Srirangapatna – Inside the Fort

Believed tDSC05088o be the second strongest fortification in India, Srirangapatna Fort (Tipu’s Palace) is one of the prominent Monuments in Karnataka. It is from this fort that Tipu Sultan charged at the British soldiers with his legendry sword. Unfortunately, it is within Srirangapatna Fort in Karnataka India that Tipu finally lay dead – betrayed by one of his own men.

As we pass towards the Fort Area, we see the magnificent outer walls standing at a height of almost 20 feet. There are four gates to the Fort namely the Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi and Water and Elephant Gates. We enter the fort  through the  Bangalore Gate. DSC05095

The design on the gate are still intact but the external sides were destroyed during the plunder of 1799. It is a pity that advertisements and posters are put on these heritage monuments. The entrance to the city is narrow from this gate as it is with any fort. This actually gives additional protection not allowing enemies to enter at once. The fort is actually double walled providing additional protection.

As we move along the road, we see the Jama Masjid. The most notable feature of this structure are the twin minarets which were a gift DSC05138from Tipu and they dominate the eastern skyline. The minarets were a favourite subject matter for many contemporary European artists in their depictions of the British campaigns against the capital of Mysore. As we move on, we come across the place where the body of Tipu Sultan was found after the siege of Srirangapatna by the British. A small stone marks the exact location. 

As we move on we come across a large subterranean room in the northern rampart wall popularly referred to as the "Bailey’s Dungeon". Allegedly this is the place where British soldiers were imprisoned in the years 1780-1784; more likely, it served as a bombDSC05152-proof powder magazine. The area has been heavily restored. A large iron cannon lies embedded in the floor – it fell through the roof and was too  heavy to remove.

Also in one of the corners, there is a small underground chamber. A local guide tells that there are three secret passages which lead to Mysore, Bangalore and Manjarabad in the Hassan District of Karnataka where there is an other Fort commissioned by Tipu.

Near the Fort area, we also see the Wellesley Bridge, a very old bridge through which Colonel Wellesley attacked Srirangapatna. This is also calledDSC05164 the Delhi Bridge. Also, here we see the second Gate to the Fort, the Delhi Gate. It is very small and we can go around the Fort from outside. It was very dark by then, so we could not venture out.  There is also a commemorative obelisk here in memory of the British forces that fell during the final siege of Srirangapatna on the 4th of May 1799.

We sat there for some time viewing the setting sun in the distance. We were really tired by then with the strenuous travel that we had done since morning. We then had nice coconut water and the moved onDSC05171 to the last destination in Srirangapatna, the Ranganatha Temple.

The temple is much older than the town and fort having been founded in A.D. 894 by the Ganga king, Tirumalaiya; and later enlarged by a Vijayanagar viceroy in the 15th Century A.D. The island shrine is dedicated to Ranganatha and is a centre for the Vaishnava faith. The temple is also referred to as Paschima Ranganatha  Kshetra, to distinguish it from another island temple on Srirangam further down the Cauvery near Trichy and which is referred to as Purva Ranganatha Kshetra. 

It was already dark then and we were really tired. We started off to Mysore and stayed in Mysore for the night.

My trip to Srirangapatna is not complete. There are many other places that i had to visit but could not as i was along with my friends and we had less time. I will make it a point to visit this place again. Watch out for update to this series sometime.

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