Tippu Jayanthi… Birth of Mysore Tiger Tipu Sultan’s TIGER – Part 2

However, unlike Tippu, the British understood the psyche of Kodavas and that’s why they offered the hands of friendship than of foe. That’s why inspite of Rev. Mega-Linga (Rev. H. F. Moegling) writing to company to increase the tax and expressing unhappiness over the other facilities, {indirectly expressing his inability over not been able to convert the stubborn Kodavas}, no action was taken by the company!

After French man Lally had managed to escape through North Kodagu (Coorg) despite losing his entire arms cache from France meant for Tippu at the hills of South Kodagu, anger of both maniac-Tipu and mercenary-French fleet against mighty Kodavas had no bound. Do or die situation…. They had to beat them at any cost and the plot took shape secretly. Though not a great fighter, Tippu was a great strategist, and traveling in the comforts of palanquin like a newly married bride, with his famous 7.4 kg ornamental Sword, reminding of how important it is to stay in power along the writing equipments and desk, carried behind him he could plan it well too.

It was rumoured that the Kodagu fighters from South Kodagu had moved to help the fighters in North. So a plan was meticulously hatched to beat the Kodavas. Without trusting the generals, this time Tipu kept the plan with himself and wanted to execute it in secrecy. Hence, he became a gomukha-vyagra… showed the face of cow under the cover of animal of his obsession which he could never kill…. the Tiger.

The question remain why did British kept him on pedestal. According to me, the answer is simple:  the British dint want to be known as the lesser fighters than Kodavas. Perspective alters history…The untrained, self taught Kodavas had beaten both father and son duo again and again, until they sought help from French and shelter under cunningness to beat Kodavas!! So what would be the face value of or credibility of “Great Britain” for fighting with the duo so long? Hence they elevated his own aura to make them look good!

Well from the foreskin of cunningly imprisoned Kodava/Kodagu men, women & children came out the hero on the mechanical toy tiger… No wonder politicians still cash in on it… while the world condemns Hitler, Tippu is celebrated, and the Kodava men’s foreskin indeed is expensive after all! Perhaps with very few exceptions, Politics coupled with ego teaches the valueless believes which politician in general inculcate in their philosophy. That’s why for few votes they glorify even the blood thirsty monsters.

Shame on those who calls Tipu, the son of soil and a freedom fighter…. I am sure if you look deep into their eyes of those beholders, it has the scar of foreskin in them.

The translation:
Tipu Sultan won Kodagu again: Before waging war on Kodagu, Haider had won the places around Kodagu. However until Lingarajendra {Lingaraja I} asked for asylum under him, he could not win over Kodagu because of its rugged hills, deep valleys and thick forests. More than expansion of his country, Haider was always eyeing and wanting to win Kodagu because of its strategic location where he could keep his army to control over Dakshina Kannada, Malayala and Mysore Kingdoms. Therefore, when easily it came to his indirect control because of the infighting of the Haleri dynasty (Branch II and III}, Haider did not want to return the land to Virarajendra {Lingaraja’s son Vira raja IV} as long as he was alive.

Similarly, after his death when his son Tippu Sultan took over the reins, he did not want to give up Kodagu easily. He was also well aware of the strategic position of Kodagu, wanted and made up his mind to win Kodagu again. However, the fight with English which started with his father was yet to get over, so he could not concentrate on Kodagu.
During this period that is in 1783, he transferred the entire royal family of Haleri, who were at that time imprisoned at Goruru Fort in Hassana, to the Periapattana Fort in mysore. Soldiers were placed both inside and outside of the fort to guard over the family, so that they would not escape. The family got an annual grant of three hundred pagodas that is thousand two hundred rupees. They were housed in an ordinary building. After a short period, due to shortage of food, unhygienic and spread of small pox took toll on Devambike Amma {wife of Lingaraja I}, mother of Virarajendra and his brothers’ and few other family member perished there.

As soon as he ascended the throne, Tippu Sultan continued his war with the English. In 1783 and 1784, he attacked Nagara kote* and Mangalore kote, winning it back, which was under the control of General Richard Mathews. After which on March 11th, 1785 Tippu and English made an agreement at Mangalore, putting an end to the fight. Finally Tippu Sultan had the time to wage war against Kodagu.

{*Nagara kote {old name Fortress of Bednore}, had been surrendered to General Mathews on 14th February. Tipu Sultan came with an overwhelming body of troops and forced the British to retreat to the citadel –smaller part of the fort. With shortage of supply, after ten days, they surrendered and General Mathews and his army were taken into captivity. After imprisonment, General Mathews was executed on 16th August 1783.}

On his way back from Mangalore to Periapattana, Tippu Sultan arrived at Kodagu. He invited the heads of Kodagu and conveyed the message that: inspite of you all revolting against me, I will forgive you but if you all revolt again I will catch and convert all of you. According to historian Wilks, Tippu Sultan told the mukyasthas that: after my father won your country, you have revolted seven times and became the cause of thousands of our soldiers. I will forgive you once but if you revolt again, I will convert every man in this country to Islam; such is my oath to God. And also I will make you all stay away from your homeland, away from your homes and property. I have heard that your women practices polyandry. If you all are converted and sent away both your revolt and your women’s polyandry could be stopped in one go. Tippu’s opinion and comment about Kodava women practicing polyandry was a wrong notion, wrote the later historians.

When Tippu came, Madikeri fort was of mud walls and he got it removed and built with stone walls. {Knowing the situation and the availability of raw materials, it seems either it was strengthened or makeshift one were built. Hence there are no remains.}

He kept a garrison and appointed a Sardar {commander-in-chief} Jaffer Kuli Baig as the kille-dar {kille meaning fort} and renamed Madikeri as Jaffarabad after his Sardar. Remaining soldiers were distributed between Kushalanagara, Arameri of Beppunadu and Bhagamandala*, with orders to build forts so that Kodagu will not slip out of his hands. Similarly, not only Madikeri fort wall was rebuilt in stone, forts were built at Aramane-geri {old name of Armeri} of Beppu-nadu, Kushalnagara and Bhagamandala forts were built. In all the four forts, Tippu Sultan’s tukadi {garrisons} were kept. The yards of Bhagandeshwara and other temples of Bhagamandala became the station for Tipu’s soldiers.

{*Arameri had a damaged fort from Utha Nayaka’s era which must have been repaired and in Bhagamandala there was no fort and the temple was used to station the army and the walls of the temple became their fort. Kushalnagara it’s hard to say. Hence, building a fort with limited labour and material in that short period seems little confusing. All in all they must have found ways for makeshift forts}

The outer walls of the temple became the walls of the fort. Since the rivers Kaveri and Kanake are flowing on two sides of the place, Tipu named the land as “Abjalabad”. Even before the soldiers had occupied the temple, Brahmin’s had vacated the temple and had taken the Linga and idols to safer place to perform poojas.*

{*The amazing story of Pattamada Uthiah’s bravery and dedication for four months to the Bagandeshwara and other idols, when all the Brahmins ran away in fear of pollution, made him famous all over Kodagu and later the ruler had granted him annul rice “padi”. A brave tiger killer, Uthaiah had not only carried a Brahmin boy everyday religiously on his back to perform the daily rituals but also had given up nonveg and alcohol}.

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