Ramblings of a Summer Palace
I'm always jealous, I really am, of that city that everyone calls as "Srirangapatnam". It is the Sultan's First Capital and his true love. I'm just an appendix, and everyone remembers me only during Summer. Emasculated by and within the Bengaluru Fort, I'm just a recreational house, nothing more than an old fable, in this city established by the benevolent Nandaprabhu Kempegowda. I'm just all pillars and gardens, and very few inner quarters, of course.
It was in 1791 CE, and the race for the Carnatic Supremacy was settled once and for all in the favor of the British Company. It was in 1791 CE, that the Third Anglo Mysore war was in full swing. And it was in that fateful year, that I came into existence. A few thousand men of the Company, armed with matchlocks and muskets, embellished with cannons, supported by cavalry were staring at Srirangapatnam, our beloved capital. Between that army and our city stood our Sultan.
No one knew truly about the Sultan. He was a maverick. He was on the one hand, a great administrator, a military innovator renowned for his artillery (Tipu's Guns), and a dreamer who wished to meet and ally with the legendary Napoleon I Bonaparte of France! But on the other hand, he was alleged to be a religious bigot and a short tempered man. How would I judge him? I'm just bricks and mortar.
It was in these troubled times, that I lived. These were even testing times for a Palace, I do not know If I could make it to tomorrow. I'm afraid that somehow, a cannon ball shall hit me during the dead of the night. But, that did not happen. The menfolk at the Palace, decorated my gardens regularly. My rooms became comfort houses for the nobility and a favorite escapade for the Sultan. My Pillars were painted anew. Floral motifs were made on my Palace walls, inside Zenana Quarters. Somehow I flourished. A time of Peace, indeed!
The short lived peace was done and War visited our people again. This time there was no escape. Srirangapatnam had fallen for one last time, and the Sultan was dead. This time, I felt really sorry for the Capital. My heart sank looking at the Company men! But, I did not meet destruction. The British admired me, and made me their administrative Secretariat for sixty nine years. Only a poor copy of the Sultan's Tiger was allowed to be kept with me. My Opulence was reduced, and my functional purposes were only accepted. But, I lived with equal, if not more patronage under the British. And, I exist even now....
In case if you ever visit me today, don't expect anything grandiose.
I'm Summer Palace of Bengaluru, and the Sultan that I referred was, is and remains to be Tipu.
References (If any)
1. Place and Date -
@ - Tipu Sultan Summer Palace, (Near Kalasipalya), Albert Victor Road, Chamarajpet, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560018
On -18th of January, 2015
2. Subject - Tipu Sultan Summer Palace - "Ramblings of a Summer Palace"
( Tipu Sultan Summer Palace was a summer residence of the Nawab of Mysore, it was commissioned by Hyder Ali, and the construction was completed in c.1791 CE. After Tipu Sultan was killed in the Fourth Mysore War in c.1799 CE, the Palace was converted into an Administrative Secretariat by the occupying British. For further details, please refer-