As you stroll along Srirangapatna fort, near the water-gate; a small, rectangular, enclosure with a stone epitaph beckons you as the spot where the dead body of the heroic Tipu Sultan was found. On that fateful day of 4th May 1799, when he heard that the water-gate has been breached; the Sultan rushed to the water-gate with a drawn sword and plunged into the ranks of the enemy leaving his mid-day meal unfinished. The Sultan fought valiantly and single-handedly; only to fall a victim for the more powerful weapon, a bullet at his temple. The body was found at this place after a great search by the British army and later identified by his family members. This place is a silent testimony to the fall of a brave warrior which is graphically captured by an unnamed British artist. This painting is now displayed at the Archeological Museum in Daria Daulat Bagh.
This multi-faceted Mysore tiger attracted the attention of French Emperor Napoleon. The powerful Napoleon sent his French technicians and troops to assist Tipu in fighting the British.
The British, who had already ended three Mysore wars by signing peace treaties with this heroic warrior, feared that they would slowly be driven out of India if they did not curb Tipu’s growing strength and popularity. To gain an edge over Tipu’s perilous men and artillery; the British forged an alliance with neighboring Indian kingdoms called the Nizams of Hyderabad and the Marathas. Thus, this reinforced British enemy marched to occupy Tipu’s flourishing territory in the fourth Mysore war on 4th May 1799 that is also called the Battle of Seringapatam.
Tipu Sultan was also equally prepared to chase away these foreign invaders from his kingdom for the fourth time. He had a strong and well-trained platoon of twelve thousand soldiers. However, it was his artillery that the British dreaded most. Through the French, he also procured high quality guns. Sadly, neither his artillery nor his soldiers could prevent his defeat and death in the fourth Mysore war. He had traitors in his own forces including his ministers such as Purnaiya and Mir Sadik who cheated him by secretly befriending the British. Tipu, unaware of this treachery, was destined to die. It has been recorded that this brave king suffered three wounds in the body and one in the head before breathing his last.