Successor of Tipu Sultan

In the aftermath of Tipu Sultan's fall in 1799, the British took control of his family and wealth. Tipu's eldest son Fateh Hyder surrendered himself to General Harris, the Commander-in-Chief of the army which stormed Srirangapatna. Fateh Hyder expected that the British would reinstate him in his father's dominions.

Whom did Wellesley chose to the throne of Mysore? the heir of Hyder and Tipu or of the Wodeyars?

Lord Mornington, also known as Richard Marquess Wellesley, the Governor General of Fort William, Bengal, faced a crucial decision: who should govern the newly acquired territory of Mysore?

In a letter addressed to the Court of Directors, Wellesley weighed the options between the family of Tipu Sultan and the Wodeyar Rajas of Mysore:

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the Raja of Mysore
By Samuel William Reynolds

"Since the peace treaty of Srirangapatna, particularly since 1796, Tipu Sultan has been relentlessly striving to annihilate the British power in India. He never accepted his losses from the peace treaty of 1792 and was determined to regain control of his lost territories. To achieve his aim and seek revenge, he resorted to his ancestral ties with France.

His strong dislike of the British is evident from his numerous correspondence with the French in Tranquebar (now Tharangambadi in Tamil Nadu), as well as with those on the Isle of France, and the executive Directory at Paris. His embassy to Zaman Shah, involvements in Pune and Hyderabad, and interactions with Mons. Raymond, all demonstrate his unwavering determination to restore the grandeur and strength of his empire.

The heir of Tipu Sultan must have been raised with the same principles as his predecessors. Our triumph had shaken the very foundations of his father's empire, and all the civil and military power of Mysore had been transferred to our possession. If we were to place him on the throne, with limitations under our control, he would undoubtedly feel humiliated and weakened, which no self-respecting prince would tolerate. Any land that we held onto would be viewed by the prince as an infringement upon his rightful inheritance.

Driven by the unyielding spirit of his parents, and accustomed to the commanding view of independent sovereignty, he may willingly risk the remaining hereditary possessions to achieve the proud goal of reclaiming the vast and powerful empire that had made his ancestors the scourge of the Carnatic and the terror of this region of India for many years.

Therefore, if Tipu's son became the ruler of Mysore, it would be impossible to establish a true friendship or alliance with him. He would be opposed to British power and would seek to support our enemies. This would result in a persistent threat within your territories, always on the lookout for opportunities to exploit your misfortunes and use them to his advantage.

On the contrary, the Wodeyar Rajas of Mysore had endured many hardships, especially during the reign of Tipu Sultan. The deplorable conditions and suffering they endured would naturally create a sense of gratitude and loyalty towards the power that not only freed them from oppression but also raised them to a state of significant wealth and prestige. They had not formed any connections with the enemies of the British, even during the toughest times. Therefore, the support of the British was crucial for them to maintain their position on the throne. Thus, the kingdom of Mysore, so long the source of calamity and alarm to the Carnatic, could become a new harrier of our defense and provide fresh means of wealth and strength to the Company, their subjects and allies."

In short, Wellesley feared that placing a son of Tipu Sultan on the throne would leave Mysore vulnerable to ongoing threats such as internal uprisings and foreign conflicts. This could also harm the stability of the alliance between England and her Indian allies. As Tipu's favorite goal was to eradicate British influence in India, his heir must have been raised with the same anti-British sentiments. He could never consider himself dignified, if placed on the throne by the British and limited by British control. Nor he could ever forget the great power and independence from which he had fallen. Revived by the spirit of his ancestors, he would definitely attempt to establish independent sovereignty and recover the powerful empire that had been lost.

In the end, Wellesley made the decision to favor the descendant of the Wodeyars over the heir of Tipu Sultan.

Tipu Sultan's four eldest sons with their families were transferred to Vellore by June 18. Thus ended the dynasty of the Mysore tiger, also known as the Sultanat Khudadad.

Accession of Prince Krishnaraja Wodeyar:


On June 30, 1799, the five-year-old Prince Krishnaraja Wodeyar was crowned as the ruler of Mysore. He was also known as Krishnaraja Wodeyar III or Mummudi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. The capital was relocated from Srirangapatna to Mysore. In 1973, the state of Mysore was officially renamed Karnataka.


Wellesley's Despatches


  1. Tipu sultan was worst ruler ever who slaughtered many Hindus and destroyed many Hindu temples. Forcefully converted many ppl in to Islam. He is not tiger, he is a fox.

    1. It is alright if you have no idea of the past, what is dangerous is if you have a wrong idea of the past. You lack historical knowledge and you have poor quality of grasping.