The ‘Tiger of Mysore’ Tipu Sultan, who bravely fought the British and was known for, introducing innovative administrative schemes and military technology, was born on November 20, 1750, in Devanahalli.
A legendary ruler, he not only opposed British rule in South India but also played a major role in keeping the British forces away from South India. He was one of those rare rulers who had the gumption to challenge the British Government.
Tipu was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali, who served as a military officer in service to the Kingdom of Mysore. Soon, Hyder Ali’s career progressed and in 1761 he became the ruler of Mysore. Hyder Ali had political relations with the French and thus the young prince was trained in military and political affairs by highly efficient French officers. He was just 15 when he accompanied his father against the British in the First Mysore War in 1766.
Tipu Sultan ascended to the throne after the death of his father in 1782. He introduced a new calendar system, new coinage, and seven new government departments, during his reign and made military innovations in the use of rocketry.
In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, the forces of the British East India Company, supported by the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad, defeated Tipu and he was killed on 4 May 1799 while defending his fort of Srirangapatna.
Among his many innovations, Tipu introduced new coin denominations and new coin types. This beautiful Gold Four Pagoda or ‘Ahmadi’ of Tipu Sultan which weighs around 13.65 g minted at Pattan in 1217 AH. The obverse of the coin is inscribed with Arabic legend ‘Huwa al-sultan al-wahid al-adil tarikh-i-julus saal sakh suyim bahri sanah 7 julusee’ and the reverse side reads as ‘Muhammad Ahmad Deendar Jahan Ast Roshan Za Fateh Haidar Ahmadi Zarb Pattan Sarab Sanah 1217’.
This gold pagoda was sold for INR 16, 00,000 at Classical Numismatics Gallery.