Srirangapatna

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Srirangapatna
Shrirangapattana
city
Ranganatha temple, a major tourist attraction
Ranganatha temple, a major tourist attraction
Srirangapatna is located in Karnataka
Srirangapatna
Srirangapatna
Coordinates: 12°24′50″N 76°42′14″E / 12.414°N 76.704°E / 12.414; 76.704Coordinates: 12°24′50″N 76°42′14″E / 12.414°N 76.704°E / 12.414; 76.704
Country  India
State Karnataka
District Mandya
Area
 • Total 13 km2 (5 sq mi)
Elevation 679 m (2,228 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 23,448
 • Density 1,803.69/km2 (4,671.5/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 571 438
Telephone code 08236
Vehicle registration KA-11
Website www.srirangapatnatown.gov.in

Srirangapatna (also spelled Shrirangapattana; anglicized to Seringapatam during the British Raj) is a town in Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located near the city of Mysore, it is of great religious, cultural and historic importance.

Location[edit]

Although situated a mere 15 km from Mysore city, Srirangapattana lies in the neighbouring district of Mandya. The entire town is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island, northern half of which is shown in the image to the right. While the main river flows on the eastern side of the island, the Paschima Vaahini segment of the same river flows to its west. The town is easily accessible by train from Bangalore and Mysore and is also well-connected by road, lying as it does just off the Bangalore-Mysore highway. The highway passes through this town and special care was taken to minimize any impact on the monuments.

Religious significance[edit]

The town takes its name from the celebrated Ranganathaswamy temple which dominates the town, making Srirangapattana one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in south India. The temple was built by the Ganga dynasty rulers of the area in the 9th century; the structure was strengthened and improved upon architecturally some three centuries later. Thus, the temple is a medley of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of temple architecture.

Tradition holds that all the islands formed in the Kaveri River are consecrated to Sri Ranganathaswamy, and large temples have been built in very ancient times dedicated to that deity on the three largest islands. These three towns, which constitute the main pilgrimage centers dedicated to Ranganathaswamy, are:

The presence of the Kaveri River is in itself considered auspicious and sanctifying. The Paschima Vaahini section of the Kaveri at Srirangapattana is considered especially sacred; the pious come from far and wide to immerse the ashes of the departed and perform obsequies to their ancestors in these waters.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[1] Srirangapatna had a population of 23,448. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Srirangapatna has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 63%. In Srirangapatna, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Geography[edit]

Srirangapatna is located at 12°25′N 76°42′E / 12.41°N 76.7°E / 12.41; 76.7. It has an average elevation of 679 metres (2227 feet).

History[edit]

Srirangapattana has since time immemorial been an urban center and place of pilgrimage. During the Vijayanagar empire, it became the seat of a major viceroyalty, from where several nearby vassal states of the empire, such as Mysore and Talakad, were overseen. When, perceiving the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the rulers of Mysore ventured to assert independence, Srirangapattana was their first target. Raja Wodeyar vanquished Rangaraya,[2] the then viceroy of Srirangapattana, in 1610 and celebrated the Navaratri festival in the town that year. It came to be accepted in time that two things demonstrated control and signified sovereignty over the Kingdom of Mysore by any claimant to the throne:

  1. Successful holding of the 10-day-long Navaratri festival, dedicated to Chamundeshwari, patron goddess of Mysore;
  2. Control of the fort of Srirangapattana, the fortification nearest to the capital city of Mysore.

Srirangapattana remained part of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1610 to after India's independence in 1947; as the fortress closest to the capital city of Mysore, it was the last bastion and defence of the kingdom in case of invasion.

Hyder and Tipu[edit]

A view of the Hoally Gateway, Srirangapatnam, where Tipu Sultan was killed. Illustration by Thomas Sydenham, c.1799
A flintlock blunderbuss, made for Tippu Sultan in Seringapatam in 1793-94. Tippu Sultan used many Western craftsmen, and this gun reflects the most up-to-date technologies of the time.[3]

Srirangapattana became the de facto capital of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.[4][5] When Tipu finally dispensed with the charade of deference to the legitimate Wodeyar Maharaja who was actually his captive, and proclaimed the "Khudadad State" under his own kingship, Srirangapattana became de jure the capital of that short-lived political entity. In that heady period, the state ruled by Tipu extended its frontiers in every direction, encompassing a major portion of South India. Srirangapattana flourished as the cosmopolitan capital of this powerful state. Various Indo-Islamic monuments that dot the town, such as Tipu Sultan's palaces, the Darya Daulat and the Jumma Maseedi (Friday congregational mosque), date from this period.

