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SRIRANGAPATNAM SIGHTSEEING

 

SIXTEEN KM FORM MYSORE ON THE BANGALORE ROAD STAND THE RUINS OF HYDER ALI AND TIPU SULTAN'S CAPITAL FROM WHICH THEY RULED MUCH OF SOUTHERN INDIA DURING THE 18TH CENTURY. IN 1799, THE BRITISH, ALLIED WITH DISGRUNTLED LOCAL LEADERS AND WITH THE HELP OF A TRAITOR,FINALLY DEFEATED THEM. TIPU'S DEFEAT MARKED THE REAL BEGINNING OF BRITISH TERRITORIAL EXPANSION IN SOUTH. THERE ISN'T MUCH LEFT OF SRIRANGAPATNAM AS THE BRITISH DID A GOOD JOB OF DEMOLISHING THE PLACE, BUT THE EXTENSIVE RAMPARTS AND BATTLEMENTS AND SOME OF THE GATES STILL STAND.THE DUNGEON WHERE TIPU HELD A NUMBER OF BRITISH OFFICERS HAS ALSO BEEN PRESERVED.INSIDE THE FORTRESS WALLS THERE'S ALSO A MOSQUE AND THE SRI RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE, A POPULAR PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE FOR HINDUS. NON-HINDUS CAN GO ALL THE WAY INSIDE EXCEPT TO THE INNER SANCTUM, WHERE THERE IS A BLACK STONE IMAGE OF SLEEPING VISHNU. THE POPULATION OF THE TOWN INSIDE THE FORT IS ABOUT 20,000. ACROSS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MAIN ROAD FROM SRIRANGAPATNAM STANDS THE DARIA DAULAT BAGH (TIPU'S SUMMER PALACE) AND THE GUMBAZ (TIPU'S MAUSOLEUM). THES ARE PERHAPS THE MOST INTERESTING PARTS OF A VISIT TO SRIRANGAPATNAM. THE DARIA DAULAT BAGH WAS LATER USED AS A RESIDENCE BY COLONEL ARTHUR WELLESLY. IT IS SET IN WELL MAINTAINED ORNAMENTAL GARDENS AND IS NOW A MUSEUM WHICH HOUSES SOME OF TIPU'S BELONINGS AS WELL AS MANY INK DRAWING OF HIM AND HIS FAMILY. IT ALSO HAS 'ARTISTS' IMPRESSIONS' OF THE LAST BATTEL, DRAWN BY EMPLOYEE OF THE BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY. ALL AROUND THE INTERNAL WALLS OF THE GROUND FLOOR ARE PAINTINGS DEPICTING TIPU'S CAMPAIGNS, AGAINST THE BRITISH THE DARIA DAULAT BAGH IS OPEN DAILY UNTIL 5 pm.


SRIRANGAPATNAM PLACES TO STAY

 

SRIRANGAPATNAM CAN COMFORTABLY BE VISITED IN A DAY TRIP FROM MYSORE, BUT IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE TO STAY HERE. THE KSTDC OPERATES THE BEAUTIFULLY LOCATED HOTEL MAYURA RIVER VIEW (TEL 2114), A FEW Km FROM THE BUS STAND AND RAILWAY STATION. COTTAGE COST Rs.150/- FOR A DOUBLE (NO SINGLES) AND THERE IS A RESTAURANT. JUST UP THE MAIN ROAD FROM THE BUS SATAND IN SRIRANGAPATNAM ARE A COUPLE OF BASIC LODGES WHICH WOULD DO FOR AN OVERNIGHT STAY.


SRIRANGAPATNAM GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

THER ARE SCORES OF BUSES EVERY DAY TO AND FROM THE CENTRAL BUS STATION IN MYSORE, AND THE FARE IS Rs.3/- IT'S ALSO POSSIBLE TO TAKE ANY OF THE MYSORE TO BANGALORE TRAINS.


SRIRANGAPATNAM GETTING AROUND

 

GETTING AROUND WALKING AROUND THE SIGHTS IS NOT REALLY AN OPTION AS THE POINTS OF INTEREST ARE WELL SPREAD OUT. THE BEST PLAN IS TO HIRE A BICYCLE IN SRIRANGAPATNAM. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF HIRE SHOPS IN THE MAIN STREET, ABOUT 500 METERS FROM THE BUS STAND OR RAILWAY STATION. ALL THE ROADS ARE WELL SIGNPOSTED SO IT'S NOT DIFFICULT TO FIND YOUR WAY AROUND. THERE ARE ALSO TONGAS AND AUTO-RICKSHAWS FOR HIRE.


SRIRANGAPATNAM RANGANATHITTOO BRID SANCTUARY

 

THE SANCTUARY IS ON ONE OF THREE ISLANDS IN THE CAUVERY RIVER, THREE KM FROM SRIRANGAPATNAM. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN BIRDS THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO VISIT AT ANY TIME OF YEAR, THROUGH IT'S BEST BETWEEN MAY AND NOVEMBER. ACCESS IS BY A MOTORABLE ROAD, OPEN ALL YEAR. BOATS ARE AVALIABLE FOR USE ON THE RIVER BUT THERE IS NO ACCOMMODATION.


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