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  5.1 Sketch Of The Environs Of Seringapatam  

©Anne Buddle
Sketch Of The Environs Of Seringapatam

From 'View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with the Late Tippoo Sultaun' by Alexander Beatson; London, 4th May 1800


he island of Seringapatam lies approximately 4.5 miles NE of Mysore and 75 miles south of Bangalore, Tipu's second city. It takes its name from the Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple, (894 A.D.), which still dominates the skyline. Seringapatam was the capital city of Tipu Sultan and his father, Haidar Ali, and therefore a crucial focus for the campaigns of the Mysore Wars. The impressive triple defences round the Fort are clearly visible, protecting Tipu's palace. Neither this nor the Lal Bagh palace at the East end of the island survive, but the Darya Daulat palace still stands on the North side.

Robert Home included seven views of Seringapatam in his 'Select Views in Mysore....' published in 1794, following the Third Mysore War (1790-92). He describes Seringapatam thus:'This island extends about four miles in length from east to west, and is about a mile and half over, in its middle or broadest part. The ground in the central part is somewhat more elevated than the rest, and slopes with gentle declivity towards each end. The fort and outworks occupy about a mile of the western end of the island; and the laul baug, or great garden, about in equal portions of the eastern. This garden was laid out in regular walks of shady cypress; and abounded with fruit trees, flowers and vegetables of every kind. But the axe of the enemy soon despoiled beauties; and those trees, which once administered to the pleasures of their master, were compelled to furnish materials for the reduction of his capital. At the same time the dowlat baug, or rajah's garden, which was situated on the north side of the island, nearer the fort, was undergoing a similar devastation by order of Tippoo, lest that also should be applied to the same purpose.

The whole space between the fort and the laul baug, except the small enclosure, called the dowlat baug, just mentioned, was filled with houses, forming an extensive suburb, of which the pettah of Shaher Ganjam alone remains; the rest having been destroyed by Tippoo to make room for batteries to defend the island, and to form an esplanade to the fort.'

Alexander Beatson, of Kilrie in Fife, was in the forefront of the advance round the Southern ramparts of Seringapatam in 1799. His map shows the Bombay and Madras armies closing in on Seringapatam, and the tope (cluster of trees) at Sultanpet where the young colonel, Arthur Wellesley, was surprised on 5th April 1799 and narrowly escaped capture.

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