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Srirangapatna Fort

A popular heritage of Mysore with imperial history Srirangapatna fort is a famous monument and prominent heritage located in Srirangapatna of Mysore, Karnataka. Timmanna Nayaka built the fort in 1454 and it came into limelight during the rule of Tipu Sultan. However, it is also said that Kempe Gowda laid down the fort’s construction in 1537. The fort was originally structured in Indo-Islamic style with several Persian inscriptions & detailing on the gateway as a remembrance if its date of construction. French artisans & builders transformed the architectural look of the fort with some fascinating modifications to safeguard the site from invaders. It is structured as an egg-shaped island formed by the river Cauvery i.e Kaveri at its North & West sides. Even though several renovations & changes were done to keep it standstill for more decades, most parts of the fort were destroyed during the Fourth Mysore War when British attacked the fort in 1799. With two dungeons in the lower chambers of the fort and proclaimed residence of Tipu Sultan, the fort used to be home to a temple & mosque. Devotees visit this spot to offer prayers at the popular Sri Ranganathaswamy temple.

History of Srirangapatna fort

Situated in the historical capital city of Karnataka, Srirangapatna Fort is a prominent moment with alluring structures & designs that steers visitors from worldwide nations. The fort came under the control of Tipu Sultan during his reign and it was first built was Timaana Nayaka in 1454. The fort represents the bewildering artistry behind the Indo-Islamic mind-blowing architecture of the palace. The fort is enclosed by four gates named as Delhi, Banglore, Mysore, and Water & Elephant gates with the double-walled set up to shield the structure and three walls that are 40 feet tall. There is a Rocket Court inside the fort from where missiles were launched during wartime under Tipu Sultan’s reign. Lal mahal was the residence of Tipu Sultan inside the fort and it is one of the key attractions of the palace. Although the fort is in distorted condition today, it was once known for unique structure and spaces comprising of audience halls with an adjoined women’s quarter called as Zenana & library. It will be interesting to know that the fort was also equipped with an advanced drainage & piping system. The fort stretches across the 240 acres of land with more than 1500 houses & inhabited close to 6000 people. Two chambers were also there in the court where prisoners were confined.

During the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar from 1734 to 1766, the fort came up with a strong military force led by General Hyder Ali, who ceded the fort to the invading Marathas for a summon of 32 lakh rupees during 1757. Later in 1782, the throne was taken over by Tipu Sultan, the son of Hyder Ali who built several fortifications. The British army attacked & invaded the fort under the rule of Tipu Sultan, he tried to approach Napoleon and even had agreements with the French to safeguard his kingdom. After multiple unsuccessful attempts, the British army attacked the fort and defeated Tipu Sultan that led to his assassination in the fort in 1799. With a force of 2,494 soldiers and 1,882 Indian troops, Colonel Arthur Wellesley led the force when soldiers were ordered to wait in trenches and walk through the river during the resting time of watchmen. The battle ended with a treaty between the British and Wodeyar queen.

Key highlights of Srirangapatna fort

Srirangapatna fort is surrounded by river Cauvery in the West and Northern directions. The fort had Lal Mahal & Tipu’s residence that was destroyed during the British invasion in 1799. Visitors can see seven outlets & two dungeons along with Ranganathaswamy temple, a holy place that is believed to have been built by Ramanuja, the follower of Vaishnadvaita philosophy that was being introduced by Dwarasamudra. Here is a list of key attractions of Srirangapatna fort:

Dariya Daulat Baug: Dariya Daulat Bagh was the summer palace that was built in the year 1784. It is designed in Indo-Muslim architecture and made up of pure teak wood with intricately patterned & manicured flowerbeds & lush lawns. The fortress encloses this beautiful space with wooden walls & rich painting with intricate designs. The detailed interiors of the fort allure visitors at a first sight. Gumbaz: It is the burial hall of Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali and mother Fatima Begum where the structure is built as an elevated platform using mortar and brick. The platform was circumscribed by tombs of other family members and nobles of the Tipu Sultan. This tomb chamber has a mosque named as Masid-e-Aksa encircled by well-groomed gardens and doors with enticing ivory decorations. The walls of the tomb are decorated with lacquer Tiger stripes that were liking of the ruler.

Captain Bailey’s Dungeon: It is a prominent fortress that has been constructed to keep the prisoner of war during Tipu Sultan’s reign. Its basement adjoins walls with prison hooks to chained up to the prisoners.

The Obelisk: The interesting structure captures everyone’s attention as Tipu Sultan took his last breath while he was defending himself against a British soldier by using his famous sword from its casing. He was betrayed by his people and killed at this site. This commemorative monument is built right 220 yards away from the dungeon.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple: A temple is a must-visit place that is famous for Lakshadweepotsave when thousands of lamps are being lit on the occasion of Makar Sakranti. It has a black stone idol of the lord with impressive carvings & it is placed on the backside of a snake.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: It is a small island sanctuary just 5 km away from Srirangapatna city. It covers an area scattered around 57 acres alongside the banks of River Kaveri. One must visit this bird sanctuary between June to October. The sanctuary becomes an important nesting & breeding centre for multifarious avifauna species.

Entry timings at Srirangapatna fort

One can visit Srirangapatna fort throughout the week between 9 am to 6 pm. There is a distance of 23km between the fort and Mysore from a route of Bangalore to Mysore while commuting via roadways. The town is connected to the mainland via a bridge as it is surrounded by Kaveri river. Tourists are suggested to hire taxis or board on frequent buses from Mysore to Bangalore to reach Srirangapatna fort. There is another option to take local auto-rickshaws to travel to the destination. Tourists can spend their time clicking pictures, exploring the historical aspects of the fort with super exciting greenery while visiting this palace. A light show is also organized at the fort that starts at 7:20 pm to portray the history of the fort in the Kannada language. It is advised to get a good guide to know detailed information about the fort and get familiar to the precise history of the fort. However, you need to have enough time to explore this site completely as there is a lot of walking & site-seeing activities to indulge yourself.