This article has been extracted from
THE IMPERIAL GAZETTEER OF INDIA , 1908.
OXFORD, AT THE CLARENDON PRESS.
Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.
A name loosely applied in English histories to the north-eastern corner of Salem District, Madras, but no longer in use. The exact boundaries of the tract have been the subject of some discussion. It apparently included the taluks of Tiruppattur, Krishna- giri, Dharmapuri, and Uttangarai in Salem, and the Kangundi zaminddri in North Arcot. Though usually called Baramahal, the name is explained as meaning ' twelve palaces ' (mahal), and tradition says that it was derived from the fact that twelve hills within it were fortified by local chieftains ; but of the various lists of these twelve forts no two agree. The first separate ruler of the tract is supposed to have been Jagadeva Raya, father-in-law of one of the fallen kings of Vijaya- nagar, to whom it was granted by the king as a reward for his heroic defence of the fort of Penukonda against a Musalman force. Later, Jagadeva's family fell upon evil days, and the Baramahal passed into the possession of Haidar All of Mysore, whose son ceded it to the British at the partition treaty of 1792. The name soon afterwards dropped out of use.
Henry Salt's 'Twenty Four Views in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt'
This aquatint was taken from plate 12 of Henry Salt's 'Twenty Four Views in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt'. Salt visited Rayakottai in Tamil Nadu on his way to the Cauvery Falls. Viscount Valentia George Annesley wrote of its importance as a point of communication between Mysore and the Carnatic: "[Governor General] Lord Cornwallis ... had the fortifications strengthened. At present they consist of the hill, whose top is only approachable by a narrow flight of steps, and a fort at the bottom where are very comfortable houses for the officers. The scenery is wild and abrupt, consisting of rocky hills, with woods and jungle between ... the climate is so moderate, that every kind of fruit and vegetable may be reared in a degree of perfection that is unknown on the sultry plains around Madras."
Viscount Annesley’s description
Viscount Valentia George Annesley [2nd Earl of Mountnorris FRS (4 December 1770 – 23 July 1844)] wrote of its [Rayakottai’s] importance as a point of communication between Mysore and the Carnatic: "[Governor General] Lord Cornwallis ... had the fortifications strengthened. At present they consist of the hill, whose top is only approachable by a narrow flight of steps, and a fort at the bottom where are very comfortable houses for the officers. The scenery is wild and abrupt, consisting of rocky hills, with woods and jungle between ... the climate is so moderate, that every kind of fruit and vegetable may be reared in a degree of perfection that is unknown on the sultry plains around Madras." (From The British Library)
Tipu Sultan in Baramahal
Baramahal, located in a strategic place, was well knitted with road and communication. It also assisted as a gateway to Mysore and served as a key to the south. For Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan it was much beneficial. Being a territory under the Kongu region, it was under the control of the Pallavas, Cholas, and Nayaks of Madurai. As the majority portion of the Tamil country was under Vijayanagar rule, naturally it was also a domain under them. Then it came under Jaggadevaraya in 1578 A.D. and from him it was shifted to Muslim rule and from them the British captured it. After a long time in 1782, it came under the control of Hyder Ali. Then Tipu was able to control the territory upto 1792, till the end of the Third Anglo-Mysore War in 1792. By the Treaty of Srirangapatnam signed in March 1792, he had to hand over that to the British East India Company. Baramahal means Twelve Mahals and those administrative divisions were; at (1) Krishnagiri (2) Jagadevagarh (3) Varanagarh (4) Karalgarh (5) Maharajgarh (6) Bujangagarh (7) Kotagrah (8) Thriupathur (9) Vaniyambadi (10) Ganganagarh (11) Sudarshana garh (12) Thattakallu. These formed the territories of Jagadeva, the Palayagar of Chennapatnam, Nawab of Cudappah and Raja of Mysore. As the words Bara and Mahal are Hindusthani words, it will be apt to agree that they might have been used by the Muslims even prior to Hyder Ali.
