Early life of Tipu Sultan

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Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, biographies

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Thursday, 29th April 2021

Early Life

Tipu Sultan was born on November 20, 1750, in the Kingdom of Mysore to military officer Hyder Ali and his wife, Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa. Fath Ali was his given name, but he was also known as Tipu Sultan, after a local Muslim saint, Tipu Mastan Aulia.

Hyder Ali's father was a capable soldier who, in 1758, won such a comprehensive victory over an occupying force of Marathas that Mysore was able to absorb the Marathas. As a result, Hyder Ali rose through the ranks of Mysore's army to become the commander-in-chief, later the Sultan, and by 1761, the outright ruler of the empire. Tipu Sultan was getting an education from the best tutors available when his father grew to fame and prominence. Riding, swordsmanship, shooting, Koranic studies, Islamic jurisprudence, and languages like Urdu, Persian, and Arabic were among the subjects he studied. Since his father was allied with the French in southern India, Tipu Sultan learned military strategy and tactics under French officers from an early age.

When Tipu Sultan was 15 years old, he accompanied his father on an invasion of Malabar, and for the first time, he was able to put his military experience to use in war. The youngster led a force of 2,000-3,000 men and successfully captured the Malabar chief's family, who had sought shelter in a fort under heavy guard. Fearing for his family's safety, the chief gave up, and other local leaders quickly followed suit. Hyder Ali was so proud of his son that he appointed him to rule five districts in Mysore and gave him command of 500 cavalry. It was the start of the young man's distinguished military career.

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Tipu Sultan the Ruler

Tipu Sultan realised that after two victories over the British, the British East India Company remained a significant threat to his independent kingdom. He continued to finance military advancements, such as the construction of the infamous Mysore rockets, which were iron tubes that could fire missiles up to two kilometres, frightening British troops and allies.

Tipu also constructed highways, coined a new currency, and promoted silk production for international trade. He had always been an enthusiastic student of science and mathematics, and he was especially fascinated and delighted by new technologies. Tipu, a devout Muslim, was respectful of his subjects' Hindu religion. Tipu Sultan, nicknamed the "Tiger of Mysore" and portrayed as a warrior-king, also proved to be a capable ruler in times of relative peace.



The British and their allies surrounded Seringapatam, the capital of Mysore, in early May 1799. Tipu Sultan faced 50,000 attackers with just 30,000 defenders. The British broke through the city walls on May 4th. Tipu Sultan rushed to the breach to protect his city and was killed in the process. His body was found under a pile of defenders after the battle. Seringapatam had become overcrowded.



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