Srirangapatna (also spelled Shrirangapattana; anglicized to Seringapatam during the British Raj) is a town in Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka. This is an island citadel on the Kaveri River beside the Bangalore road, just 15km northeast of Mysore. The name of the island is derived from the temple of Sri Ranganatha, which is located within the walls of the fort.
Srirangapatna was the headquarters of the Wodeyars and their usurpers, Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. The island became known for the battles that were fought here by the British forces under Lord Cornwallis and General Harris in their attempts to subdue Tipu. In 1799 Harris successfully stormed the citadel and killed Tipu, thereby confirming British rule in Southern India.
The Tomb of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, also known as the Gumbaz, is located in the south-east corner of the Island. The monument stands in a peaceful formal garden with avenues of cypresses, and is entered on the east through an arched gate.
The tomb itself consists of an imposing domed chamber surrounded by a verandah roof, with angled eaves and a parapet displaying finials and minaret-like turrets.
Both father and son are buried together, their bodies resting in a crypt beneath the cenotaphs. The ebony and ivory doors were donated in 1855 by Lord Dalhousie, the then Viceroy of India.
To the north-west lies the fort. Unfortunately I had little time to explore this aside from visiting a ghat and some associated temples on the banks of the Kaveri river.
There are a number of other sites to explore on the island which could easily be done in a full day.
- Sri Ranganatha Temple – substantially restored in the 19th century and still in use.
- Jumma Masjid – at the east end of the fort, this mosque was erected by Tipu Sultan in 1787.
- Daria Daulat Bagh – 500m south of the fort, Tipu’s summer palace.
- Garrison Cemetery – containing about 307 graves of European officers killed in the final assault on Tippu Sultan in 1799, and their family members.
- Scott’s Bungalow – the bungalow of Col. Scott, an officer of the Madras Army who took part in the Siege of Seringapatam in 1799.
- Lord Harris’s House – residence of General Harris for a short time after the Siege of Seringapatam in 1799, and went on to become headquarters of the commanding officer of Seringapatam.
- Seringapatam Fort – surrounded by double walls. The point at which the British broke through the walls, and thus Tipu Sultan’s troops surprised, is marked by an obelisk.
- Bailey’s Dungeon – the place where Tipu Sultan used to imprison all the British officers. It is located near the death place memorial of Tipu Sultan and is surrounded by gardens on all four sides.
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