Politics in Baramahal
After the death of Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan succeeded his father as the king in 1782. He had to spend the next 17 years to protect Mysore which faced rivalry and wars. Since he was a terror to the British, he inscribed his tiger emblem in all places. His throne too had it. Even the dresses of his soldiers too had the mark of tigers. The Nizam of Hyderabad, his son Sikkand Jha, his prime Minister also supported the British against Tipu. On behalf of the Marathas, 10,000 horsemen under Parasuram Rao and 10,000 foot soldiers under Maribrandh were sent against Tipu in support of the British8. The whole condition was not in favour of Tipu even on May 4, 1799, he breathed his last at the Srirangapatnam battle ground when he attacked the enemy solider. Major Allam and Col. Wellesley had their own doubts about the death of Tipu. But finally by feeling his pulse beat, and heart beat, they acknowledged his death.
While Hyder Ali became the defacto ruler of Mysore, he with a disciplined army and strong cavalry had to face the challenges of the Marathas the Nizam of Hyderabad and the allies of the British. With the art of permutation combination, he decided to out manoeuvre his enemies. He set up an arsenal at Dindigul. Between 1761 and 1763, he captured Hosakote, Sera, Bednur as well as the palayagars of the North West. Amidst the varied ups and downs in the political arena, in 1776 he suppressed his enemies by capturing Dindigul and Baramahal. Further Hyder Ali under his control captured Arcot in 1780 by defeating Col. Baillie. In the middle of the second Anglo-Mysore war on December 7, 1782, Hyder Ali died. So Tipu had to take up the responsibility of the war. When both the parties were tired of war, on March 1784, the Treaty of Mangalore was signed and both the parties agreed to maintain their own territories. But the enemity did not cease and was continuing.
The Third Anglo-Mysore war (1790-1792) came to an end after the loss of most of Tipu Sultan’s territories. The Treaty of Srirangapatnam was signed on March 17, 1792. By that the British obtained Dindigul, Baramahal and Malabar. The lost Baramahal was not at all recovered by the Mysore King. Anyhow after the fall of Srirangapatnam on May 4, 1799, it fell into the hands of the confederacy of the British, the Maratha and the Nizam of Hyderabad. After the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War 1799, Baramahal was annexed with the British territory along with Kanara, Coimbatore, Wynad, Dharapuram and the coastal region of the Mysore kingdom. With this short historical sketch it will be apt to have an analysis about the activities of Tipu Sultan in Baramahal.
Baramahal comprised of the territories of Dharmapuri, Hosur, and part of Krishnagiri, Thirupathur, Uthankarai and a part of Hosur. Though it was situated in the Tamil speaking areas a large number of Muslims inhabited that place. The Lebbais who were the followers of the prophet were there. The Tamils who were converted to Islam were called Lebbais and they spoke the local language. The Urdu speaking Muslims were called Pathans or Dakhani Muslims. Though it was not a great centre of trade, learning or culture, the majority of the Muslim population wished to be the part and parcel of the Mysore Kingdom. So it had wide scope for frequent and unavoidable wars with the major political powers. The people of the Deccan peninsular too had their own enemity with the dwellers of the Baramahal region. As this territory touched the Mysore plateau, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan concentrated much on this to penetrate into the interior territories of Tamil country. After Baramahal was subdued by the Mysoreans in 1791 there prevailed peace. After the Fourth Anglo Mysore war in 1799, that region was annexed as the possession of the province of Madras.
Legacy of Tipu’s Revenue Administration
The transfer of Baramahal to the British by Tipu Sultan enabled the British to be alert at Krishnagiri, and other Mysore territories. It was mainly for avoiding Tipu’s army and men penetrating into the British domains. The natives were watched vigilantly and their assistances were utilised by the British to satisfy the needs and requirements of their contingents. By that a cordial relationship was made available. At the same time when Tipu had appointed Muslims in the place of Hindus who had been under him, he had to incur the displeasure of his own subjects. The change of power in the Baramahal region relieved the people from the hardships imposed on them by Tipu. But the officials and servants of Tipu were forbidden from enjoying the facilities under Tipu.
