Srirangapatna

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Not to be confused with Srirangam.
Srirangapatna
ಶ್ರೀರಂಗಪಟ್ಟಣ
Shrirangapattana
Town
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 religious, cultural and historic importance.

Location[edit]

Map

Although situated a mere 15 km from Mysore city, Srirangapatna 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 Srirangapatna 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 Srirangapatna 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). Srirangapatna Sangama is the confluence of three holy streams: Kaveri River, Kabini River and Hemavati River. 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.

History[edit]

Srirangapatna 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, Srirangapatna was their first target. Raja Wodeyar vanquished Rangaraya,[2] the then viceroy of Srirangapatna, 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 Srirangapatna, the fortification nearest to the capital city of Mysore.

Srirangapatna 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]

Main articles: Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan

Srirangapatna became the de facto capital of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.[3][4] 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, Srirangapatna became de jure the capital of this just and ably managed kingdom. In that heady period, the state ruled by Tipu extended its frontiers in every direction, encompassing a major portion of South India. Srirangapatna 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 Masjid (Friday congregational mosque), date from this period.

Battle of Seringapatam, 1799[edit]

Srirangapatna 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 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 2 km from the town. Srirangapatna also hosts the summer palace of Tipu Sultan and his mausoleum.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple[edit]

The Ranganthaswamy Temple – usually referred to as "Sri Ranganathaswamy" – is dedicated to Ranganatha, a manifestation of Vishnu. It is one of the five important pilgrimage sites along the river Kaveri for devotees of Ranganatha. These five sacred sites are together known as Pancharanga Kshetrams in Southern India. Since Srirangapatna is the first temple starting from upstream, the deity is known as Adi Ranga (lit; "first Ranga"), and the town of Srirangapatna, which derives its name from the temple, is located on an island in the river Kaveri.

Daria Daulat Bagh[edit]

Main article: Daria Daulat Bagh

The Dariya Daulat Palace (Summer Palace) is set amidst beautiful gardens called Daria Daulat Bagh. Tippu Sultan built this palace in 1784. The palace is built in the Indo-Sarcenic style in mostly made of teakwood. The palace has a rectangular plan and is built on a raised platform.

Other attractions in Srirangapatna include the Jumma Masjid (a Mosque) and the Daria Daulat Gardens. The mosque has stone Arabic inscriptions which mention the 99 different titles given to the Prophet Mohammed, along with the Farsi inscriptions which mentions that the Jamia Masjid called Masjid-E-Ala was built in AD 1782 by Tipu Sultan.[6]

Tipu Sultan Gumbaz[edit]

The Gumbaz is an impeccably detailed mausoleum and houses the remains of Tipu Sultan, his father Hyder Ali and his mother Fatima Begum among beautifully manicured gardens. Various tombs of other relatives surround the gumbaz, some with small signs offering guidance on which specific individuals are buried here. The outer gumbaz columns are made of amphibolite, a very dark rock that exudes a somber richness. Handcrafted door frames covered in a deep lacquer finish lead into an inner tomb illuminated only by natural light. All visitors are welcome inside, and even encouraged to enter by the friendly doormen.

Farsi Inscription at the Gumbaz[edit]

Farsi Inscription (Roman Letters) English Translation

Bismillah ir rahiman ir rahim
Tipu Sultan shahid shud nagah
Bud Zikh'ada bist o haslitumi an
Mir salash ba nira ah buguft
Tarikhi kushta gashtani Sultan Haidari
Cho an mardi maidan nihan sliud zi dunya
Ptiihi khudsi ba arsh goft lci ah
t In ukhizat misrii kama khad zakaru
( Musibatun ma mislaha arrakhtuha
Sal tarikhi u Shahir buguft

Eabbi arham as sultan-ul-karim
Khuni khud rikht fi sabilillah
Shuda dar rozi Shamba hashr 'aiyan
Nuri Islara va din za dunya raft
Tipu bavajhi dini Muhammad shahid shud
Yaki guft tarikli shamshir gum shud
Nasli Haidar shahidi akbar shud
Va saraju fatavakhizat va rabbuha
Zahaba izzar Piumi val Hindi kuUaha
Hamia din shahi zamana baraft

Khad sannafhul-hakhir Mir Hussain 'Ali va harrahu Sayyid 'Abdul Khadir bil khattil jali.

In the name of God, the merciful and gracious. God have mercy on the generous Sultan.
Tipu Sultan fell a martyr, suddenly shedding his blood in the path of God. It was the 28th day of the month of Zikhada and on a Saturday that the resurrection day made its appearance.

Mir thus uttered the date with half a sigh—" The light of Islam and the faith departed this world." The date of the Sultan, tho son of Haidar, being killed—" Tipu fell a martyr for tho religion of Muhammad." When that warrior was hidden from the world, one said—" Tho sword was lost." The holy spirit in the ninth heaven said—" Ah, alas, the offspring of Haidar became a great martyr." (Frora the statement of Ghulam Husen).

(The year of the Hijri of the Prophet 1213). Whenever a country changes hand, it is said it is by the wiil of God. This unequalled calamity has completely carried away the hon our of Turkey and of India. (From the statement of Sayyid Shekh ul Barul Jifri).
The date and year of this martyrdom, said Shahir (is in the following). " The defender of the faith and the king of the age departed."

Composed by Mir Hussain Ali and written by Sayyid Abdul Khadir.[7]

Garrison Cemetery, Seringapatam[edit]

The Garrison Cemetery is located in Seringapatam, on the banks of the river Cauvery, about 300m from the Bangalore Mysore Highway. It has about 307 graves of the European officers killed in the final assault on Tippu Sultan in 1799, and their family members. Among the graves, there are 80 graves of the officers of the Swiss ‘de Meuron Regiment’, and the rest of the graves are their family members.[8][9]

Srirangapatna Fort[edit]

Srirangapatna war memorial
Tipu Sultan memorial

The fortress is situated in the west of the island, and is 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. Also highlighted is the place where Tipu Sultan was killed by the British forces. In addition, the dungeon in which the Mysore rulers had imprisoned British soldiers.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary[edit]

Near the town is the Ranganathittu 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.

In Literature[edit]

  • Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Tiger[10] 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[11] 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 Srirangapatna 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. ^ "Introduction". Seringapatam 1799. Macquarie University. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "General Information". 
  5. ^ Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  6. ^ Charya, S V Upendra (13 August 2013). "Where Tipu Sultan used to pray" (Bangalore). Deccan Herald. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1894). Epigraphia Carnatica: Volume III: Inscriptions in the Mysore District (Part I). Mysore State, British India: Archaeological Survey of Mysore. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Kumar, M T Shiva (9 March 2013). "There is life at the cemetery" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Garrison Cemetery". Mysore. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Sharpe's Tiger page from Cornwell's website
  11. ^ Project Gutenberg page for The Moonstone

External links[edit]