A heritage destination which was once the capital of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatna town, has many historical places that are worth exploring and admiring. It has become an irreplaceable part of every Mysore tour package. Srirangapatna Fort is one of the popular sightseeing places here. It was once considered to the strongest fort in India, with double walls and four majestic gates. Also known as Tipu Fort, Srirangapatna Fort is one of the most popular forts in Karnataka, presenting captivating architecture and has high historical significance.
History of Srirangapatna Fort
First built in 1454, Srirangapatna Fort had seen many changes and renovations which came with the change in the reigns. This fort, due the lack of a fort in Mysore city, was established as prime defense center for many decades.
Srirangapatna Fort dates back to 15th century. In 1454, it was built as a mud fort during the reign of Vijayanagara Empire by a local chieftain named Timmanna Hebbar. However, later as the Vijayanagar Rule ended and the region came under the control of Mysore Wodeyar King, Kanthirava Narasaraja Wodeyar, this fort was rebuilt in 1654. It eventually came under Tipu Sultan; during his rule major changes were made to the fort. It was then developed as a prime defense base from where Tipu Sultan with his army had launched attack on British Army. Later in 1799, British Army had defeated Tipu Sultan and he was killed in fort itself.
Architecture of Srirangapatna Fort (Tipu’s Fort)
Built in the Indo-Islamic style of architecture, Srirangapatna Fort has impressive structure that allures every visitor. At the gateway of the fort, there is a Persian inscription mentioning the date of construction. The fort has impressive four gates Delhi, Bangalore, Mysore and Water and Elephant Gates along with double walls while on three ide the walls are as high as 40 feet, making it one of the strongest forts of its time. Inside the fort, there is a Rocket Court. This is the place from where Tipu Sultan's army used to launch missiles.
Another striking feature of Srirangapatna Fort is the Lal Mahal which used to be the residence of Tipu Sultan. The palace is now in ruins and is marked by a board describing the same. Lal Mahal Palace is said to be of excellence design, consisting of audience hall, women’s quarters called as Zenana and a library. The fort was equipped with advanced drainage and piping system. This fort is spread over 240 acres of land and is said to have around 1500 houses and inhabited close to 6000 people. There are also two chambers inside the fort compound where prisoners were kept.
Some of the other prominent sightseeing places which are located nearby are Gumbaz comprising of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali’s tombs; a popular shrine Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Daria Daulat Palace also known as Tipu Summer Palace and Jama Masjid.
Reaching Srirangapatna Fort near Mysore
Located in the town of Srirangapatna, which is around 23 km away from Mysore and is on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, this fort can be easily accessed via road. The town is surrounded by Kaveri River, and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. There are frequent buses from Mysore and Bangalore to Srirangapatna. Tourists can also hire a taxi and travel. Within the town, one can take locally run auto rickshaws.