Tipu Sultan had his own economic policies regarding trade and commerce. The merchants of those areas were paying a specified amount on transports as customs. But after the shifting of the administration, the alien officials by threat started collecting abnormal sums as customs and transport fees. Even during the period of Tipu, his revenue officials adopted false practices and cheated the ruler. They collected a huge sum and sent only a limited amount to the treasury. Such measures not only affected the rulers but also the common people who were the tax payers. The Revenue officials of that area during the rule of Hyder Ali were ignorant and unable to read and write. They were also selected and appointed from the army. They were keen on the total collection and never worried about the people. Tipu Sultan was disgusted with such unacceptable activities. Eventhough they were removed from power and started to lead a private life, they were absorbed by the British just to achieve their own ends of exploitation. Even when Lord Cornwallis visited Baramahal in 1792, he was perturbed by the irregularities with regard to the collection of revenue and stood for overall changes.
Land Revenue Administration
After getting Baramahal region in 1792, captain Alexander Read as the collector, had got a sound knowledge about the conditions and the well being of the people of Baramahal. He too proved himself a fittest person to run the administration of the area effectively in a better way even while Tipu Sultan was alive. But Tipu had no interest in the administration of Baramahal and his whole attention was to find ways and means to tackle the aliens who were making efforts to make friendship with the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad for thrashing him out. Though Lord Cornwallis was to make this as a temporary stop-gap arrangement, it continued till Tipu was over- powered in 1799, in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war. It was brought under the control of the Madras government in the year 1799.
When the Baramahal region was under his control, Tipu Sultan followed his own revenue policy. Lease system was followed by Hyder Ali and Tipu. The Amildars were incharge of lands and they collected the revenue with the assistance of patels and village headman. The land tax from Baramahal region was collected either in cash or grains. When the price of grain was cheap, the tax was collected in cash and when the price was high they collected grains. Further for dry lands, tax was collected in cash and in the wet land it was in grain. The Patel and the village headman raised the rate frequently. The ryots were the sufferers. Tipu’s revenue administration suppressed the farmers. While the taxation was heavy, the revenue officials were corrupt and the government was inefficient. Tipu also was unaware of the unlawful activities of his officials. The revenue account entries were not properly maintained. The officials did not give authentic and proper accounts and Tipu had no records to know the exact revenue of a specific period. So subsequently the English, without any proper records, fixed the land revenue arbitrarily. Any how it is evident that Tipu’s unwanted avoidance of land revenue administration in Baramahal led to his fall at the end.
After receiving the Baramahal region, the British ordered for the geographical survey during January 1793. So it is easy to infer that during Tipu Sultan’s period, land revenue was collected in an arbitrary manner without proper stipulations. Another unique feature was that Tipu had no sketch of land. While all these things allowed the people to show their aversion to the ruler, it was advantageous for the British who annexed the area in 1792. During August 1793, the Board of Revenue of Fort St. George received a map of rough sketches of the boundaries of villages and paddy fields. Subsequently during August 1794, another survey was conducted. But such things were totally absent under Tipu. But it was not the fault of Tipu because he had a wealthy treasury which favoured him to involve himself in constant wars with a foreign power which was aiming at the establishment of their rule in this subcontinent after suppressing their enemies. The absence of Revenue Board under Tipu was another drawback of his revenue administration. During Tipu’s time no tax was levied on the Inam or Devadhanam lands which were appropriated to the temples. In the same way lands worth 20 pagodas were granted to Sankarayya, the Priest of the Chandra Mouleswara temple in Hosur town. Masjid Sannad were the lands assigned to those who were incharge of Mosques and Dhargas. All such grants were made available in the Baramahal region too.
In the Baramahal, during the reign of Tipu Sultan, the revenue officials themselves were looking after revenue collection, and maintained law and order. When the British East India Company obtained the power of Baramahal, there prevailed lawlessness. There was no safety for the life and properties of the people. The Amildars, Kotwals, Tallatits, were removed from their duties and Kavalkars were appointed. Koravars were appointed as Kavalkars with fixed salary to execute the duties of watchman, ward and police.
The British even asked Tipu’s officials to hand over the culprits who had escaped to Tipu’s regions from Baramahal. But such things occurred mainly due to the transfer of power of that region form the hands of Tipu to the East India Company. It also indicates that the people had no faith over the British, the staunch enemies of Tipu. The British believed that the mild treatment given to the Baramahal people by Tipu was also a cause for the chaos and turmoils in that region. So they decided to take severe actions against the culprits.
