The beautiful summer palace of Tipu Sultan stands as a testimony to the harmonious amalgamation between Indian and Islamic architecture. It was constructed in 1784 within the compound of the Bangalore Fort. However, today, they lie in separate locations due to the many constructions that have come up in recent times. Tipu Sultan had a penchant for manicured lawns and abundant greenery. He ensured that there were immaculate gardens all around his summer palace. The structure of the palace itself is alluring. Constructed of sturdy teak wood, this palace has managed to survive the ravages of time.
The “Tiger” as he was known would come to the palace almost every summer and hold court or durbar here. He would be seated in the upper floor and the audience or court would gather around below. The palace itself, having been used in the summers, was therefore modeled along the lines of the palace at Sira, which no longer exists. The palace is airy and has many balconies, pillars, arches, rooms and walls, all of which are wooden and carved beautifully. Many parts of the palace have beautiful paintings of floral motifs on the inside. On the outside, there are paintings of battle scenes amongst many others. Sadly, due to lack of maintenance by the authorities, many of these paintings have all but vanished.
Fire Power – There is a small museum which houses the famous rockets that was developed by Hyder Ali, Tipu’s father. Later, Tipu himself remodelled the rockets, which proved lethal in many battles. Only two of these remain in the palace.
Don’t toy with me! – Every child likes his or her toy and Tipu Sultan was no exception. He had a toy of shows a tiger that has sprung onto a British soldier. It was made in such a way that the tiger could roar! A replica exists here.
Seat of power – A painting here depicts the throne that Tipu himself would sit upon once he had fully defeated the British. The throne is beautifully gilded and is studded with precious and semi-precious stones. However, the British pulled it to pieces and auctioned them away.
Hold the fort – Apart from the palace, one can go to the fort and admire how this structure managed to ward off the British for many decades.
The summer palace was a favourite of Tipu’s. The palace and the fort was where he could repose, entertain his guests; he would hold many meetings and devise many a stratagem. Many months were spent here every year; the fort and the palace was where a “game of thrones” was literally devised by the brave and brilliant Tipu Sultan till he passed away in 1799. This palace now seems slightly unassuming, but do visit this place to pay your respects to a great sultan who fought incessantly for freedom against the British. His courage, pride, and honour echo throughout the walls of this palace.