The French Rocks at Seringapatam [near Seringapatam]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the French Rocks at Seringapatam, Karnataka, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1860s. Haider Ali, ruler of Mysore, had reinforced the fortifications of Seringapatam, an island in the Cauvery River and the capital of his kingdom, with the help of officers from the French Army, thus giving the French Rocks their name. After Haider Ali's death his son, Tipu Sultan, who had also enlisted the help of Afghanistan and Turkey, carried on the fight against the British, who were allied with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas. Tipu was one of the most famous rulers of India and was known as 'The Tiger of Mysore'. He chose the tiger as his emblem and had his troops dressed in material printed with distinctive tiger stripes known as 'bubris', a motif which was also painted on walls and carved into calligraphic inscriptions in his palaces. Tipu's throne was also made into the shape of a tiger with a large tiger's head made of gold with crystal teeth attached. Tipu was killed in the Fort during the storming of Seringapatam by Major General David Baird in 1799.