Tipu Sultan’s assessment of land revenue was exorbitantly heavy. So the people migrated to other regions other than Tipu’s. He lost not only his income but also incurred the enemity of his own people. Though the officials of Tipu encouraged them to give the taxes at their own will, it also did not get any result. Those who could not pay the heavy taxes converted themselves into plunderers and murderers. When the East India Company gave shelter to those people, it affected the administration of Tipu and his economy was also crippled. It also caused problems of safety and security of the state along with law and order. He even did not make an enquiry about the flaws of the people. It offered opportunities for the British to enhance their military forces in that region. Sufficient security guards were employed to avoid the further actions of Tipu.
Changes in Judicial Administration
The British endeavoured to maintain law and order. severe punishments were given to the offenders. Spies were also employed to have an estimate of the situation. By reviving peace, law and order in the Baramahal region, the British felt that they could then only settle the revenue of the disturbed areas. The non availability of any regular police system in the Baramahal region under Tipu Sultan was responsible for the problems after 1792. So in order to rectify the situation, the British appointed a Thanar and placed him under a Thanadar. In some places Kotwals were appointed for maintaining law and order. At the time of Tipu, there were Talaiyaris who maintained law and order with the income they obtained from the people of the region and this was a significant aspect in the rural areas. The lawlessness which prevailed there and the need for the maintenance of law and order in Baramahal under Tipu, compelled the British to devote more on introducing law and order by eliminating the lawlessness. This paved the way for the introduction of a developed police system in that region by the British in the ensuing period. Thus the bad administration of revenue and exorbitant rates of tax in Baramahal resulted for the migration of the ryots to the company’s areas. Lawlessness and disorder also prevailed in this region.
The judicial administration of the Baramahal region under Tipu Sultan was not at all a praiseworthy one because it was an unorganised one. The people never enjoyed any uniform code of law. Justice was rendered according to the circumstances. Neither the Hindu nor the Islamic laws were followed scrupulously. Minor crimes were being settled by the village headmen, local Panchayats, caste Panchayats and Juries. The Village councils and the revenue officials too had their say in the judicial administration. These deficiencies had created many consequences at times of crisis. The prevalence of chaotic state in judicial administration in Baramahal under Tipu stressed the British intruders to concentrate more on the judiciary in that region. There were no regular courts of justice in the Baramahal region. So the British had to establish civil courts called adalats in Baramahal and other regions such as Conjeevaram, Triuppathur, Dindigul, and Krishnagiri.
The jurisdiction of every court was also stipulated. The court founded at Krishnagiri satisfied the needs of the people of Baramahal. It is worth to note here that no Judges were appointed with due responsibilities under Tipu. Only after 1792, the British entrusted the judicial responsibility to the revenue officials and ordered them to deal with justice. As Tipu had no regular accounting of the income through the judiciary for the fine amounts in the subsequent period, the Judge had to maintain the financial dealings of the court. In addition to the other judicial officials such as Registrars, Darogas, Maulvis and Roshkars, Sastris, Amins, Munusifs and Sheristadars were appointed. The District Collectors, along with their administrative functions, were encrusted with judicial powers. Thus the improper methods of the judiciary under Tipu were streamlined by the authorities of the East India Company in due course.
Since of the British people were the believers of ‘the rule of law’, they were scrupulous in the judicial administration which was lacking under Tipu Sultan. Baramahal was also brought under such delicate situations. The English Judges were having the right to support in arbitratary juries and the Zamindars were mostly appointed as arbitrators. The British even granted the right of enquiry of cases to specific local people to minimize the burden of the Judges. The Amins settled the issues regarding lands. Thus the process of centralization, adopted by Tipu in the judicial administration, was removed. The British devoted to solve the problems locally in a decentralized way. But appeals were allowed in the higher courts. The British continued the Panchayat court followed by Tipu in Baramahal. The problem between Tipu and the British caused a stand-still stage in all aspects in the Baramahal region. The administrative head quarters of the Baramahal region, Krishnagiri gained significance only after 1792. The confused and chaotic revenue administration of this area by Tipu made the British to suffer much in the succeeding periods. Proper judicial administration was established in that region even while Tipu was alive due to the earnest endeavours by the British.
