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The Tipu Sultan Museum, Srirangapatnam
It is in memory of a remarkable historical personality, 'Sahib Tipu', the sultan and hero of Mysore, that one must mention this museum. Tipu's father, Hyder Ali of Mysore, fought bravely against the advancing British armies in an effort to protect his kingdom.
Set in the former summer palace of Tipu Sultan in Bangalore, the museum mainly exhibits personal items of Tipu Sultan and his family. Elaborately painted walls and ceilings of this wooden palace depict scenes from wars fought by him, while the interior walls are ornately painted with abstract designs and floral motifs.
A simple gravestone marks the place where Tipu was wounded and found dead. but it was in happier days that Tipu Sulatn had built the Summer palace called the Dariya Daulat ('Splendour of the Sea'), near the Srirangapatnam fort, in 1784. Laid out in a vast, formal garden, the palace, a neat charming structure, stands in the centre. The palace walls have been elaborately painted with panels and decorative motifs. On one wall there is a mural painting of a procession with Hyder Ali and Tipu on horseback.
The museum housed in the Dariya Daulat contains many items and personal belongings of Tipu and his family. There are articles of furniture, some of French origin, and rich tapestries and coverlets. Upstairs there are more galleries, and form here can get a good view of the ornate interior of the palace. There are several portraits of members of Tipu's family, including his young, handsome but unfortunate sons. There re paintings and prints done by British artists of the army, and others, who documented the tragic events of the storming of Srirangapatnam and the fall of Tipu and the imprisonment of his children. There are several articles of clothing said to have belonged to Tipu, including some of his swords and shields used both on battle and for ceremonial purposes.
Coins and documents fill in the rest of the picture puzzle that make up the story of Tipu. Though the paintings and the historical recording of events wee done by the British, the image of Tipu sultan always stands proud, dignified and firm, as that of an exemplary hero.
Address : Tipu Sultan Museum, Summer Palace, Srirangapatnam, Mysore, Karnataka.
Hours : 10 am-5 pm except Government holidays.
Admission : Nominal, Friday free.
Suggested viewing time : One hour. The garden area is a lovely place to sit and relax.