View of Sivaganga (Mysore)
Artist: MacKenzie, Colin (1754-1821)
Oval wash-drawing of Sivaganga in Karnataka by Colin MacKenzie (1754-1821) in 1800. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'View of Sivagunga in Mysore.'
During the latter half of the 18th century, large areas of southern India were controlled by the Rajas of Mysore, Haidar Ali (c. 1722-1782) and his son Tipu Sultan (1753-1799), who ruled from their capital at Seringapatam. Their armies were stationed at hill-forts or 'droogs' such as this one. The British fought four separate wars with Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan for control of southern India. In 1781 Haidar was defeated and died a year later but the military campaign was continued by his son, Tipu. The final battle took place in May 1799 when the British stormed the fortress and Tipu Sultan was killed. This defeat of Tipu and his forces made the British East India Company the paramount power in India.