I became a fan of Tipu Sultan just after watching the famous “Sword of Tipu Sultan” on Doordarshan during the early 90’s. Ironically at that time our family used to stay in Bangalore (Bengaluru) and we had visited Mysore (Mysuru) many times but never Srirangapatna.
Somehow this year I managed a plan to a two day trip to Mysore and I had made my mind that I would definitely visit Srirangapatna. The train was horribly late and by the time we reached Mysore it was nearly mid-day. After a quick lunch, we set off to Srirangapatna on a hired car. The weather was fine with occasional drizzle making the drive very pleasant. Srirangapatna is like a twin town of Mysore and takes just forty-five minutes. The time was short and I wanted to complete seeing all the places of interest in Srirangapatna.
It has now become a practice that I tell my driver or guide that I am a blogger and would like to cover all the tourist spots, some do understand what bloggers are while some just assume that I am a journalist. I don’t waste time telling them the difference as in the end both the professions tell a story to their readers. Luckily for us, our driver cum guide was very experienced and planned the route such that I could manage to capture all while the day light was best.
Usually, before any such journey, I would have done all my research about the place that I am about to visit and seeing my knowledge the driver was surprised and initially thought I was from Bangalore.
So here is a list of important landmarks which you must visit during your trip to Mysore or Srirangapatna.
Dariya Daulat Bagh – Srirangapatna
Dariya Daulat Bagh was Tipu’s summer place and a unique thing about this particular building is that it’s almost entirely made up of Teak wood surrounded by a lush green garden with rows of fountains in the middle. This palace was built by Tipu in the year 1784.
The main attraction of this place are the beautiful frescos that adorn the walls and pillars of the summer palace. The intricately detailed painting is something that can rival any European frescos. Unfortunately, photograph is prohibited inside the palace and the only way to see its beauty would be to see it for yourself.
Most of the frescos depict battle scenes and the famous of it are the one with Col. Bailey at Kanchipuram in the year 1780. Col. Bailey was subsequently captured and held as a prisoner in a dungeon till his death.
There is a museum in the centre of the palace where there are some Tipu memorabilia like the silk dress he wore along with the hat, coins from the period, arms and ammunitions etc.
Gumbaz – Srirangapatna
This is one place I found real happiness as my childhood hero Tipu Sultan along with his father Hyder Ali is buried here. In fact, this whole place is surrounded by several tombs belonging to his families like his children wife and other relatives.
The main attraction is the central mausoleum which houses the tombs of Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali and Fakr-Un-Nisa (Tupu’s mother).
Ironically this place was actually built by Tipu himself during 1782-84 along with a mosque for his parents to be buried and he himself would also be buried here in 1799.
The mausoleum has beautiful ebony door adorned with ivory which is a visual masterpiece but this is not the original door, the original one is on display at Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
The mausoleum has a beautifully decorated dome which looks fantastic when seen from inside. The grave of Tipu is covered in tiger skin since he was also called the Tiger of Mysore.
The other graves on the outside are that of his children, wife, brother in law and other relatives.
Jumma/Jama Masjid – Srirangapatna
This mosque was constructed by Tipu Sultan in the year 1784 and is also known by its other name Masjid-e-Ala. The mosque is relatively small in size but very important in the history of Mysore as Tipu himself had the first Imamat (leading the congregation in prayer) in this very mosque.
The architecture is very simple with two minarets and a huge water tank to the right. The Mosque has southern architecture influence with stone carvings near the door something which is very common in that location. A section of the courtyard is covered where religious courses are conducted to teach young boys the rules and regulations of Islam.
Women are allowed inside and can also climb up to the minaret but one need to open their footwear.
Gunpowder/Weapons Storage Rooms – Srirangapatna
All across Srirangapatna, you will find these heavily protected rooms which have a small entrance which will take you to the basement dungeon. These were actually gunpowder and weapon storage rooms and were built with think walls so that cannonball could not penetrate the walls and reach gunpowder. The main storage area was also below the ground level adding extra protection.
Unfortunately, these are not that well maintained and locals often use these as garbage dumps and reaching the basement level is almost impossible with the stench and dirt.
Thomas Inman’s Dungeon – Srirangapatna
This was actually lost in time and was discovered much later by an engineer named Thomas Inman in the year 1895. This is a dungeon used to imprison the Marathas during the rule of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Tipu’s Place of Death – Srirangapatna
When the European forces breached the outer wall of Srirangapatna fort then Tipu himself rushed to fight. This spot marks the location where Tipu’s body was found after he was killed by the company’s forces.
Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon – Srirangapatna
Colonel Bailey after his defeat in the hands of Tipu Sultan was imprisoned here until his death in the year 1782. Apart from him, other European officers were also imprisoned here in this dungeon. The dungeon is complete underground and from above looks like a flat playground with green grass. From the top of the dungeon walls, you can see the Cauvery River flowing past the Srirangapatna fort.
Commemorative Obelisk – Srirangapatna
It’s quite tricky to find this place, to reach this spot you must walk from Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon towards the train track and after crossing keep walking till you reach this spot.
Built in 1907 this Obelisk was built to honour the dead European solders. Each of the four sides has four plaques, the first one reads “This monument is erected by the government of Mysore in 1907 in order to commemorate the siege of Seringapatam by the British forces under lieutenant general G. Harris and its final capture by assault on the 4th May 1799. As also the names of those gallant officers who fell during the operations.“
The second one lists the number of Killed (192), Wounded (657) and missing (25). Third and fourth list the name of the name, rank, and regiment of the officers (European).
Lal Mahal Palace – Srirangapatna
This was the official residence of Tipu Sultan and there was a time when historians used to describe this palace as a jewel in the crown. Unfortunately barely anything is visible now and only one can understand that some structures were present by the fencing all around. ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) prohibits entry into the compound and one can only see from a distance.
Even after Tipu’s death, the palace was there as mentioned by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton during his survey of Mysore in 1800. The palace was demolished by Colonel Wellesley between 1807-1809 and most of its contents sent to England including books from Tipu’s library.
Ranganathaswamy Temple – Srirangapatna
This is a temple dedicated to Ranganatha who is a manifestation of Vishnu. Surprisingly this temple is very near to Lal Mahal Palace which was used by Tipu a Muslim ruler. Built around 984 AD this is one of the important pilgrimage spots for the followers of Ranganatha. This temple is also under ASI due to its cultural and historical importance.
Dodda Ghosai Ghat – Srirangapatna
This place is basically outside the Srirangapatna fort area and right next to Cauvery River. There are lots of temple at this river bank and is also a very popular picnic spot. Many people do take a bath in the waters of Cauvery but the water has a very strong current and unless you know how to swim well it’s not advisable to bathe here.
Sangam – Srirangapatna
This is another tourist attraction, it’s the place where three rivers Cauvery River, Lokapavani River & Hemavati River confluence as mighty Cauvery. This is also mainly a picnic spot.
Other Tourist Attractions Around Srirangapatna
Apart from the above list there are some more places you can visit if you have time are:-
Bairagi Venkataramana Temple
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Google Map (All the tourist spots are plotted for easy navigation)
Click here to open the map