Such vibrance! Such patterns!


The colonnades and the large plinth surrounding the tomb chamber too are lined with numerous graves, some ordinarily plastered over, others faced with marble slabs, belonging to numerous of Tipu’s family, relatives and associates including his foster mother Madeena Begum – to one’s utter surprise, there must literally be at least two or three score graves here, with several even lining the grassy lawns that surround the structure! Originally, the gardens surrounding the mausoleum were planted with rose apples, pomegranates, custard apples, citrus, peaches, mangoes, mulberries and oranges besides ornamental flowering trees and cypresses! A gorgeous mosque, possessing slender ornamental minarets along its sides, and a complimentary building that functioned as a hospital financed by the Tiger from his personal wealth exist on either side of the mausoleum. Realizing that it shall comprehensibly prove to be a daunting challenge to describe the mausoleum and the mosque’s numerous excellent ornamental features, I have to concede that for a change it is advisable to let the photographs speak for themselves.

Leaving the city behind, one cannot help admire the courageous Sultan for his architectural and artistic contributions to Mysore/Mandya’s heritage scene as much as for his military ingeniousness and command. One’s grief at the wanton destruction of the legendary city finds release in the words of the writer-musician Grant Gordon in his book “Cobras in the Rough” –

“Tipu Sultan’s city is long destroyed. After the British and their allies finally seized it after a siege of several months, they razed it almost to the ground. As a symbol of the military ruthlessness of the East India Company, it did the job. As an act of British imperial cultural barbarism, it was not atypical.”


Details!


The lingering feeling is that of disappointment, of witnessing visual and religious compositions that failed to live up to the anticipations, of knowing that while the entire city has been unambiguously declared a “historical township”, it offers little by way of documentation or architectural heritage, properly conserved and presented, to hold a visitor spellbound and rapt with attention. If only!


Location: District Mandya, approximately 15 kilometers from Mysore
How to reach: Buses/autos are available from Mysore. Any bus plying on Bangalore-Mysore highway will also stop at Seringapatnam if asked to.
Entrance fees: Nil for most of the monuments. For Daria Daulat Bagh: Indians and citizens of SAARC countries: Rs 5; others: Rs 100
Photography/video charges: Nil
Time required for sightseeing: 3 hrs. It is advisable to hire a guide with an auto-rickshaw from near the mosque who'll show one around the entire city for Rs 300 (of course, one will have to bargain down from the quoted price which can be as much as Rs 700-800).
Other palaces constructed by Tipu Sultan in Karnataka -
  1. Pixelated Memories - Nandi Hills (Nandidurga fortress and Tipu Sultan's palace), Chikkaballapur
  2. Pixelated Memories - Tipu Sultan's Palace and Kote Venkataramana Temple, Bangalore
Relevant Links -
The mosque in Calcutta associated with Tipu Sultan's family - Pixelated Memories - Tipu Sultan Shahi Mosque
Another palace located in nearby Mysore - Pixelated Memories - Mysore Palace
Suggested reading - 
  1. Blogs.ucl.ac.uk - Casket Case Study: Material Culture from Seringapatnam
  2. Grandpoohbah.blogspot.in - Srirangapatnam
  3. Llewelynmorgan.wordpress.com - Big Cat Hunting at Seringapatam 
  4. Mq.edu.au - Francis Buchanan: Description of Tipu's Palaces and Apartments at Seringapatam
  5. Royalark.net - The Family of Tipu Sultan 
  6. Thehindu.com - Article "There is life at the cemetery" (dated March 09, 2013) by M.T. Shiva Kumar 
  7. Thehindu.com - Article "This day that year in ‘Seringapatam’" (dated May 04, 2014) 
  8. Tigerandthistle.net (Fascinating insight into the life and times of Tipu Sultan and Scottish soldiers of British East India Co.)
  9. Toshkhana.wordpress.com (Fascinating insight into the life and times of Tipu Sultan)
  10. Voiceofdharma.org - Tipu Sultan: As known in Kerala
  11. Wikipedia.org - Tipu Sultan

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