Anglo Mysore Wars: Third Anglo Mysore War-Treaty of Srirangapatna

Tipu Sultan's Padayottam in Kerala:

We have learned that as per the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, which concluded the Second Anglo-Myore war, the British restored Malabar to Tipu Sultan.

Tipu Sultan's invasion of Malabar is popularly known as "Padayottam". In Jan 1789, Tipu Sultan proceeded to Malabar to put down the revolt of the Hindu Nairs. Hearing the news of Tipu's march, majority of the Nairs fled to the nearby hills. The Mysore troops pursued them and took many of them captives. The captives were ordered to embrace Islam to escape death; and the rite of circumcision was performed on the males. Tipu then marched to Cannanore and arranged the marriage of his son Prince Abdul Khaliq to the daughter of the Arakkal Beebi, Ali Raja Bibi Junumabe II. On the outbreak of the monsoons, he retired to Coimbatore, but before that, he ordered his army to hunt out the remaining Nairs and convert them to Muslims. The Nairs finally took shelter in the kingdom of Travancore.

Tipu Sultan popularly known as the tiger of Mysore

The conquest of Travancore had long been the ambition of Tipu Sultan. Since Travancore was a British ally, he could not openly declare war against her, according to the terms of the treaty of Mangalore. The state of Cochin was a tributary to Hyder Ali. Tipu urged Rama Varma (1775-90), the Raja of Cochin, to claim to the districts of Paravur and Alangad, which were once the feudatories of Cochin, and in the event of Travancore refusing to restore them, to declare war against that state, in which he could take part. He also told the Raja to advise the Travancore Raja to become a vassal of Mysore.

At that time the Raja of Travancore was Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (1758-1798), popularly known as Dharma Raja. The Raja of Cochin sent emissaries to Dharma Raja regarding the same, but, Dharma Raja said that he would not enter into any alliance without the consent of his allies: the British and the Nawab of Carnatic. About that time (July 1789), Dharma Raja purchased the forts of Cranganore (present day Kodungallur) and Ayakotta (present day Pallippuram in Cochin) from the Dutch. Tipu claimed that the forts originally belonged to his tributary of Cochin; and demanded the Raja's troops to be withdrawn from Cranganore. He also demanded Rama Varma to demolish the northern side of the Travancore Lines which stood mostly in the Cochin territory; and the surrender of all the chiefs of Malabar who had been given asylum in Travancore. The Maharaja pointed out that the forts of Cranganore and Ayakotta were built by the Portuguese and the Dutch was in possession of them so far back as 1663 after their victory over the Portuguese; and therefore the Dutch had all rights to sell them. The Travancore Lines were existed long before Cochin became tributary to Mysore. He also said that his principles of hospitality would not permit him to give up those helpless persons who had sought protection under him. Tipu, enraged by these replies, hastened his preparations for the invasion of Travancore. He started from Coimbatore with a large force; and during this march through Cochin, he laid waste of the country; Hindu temples and Christian churches were plundered; houses and bazaars were looted and set to fire; The inhabitants of the country fled to the hills, where many were seized and made prisoners.

Pallippuram Fort, also known as Ayakotta
Ruins of Pallippuram Fort, Otherwise Known as Ayakotta

Battle of Nedumkotta, also known as Travancore Lines⧿Ist Attack: Tipu's Defeat:

On 28 Dec 1789, Tipu's army attacked the Travancore Lines. By daybreak on 29th Dec, the Mysore army succeeded in possessing a considerable extent of the ramparts. A party of Travancore soldiers, who were stationed at the corner of a rampart, at once poured in a heavy fire, which killed the commanding officer and created a panic disorder. The retreating troops were forced into the ditch by the mass which pressed on them from behind. Tipu Sultan himself was thrown down in the struggle and the bearers of his palanquin trampled to death. Tipu, who had escaped with great difficulty, became permanently lame. He swore that he would not leave the encampment till he had carried 'that contemptible wall'. After their victory, the Travancore soldiers discovered Tipu's sword, palanquin, seals, rings and other personal artifacts from the ditch and presented them to the Maharaja.

Holland, the governor of Madras, wrote a letter to Tipu asking his explanation on the attack of Travancore. Tipu falsely represented to the governor that his troops were employed in searching for fugitives; but then the Maharaja's troops fired upon them; then his troops retaliated and carried on the lines.

Battle of Nedumkotta, also known as Travancore Lines⧿IInd Attack: Demolition of the Lines (1790)

Tipu assembled his troops and renewed the attack on the Lines on 2nd March 1790. The wall resisted the heavy fire of the artillery for nearly one month and a breach of three quarter of a mile long was effected. By this time the Travancore army abandoned the defense, as useless, and retreated. Tipu Sultan proceeded further and demolished the fort of Cranganore. While all this was going on, the British forces stationed there to assist Travancore remained passive, on the plea that they had not received orders from the governor Holland to fight against Tipu. The whole Lines thus fell into the hands of Tipu Sultan by 15th Apr; Tipu himself set the example of striking the first stroke with a pick-axe, which was repeated by every one of his followers, and the demolition of the Lines was completed in six days. Tipu with his army reached Alwaye. At that time the monsoon had broken out; and Periyar river was flooded, which caused great inconvenience to Tipu's army and rendered the gunpowder wet and useless. At this time, he received intelligence that the British were assembling an army at Trichinopoly (Tiruchirappalli); and Tipu Sultan was compelled to retreat. He could never come back to Malabar again!