Battle of Sringapatam, 1799[edit]

Cannon used by Tippu Sultan in the battle of Sringapatam 1799

Srirangapattana was the scene of the last and decisive battle fought between Tipu Sultan and a combined force of 50,000 men provided equally by the Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company under the overall command of General George Harris. This battle was the last engagement of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. The Battle of Seringapatam, 1799, was truly momentous in its historic effects.

At the battle's climax, Tipu Sultan was killed within the fort of Seringapatam, betrayed by one of his own confidants; the spot where he ultimately fell is marked by a memorial. For the last time in history, Seringapatam had been the scene of political change in the Sultanate of Mysore. The joint forces of the victorious army proceeded to plunder Seringapatam and ransack Tipu's palace. Apart from the usual gold and cash, innumerable valuables and objets d'art, not excepting even the personal effects of Tipoo Sultan, his rich clothes and shoes, sword and firearms, were shipped to England.

While most of this is now to be found in the British Royal Collection and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, some articles have occasionally become available at auctions and have been retrieved for their native land. The sword of Tipu Sultan has been acquired by Vijay Mallya, a liquor baron from Karnataka, who purchased the same at a Sotheby's auction.

Much of the site of the Battle is still intact including the ramparts, the Water Gate, the place where the Tippu Sultan's body was found, the area where the British prisoners were held and the site of the destroyed palace.

Tipu's Tiger, an automaton now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, was captured at the battle.

Places of interest[edit]

The Mausoleum of Tipu Sultan
Daria Daulat, The Palace of Tipu Sultan
Water Gate, Srirangapatana
"Sangama" the amalgamation of 3 holy rivers Kaveri River, Kabini River, Hemavati River

The town is famous for a very ancient temple dedicated to Sri Ranganathaswamy, a form of Lord Vishnu. There is also Kalyani Siddhi vinayaka temple in front of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Other temples in Srirangapatna include the Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple,Jyothi Mahaswara Temple, Bidhcotta Ganesha Temple, Panduranga Swamy Temple, the Sathyanarayana Swamy Temple, the Anjunaya Swamy Temple, the Ayyapa Temple, the Gangadhareswara Swamy Temple, and RaganathaNagara Ganesha Temple, surrounding Srirangapatna in fort 8 Ganesh & Anjunaya temples. The Karighatta (Black Hill) and its temple of Lord Srinivasa is situated a few kilometres from the town. The deity is that of Kari-giri-vasa (one who resides on the black hill). The renowned Nimishambha Temple is located about 2kms from the town

Other attractions in Srirangapatna include the Jumma Masjid (a Mosque) and the Daria Daulat Gardens. Near the town is the Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary, which is the breeding site for several bird species, including the Painted Stork, Open-billed Stork, Black-headed Ibis, River Tern, Great Stone Plover and Indian Shag. Located 27 km upstream from the town is the spectacular Shivanasamudra Falls, the second biggest waterfall in India and the 16th largest in the world. Srirangapatna also hosts the summer palace of Tipu Sultan.

In Literature[edit]

  • Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Tiger[6] is a fictionalised account of the Battle of Seringapatam. It concentrates on the exploits of the fictional character of Richard Sharpe, and the historic Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington.
  • Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone[7] includes a prologue that takes place during the Battle of Srirangapatna, entitled "The Storming of Seringapatam (1799)," during which a British officer steals a sacred Hindu diamond that becomes the mystery at the centre of the novel.
  • John Forster mentions in "The Life of Charles Dickens" that in a childhood playground of C.D., "he had been... delivered from the dungeons of Seringapatam, an immense pile ('of haycock'), by the victorious British ('boy next door and his two cousins')..." See pg. 10 of the Everyman edition published in 1969. First published: London; Chapman and Hall, 1872-1874 in 3 volumes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  2. ^ The fall of Srirangapattana to the Wodeyar dynasty in 1614 is much celebrated in local ballad and legend, one of which concerns a curse put upon the Wodeyars by Alamelamma, the lamenting wife of the defeated Vijayanagar viceroy. In fulfillment of that curse, no ruling Maharaja of Mysore has ever had children; the succession has inevitably devolved upon brothers, nephews or adopted heirs, or on children born to the Maharaja before his accession, but never has a child been born to a ruling Maharaja.
  3. ^ Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  4. ^ "Introduction". Seringapatam 1799. Macquarie University. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "General Information". 
  6. ^ Sharpe's Tiger page from Cornwell's website
  7. ^ Project Gutenberg page for The Moonstone

External links[edit]