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4th Anglo-Mysore War

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(pic) Map of Deccan region showing Mysore kingdom in 1792

Image result for Pic George Harris, Wellesley British East India Co Image result for Pic George Harris, Wellesley British East India Co

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(Art) Battle of Malavalli (March 1799) Seringapatam;  Seize of Tipu Tultan Fort by George Harris (British East India Company)


Hyder Ali                     Tipu Sultan 

The 4th battle of Mysore kingdom commanded by Tipu Sultan against the British (commander: George Harris) was a decisive war.

War casualties were heavy on the side of Mysore kingdom; between 1000 and 2000 men lost their lives on the battle field.

On the British side, the casualties were hardly 66 to 69. British used field cannons (field guns) drawn by horses to pound walls of the Fort.

British were trained well in use of rifles and swords to riding on the horseback. They were good horsemen.

Mysore’s alliance with the French was seen as a threat to the East India Company and Mysore was attacked from all four sides.

Tipu’s Army was outnumbered 2:1 in this war with the British Army  (with Hyd Nawab and Marathas also attacking Tipu Army at the same time Tipus forces were outnumbered 4:1). Mysore had 35,000 soldiers, whereas the British commanded 60,000 troops.

The Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas launched an invasion from the north on Mysore to support the British effort.

The British won a decisive victory at the seige of Seringapatam (1799.)

Much of the remaining Mysorean territory was annexed by the British, the Nizam and the Marathas.

The remaining core, around Mysore and Seringapatam was restored to the Indian prince belonging to the then Wodeyar dynasty, whose forefathers had been the actual rulers before Hyder Ali became the de facto ruler.

The 4th Anglo-Mysore war saw the death of Tipu Sultan and further reductions in Mysorean territory; Tippu tried running away to Bangalore… but was surrounded there by British troops.

Tippu was killed defending his Bangalore fort.

The Wodeyars ruled the remnant state of Mysore until 1947… then it joined the Union of India.

Srirangapatnam Fort 5.JPG Image result for River Cauvery pic Srirangapatna

Tipu Fort at Seringapatam (renovated)…. Cauvery river flowed full in those days; north & west of Fort (horsemen could not cross river)

BACKGROUND (prior to the 4th Anglo-Mysore War)

The fort had been built by ‘Timmanna Nayaka’ in 1454, the fort came to prominence during the rule of Mysore by Tipu Sultan. The fort had been fully fortified with the help of French architects to meet the growing needs of of Mysore troops against invaders.

The river Cauvery surrounded the fort on the north and western sides. River was at least 7 feet deep. The fort had Lal Mahal and Tipu’s palace. They were demolished during the British capture of fort in 1799. There are seven outlets and two dungeons even today inside the Fort.

After the 3rd Anglo-Mysore war (1792), also fought at Seringapatam (present name Srirangapatna,) the British troops reduced the power and resources of Tipu Sultan. Through the Treaty of Seringapatam the British East India company, had weakened Tipu influence, yet he remained a perceived threat to the British East India Company.

Tipu Sultan had entered into a negotiation with the Governor of the Isle of France (at Mauritius, Africa) in 1798, and sent an embassador to Zaman Shah, then ruler of Kabul, for the purpose of inducing him to attack the possessions of the East India Company.

Having also derived encouragement from the successes of Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign, from which France intended to act against the British dominions in India, Tipu commenced augmenting his military force, and his hostile designs against the British became every day more apparent.

Governor-General Richard, Earl of Mornington (afterwards Marguess of Wellesley) perceiving a rupture inevitable, resolved to launch a preemptive strike, and ordered the army to take the field and march into the heart of Tipu’s Mysore territory.

Major-General George (afterwards Lord Harris,) was serving with the local rank of lieutenant-general, in conformity to these orders, advanced the army under his command on 11 February 1799 and entered Mysore territory on 5 March 1799.

(pic) Present Sri Ranganatha Temple, Srirangapatna (British name: Seringapatam) I visited this temple recently. It is a small temple by river Cauvery.

Reclining Vishnu idol is inside. Puje can be offered. Small Residential buildings and hutments  surround the temple.

Srirangapatnam today has over 65% muslim population living peacefully with their Hindu neighbors.

Men work in plantations, indulge in iron-smith work, train horses. Women do art and crafts, make good perfume.

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Suresh Rao

Mellowed out and enlightened septuagenarian. Tech savvy. Social writing is just a pastime to kill time. I keep contributing to several developmental projects in the area of engineering education, IT and Healthcare projects launched by my kith and kin. I am too lazy to write a book, 'cause I think my life itself is a book! I am also at
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Namita Sunder
Namita Sunder(@namita)
4 months ago

Two facts which hitherto were not know to me — Wodeyars were the original ruler of Mysore kingdom and they later on ruled over a part of it till 1947. I don’t remember this mentioned anywhere in history text books of class 6 to 8, even now. How much about history of our land we know is right and then how much we don’t even know, are the questions we need to put to ourselves.

Navneet Bakshi
Navneet Bakshi(@bakshink)
1 year ago

Interesting piece of history, but my heart bleeds to read how the invaders were fighting for our land. Even Tipu was the descendant of the invaders and as I learn from your article the Marathas and Nizam were siding with the British to defeat Tipu. My knowledge of history is limited to what I read about it till 8th standard and from there I learnt that Tipu was a brave warrior, who fought for his “Mother Land” against the British and I held a great pride from him, until the protests against making of the film Sword of Tipu and over the celebration of some thing related to Tipu was undertaken by the Congress government in Karnataka erupted. It’s only then that I learnt that he was indeed a cruel king who forcibly converted Hindus to Islam. Surprisingly all these facts were kept away from us growing up children. In a way it was good for developing a feeling of amity among the people of India, but that game seems to be over now. Another thing that intrigues me that East India Company was only a trading firm. How could a trading firm barge upon acquiring land in a foreign country without not having the support of the government and how morally wrong it is for a nation to support a set of pirates in its expansionist designs.

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