Tipu Sultan was born on 20 November 1750 at Devanahalli about 33 km north of Bangalore city. He was named "Tipu Sultan" after the saint Tipu Mastan Aulia of Arcot.
Tipu's father, Hyder Ali, was a military officer in service to the Kingdom of Mysore under Wodeyar. He rapidly rose in power, and became the de facto ruler of Mysore in 1761. Hyder claimed descent from the tribe of the prophet Muhammad. His father, Fatah Muhammad, father of Hyder was born in Kolar, and served as a commander of 50 men in the army of the Nawab of Carnatic. Fatah Muhammad eventually entered the service of the Wodeyar Rajas of the Kingdom of Mysore. Hyder Ali provided Tipu an early education in various languages, Quran, Islamic jurisprudence, riding, shooting and fencing.
Tipu Sultan was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employment of his father. At age 15, he accompanied his father against the British in the First Mysore War in 1766. He commanded a corps of cavalry in the invasion of Carnatic in 1767 at age 16. He also took part in the First Anglo-Maratha War of 1775–1779.
In 1779, the British captured the French-controlled port of Mahé, under the protection of Hyder Ali. In response, Hyder Ali launched an attack on the British. During this campaign in September 1780, Tipu Sultan was dispatched by Hyder Ali with 10,000 men and 18 guns to intercept Colonel Baillie who was on his way to join Sir Hector Munro. In the Battle of Pollilur, Tipu decisively defeated Baillie. Out of 360 Europeans, about 200 were captured alive. Munro retreated to Madras.
Tipu Sultan also defeated Colonel Braithwaite at Annagudi near Tanjore on 18 February 1782. Braithwaite's forces, consisted of 100 Europeans, 300 cavalry, 1400 sepoys and 10 field pieces. ies. Tipu Sultan seized all the guns and took the entire detachment prisoner. In December 1781 Tipu Sultan successfully seized Chittur from the British. Tipu Sultan had thus proved his battle credtentials by the time Hyder Ali died on Friday, 6 December 1782. He became the ruler of Mysore on Sunday, 22 December 1782
The Second Mysore War came to an end with the 1784 Treaty of Mangalore. In this treat, an Indian king dictated terms to the British.
During his rule, he completed the project of Lal Bagh started by his father Hyder Ali, and built roads, public buildings, and ports along the Kerala shoreline. His dominion extended throughout North Bangalore including the Nandi Hills, Kanivenarayanapura, and Chickballapur. His trade extended to countries such as Sri Lanka, Oman, Durrani Afghanistan, France, Ottoman Turkey and Iran. Under his leadership, the Mysore army proved to be a school of military science to Indian princes. The serious blows that Tipu Sultan inflicted on the British in the First and Second Mysore Wars affected their reputation as an invincible power.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, in his Tipu Sultan Shaheed Memorial Lecture in Bangalore (30 November 1991), called Tipu Sultan the innovator of the world's first war rocket. Two of these rockets, captured by the British at Srirangapatna, are displayed in the Royal Artillery Museum in London. Tipu managed to subdue all the petty kingdoms in the south. He defeated the Nizams. He is said to have started new coinage, calendar, and a new system of weights and measures mainly based on the methods introduced by French technicians.
In 1979, three armies, one from Bombay, and two British (one of which included Arthur Wellesley), marched into Mysore in 1799 and besieged the capital Srirangapatna in the Fourth Mysore War.
There were over 26,000 soldiers of the British East India Company comprising about 4000 Europeans and the rest Indians. The Nizam of Hyderabad sent ten battalions and over 16,000 cavalry, and many soldiers were sent by the Marathas. The soldiers in the British force numbered over 50,000 soldiers whereas Tipu Sultan had only about 30,000 soldiers to defend his kingdom. The British broke through the city walls, Tipu fought bravely, and died defending his capital on 4 May. Tipu Sultan was killed at the Hoally (Diddy) Gateway, which was located 300 yards (270 m) from the N.E. Angle of the Srirangapatna Fort.Tipu was buried the next afternoon, near the remains of his father.
Story of Tipu Sultan in Hindi
The real truth of Tipu Sultan
Slideshow and writeup
Also read about battles between Hyder Ali and Peshwa Madhavrao in Wikipedia article on Madhavrao.
Updated 17 Feb 2016, 16 March 2015