North View Of Bangalore Fort, Old 1794 Print
This is an old 1794 print of the Bangalore Fort. The title reads “North View Of Bangalore From The Pettah, Showing The Curtain & Bastions That Were Breached.” Tipu’s unprovoked attack on Travancore an ally of the British Raj was the last straw. The Governor-General Lord Charles Cornwallis demanded action. Tipu had to be restrained at all costs.
Lord Cornwallis, who himself took personal command because of the long series of reverses sustained by the British, decided to besiege Bangalore (now Bengaluru). When he first saw Bangalore it was little more than a fort, surrounded by a motley collection of villages. The fort was originally built of mud, commissioned by a local chieftain Kempe Gowda, in 1537.
It was Haider Ali who ordered the fort to be largely rebuilt with stone. Haider Ali made it a formidable structure. It was oval in shape. It had round towers, many bastions, and was surrounded by a deep moat. From Vellore near Madras (Chennai), Lord Cornwallis marched on to Bangalore with a large contingent of Indian and European troops. Facing great difficulties on the way, however, Lord Cornwallis eventually saw the fort of Bangalore before him. After a long-drawn battle, the British breached the fortress in March 1791 and took it into their custody. The very same breached fortress is shown in this rare 1794 print. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- the dismantling of the fortress began after the British took it over. Some buildings within the fort, including parts of Tipu Sultan’s palace, were demolished when they took it over. The dismantling continued even as late as the 1930s.