The Sword Mark Left by Tipu Sultan, Madhur Temple, Kasaragod
The Sword Mark Left by Tipu Sultan, Madhur Temple, Kasaragod

During his Padayottam in Kerala, Tipu reached Madhur temple intending to destroy it. Feeling thirsty, he drank water from the well of the temple. After relaxing a while, he changed his mind and left the temple unharmed. But he made a cut in the roof of the temple with his sword symbolizing the attack. That mark of the sword is preserved even now. (

The Third Anglo Mysore War (1790 -1792): Tipu Sultan was defeated by Lord Cornwallis

As per the Treaty of Manglore, the British treated Tipu's attack on Travancore as a violation of the treaty and Lord Cornwallis declared war with him. After Tipu's departure from Malabar, the chiefs of Chirakkal, Kottayam and Kadathanad sought protection under the British; and by the end of 1790, the British seized the forts of Palakkad and Cannanore.

Lord Cornwallis assumed the command of the British forces on 29th Jan 1791. By March, Cornwallis captured Bangalore and advanced towards Tipu's capital Srirangapatna, in cooperation with his allies, the Nizam and the Marathas. However, the lack of provisions forced Cornwallis to retreat to Bangalore. Next year Cornwallis resumed the campaign on Srirangapatna; Tipu's position was becoming critical and he made every effort to strengthen the defenses of his capital. Finally, he was compelled to make terms of peace with the British. According to the  Treaty of Srirangapatna, Tipu had to surrender half of his dominions to the British and its two allies; and pay three crores and thirty lacs of rupees. Cornwallis also demanded two of Tipu's sons Abdul Khaliq, aged ten and Muiz-ud-din, aged eight, as hostages to Madras. With the treaty of Srirangapatna signed on 19th March 1792, Malabar came under British rule.


The Travancore Lines: About the year 1761 when the Zamorin of Calicut invaded Cochin, Kerala Varma II (1760-1775), the Raja of Cochin sought aid from Raja Rama Varma of Travancore, who dispatched a force under General De Lannoy, which drove out the Zamorin from Cochin. As per the treaty, the Raja of Cochin ceded a tract on which the fortifications were erected. The Nedumkotta fort, also known as the Travancore Lines, stretching in an almost straight line, consisted of an imposing earthen rampart extending over thirty miles in length from Ayakotta along a great portion of Cochin. Stone batteries and bastions were placed at intervals. It was further protected by a ditch and bamboos and thorny shrubs were planted close to the wall on the side of the ditch. The wall was built under the supervision of De Lannoy. The Travancore Lines served to prevent the attacks of the Zamorin. The districts of Parur and Alangad were also ceded to Travancore.

Travancore-Dutch War (Battle of Colachel): In the battle of Colachel in 1741, Marthanda Varma, the Raja of Travancore, won a decisive victory over the Dutch and captured 24 officers including the commander Eustachius De Lennoy and Donadi. De Lannoy popularly known as 'Valiya Kapithan' was raised as General. Treaty of Peace concluded between Marthanda Varma and the Dutch in 1753.

The male ruler of Arakkal dynasty is termed as Ali Raja and the female ruler as Arakkal Beebi. The fort of Kannur was under their possession.

Though Rama Varma (1775-90) had succeeded Kerala Varma II (1760-1775), Sakthan Thampuran was the virtual ruler of Cochin since 1769, though he actually ascended the throne in 1790.

Kodungallur Fort popularly known as Cranganore Fort or Kottappuram Fortwas built by the Portuguese in 1523. It was captured by the Dutch in 1663 and sold it to Travancore in 1789.

Pallipuram Fort popularly known as Ayakotta was built by the Portuguese in 1503 and is the oldest existing European fort in India. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661 and sold it to Travancore in 1789.

Tipu Sultan captured the Jain Temple in Waynad. He used the temple as his Battery and thus the town became known as Sultan's Battery, which gradually became Sultan Bathery.

Cannanore Fort popularly known as Fort St. Angelo was built in 1505 by Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy in India. In 1663, the Dutch captured this fort from the Portuguese. In 1772, the Dutch sold the fort to the Arakkal family.

Palghat: Palakkad; Cannanore: Kannur; Kozhikode: Calicut; Zamorin: Samoothiri; Alwaye: Aluva


A History of Travancore from the Earliest Times by P. Shungoonny Menon

History of Mysore, 1399-1799 A. D by C Hayavadana Rao

The Cochin State manual by C. Achyuta Menon


  1. In accurate. Tipu was religious fanatic. He was ISIS of previous years. You guys have no backbone to speak the truth. This bastard killed several brahmin and Nair and raped several women ...