Location: Mysore, Karnataka
Built In: 1537
Built By: Thimmanna Hebbar
Dynasty: Vijayanagar & Wodeyar
Tags: Second Toughest Fort In India
Other names: Tipu Sultan Fort
Set on the backdrop of mighty Cauvery River, Srirangapatna Fort is located in Srirangapatna town in Mysore district of Karnataka. The local chieftain of Nagamangala, Thimmanna Hebbar, built the fort in 1537. The fort was later rebuilt by Kantheerava Narasaraj Wodeyar in 1654. Much of the fortification work had been done by Tipu Sultan with the aid of French engineers. Srirangapatna fort is considered to be the second toughest fort in India where the great warrior, Tipu Sultan fought the British army. The magnificent Srirangapatna Fort also recollects the memory of tragic death of Tipu Sultan and the betrayal by his own people. There are four major entrances to the fort. The Elephant Gate, which serves as the main entrance to the fort is located on the south. There are three other gates namely Krishna Gate, Water Gate and Bangalore Gate. Srirangapatna Fort is built with double enclosure defense system to make it highly inaccessible for enemy troops.
History Of The Fort
The history of Srirangapatna Fort can be traced back to sixteenth century. A local chieftain, named Thimmanna Hebbar built the Srirangapatna Fort in 1537 under the patronage of Vijayanagara Empire. Later, Kantheerava Narasaraj Wodeyar fortified the fort in 1654. The fort was further fortified by Tipu Sultan. Armories were built inside the fort to hoard weapons and ammunition. The fort was known as the second toughest fort in India. Many of the captured British soldiers were put in the dungeons situated here. The British army finally captured Srirangapatna Fort in 1799 when Tipu Sultan succumbed to bullet injury and died. After the death of Tipu Sultan, most of the wealth, weaponry and the sword of Tipu Sultan were shipped to England.
Architecture/Layout Of The Fort
The design of the fort features a combination of Indo-Islamic architectural style. There are paintings on walls of fort depicting the victory of Tipu sultan along with Sir Robert Ker’s painting, ‘The storming of Srirangapatna’. The fort houses Lala Mahal Palace, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and a mosque. On the entrance gate, there is Persian inscription, bearing the date on which the fort was built. At the inner entrance of the fort, on the Chaturvimsati pillars there are carvings depicting 24 forms of Vishnu. The fort was originally built with 18 watch-towers for surveillance. It had a deep moat around the wall where crocodiles were left free to keep enemy at bay.The tomb of Tipu Sultan is also located near the fort.
In the Battle of Seringapatam also known as the Fourth Mysore War in 1799, Srirangpatna fell into the hands of combined troops of British and Nizam of Hyderabad. The fort was finally conquered by the British, after Tipu Sultan was killed. After the death of great warrior, Tipu Sultan, British plundered the weaponry of Tipu Sultan. Today, many of the artifacts have been auctioned in England and Sword of Tipu Sultan was recently brought back to India by liquor baron, Vijay Mallya.
The Srirangapatna Fort once known as the second toughest fort is laid in ruins today. There have been attempts by state government to restore the ancient monument to its previous glory. The renovation work is being carried by the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.02 crores.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Srirangapatna fort is between the months of November and April.
How To Reach
- Located just 19 km away from Mysore, Srirangapatna is well connected to roads and railway lines.
- There are frequent buses plying from Mysore to Srirangapatna which is located on Mysore – Bangalore Highway.
- The nearest railway station is Mysore railway station which is connected through to all the major cities in the country.
- The nearest airport is Bangalore which is connected to all the important Indian cities.
Around The Fort
Other tourist attractions near the Srirangapatna Fort are Dariya Daulat Bagh, Gumbaz built by Tipu Sultan, Lal Mahal Palace, Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Thomas Inman’s Dungeon, Jamia Masjid, Sangam Temple and Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon.
This ancient monument in its glorious past has witnessed many battles especially the battle between the great ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan and the British Empire. The magnificent fort of Srirangapatna today is one of the major tourist attractions in the region.