Social Changes in Baramahal
The Baramahal territory, which was mostly in the Kongu region, had the inhabitants speaking Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Marathi languages. When this territory came under the Islamic rule of Mysore, further religions and languages crept into that region. The Christian Missionaries such as Robert De Nobili, and Abbe Dubois brought about the introduction of Christianity in this region61. Particularly after the Third Anglo-Mysore war, Christianity became a popular religion62. The Baramahal region was one having different sets of people and all of them lived in peace and harmony. Because of that, the ruler Tipu Sultan was able to divert his energies mostly on wars. The heterogeneous groups also did not affect the normal functioning of the state.
Tipu Sultan had his political, religious and commercial contacts with the Baramahal region. Krishnagiri was the military head quarters of Tipu like Salem, Dharmapuri, Sankagiri, Rayakottai, which were the military centers of Macleod and Graham, the English Generals64. Textiles was the leading industry in Baramahal. Like Salem, Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Namakkal and Attur which were cloth manufacturing centers, the silk and cotton cloths produced at Baramahal were having markets in foreign countries also. Baramahal, during the time of Tipu,
played a prominent role in maintaining its economic superiority due to industries as well as a market services. The industrial productions and hand-made products were able to satisfy the people of all walks of life. For the weapons of his army, Tipu had to depend on artisans of Baramahal and Salem65. So Baramahal was known for its commercial as well as military activities.
While almost all the places had Hindu temples, Tipu Sultan made arrangement for the construction of mosques in the newly acquired territories such as Baramahal. Dukans or shops were constructed at all Kasbas for enabling the merchants to assemble there to deal with their financial activities and trade. They were all maintained by the government. Through them the exchange of money was undertaken. During Tipu’s time, the artisans, who produced swords spears, daggers, shields etc, were familiar there due to their traits. Arunachala Achory, lived in Salem, was one of the members of the municipal council. He had native furnaces and produced iron from the iron ore available in Kanchamalai and his knives were very popular. But after 1799, they gave up their productions because the British were not in need of such things. In general with the demise of Tipu, the economic and manufacture systems disappeared and yielded opportunities for the introduction of western economic order in the Baramahal and other regions captured from Tipu Sultan.
In the Baramahal and other regions, when the British, adhered to the policy of religious tolerations, the natives began to realise the religious persecutions by the Muslims including Tipu69. Anyhow the pious and devoted attitude of the natives did not change. While the Muslims under Tipu stressed for compulsory circumcision, the Christian Missionaries, during the company’s rule, allowed conversion at the will of the people.
The Condition of Rural Areas
From the Baramahal records it is also possible to have an estimate of the economic condition of that region under Tipu Sultan. In the villages, the people lived in simple houses of mud walls covered by palmyrah leaves, which were available in large quantities without much cost. They even used straw for rooting because that was also cheap. In the Baramahal town areas there were tiled houses. The traditional mandapams and chatrams were available for the travelers to stay and they were also used for the conduct of religious festivals. At times they served as places of Panchayats to settle local cases. But there prevailed co-operation and co-ordination among the people and that was beneficial for Tipu to concentrate on other aspects of the state affairs.
Agriculture was the prime occupation of the Baramahal region. The general economic standard was in a deplorable condition due to the frequent and repeated wars of Tipu Sultan. The army caused a lot of havocs to the agriculture fields. The land revenue officials too were making hurdles in the efforts to develop an agrarian economy. In the dry Baramahal area when the problem of irrigation was there, Tipu could not devote himself to agriculture and so the farmers were put into a lot of difficulties. Due to the constant problems faced by the peasants, they were unable to manage agrarian pursuits and they found it to be congenial to serve as agricultural labourers. Further the insufficient wages given for men, compelled women and children to work for half the wages. Those who cultivated paddy could not consume the rice because they sold the produces just to pay for the abnormal taxes. In addition to the natural and environmental problems the political problems, also stagnated the growth of agriculture and Tipu was solely responsible for that. As the collection of revenue was the prime motive of the administration, the ryots suffered a lot. Such miserable plights of the farmers encouraged the British who subdued Tipu to provide with the opportunity to move the ryotwari settlement. Since Tipu did not devote himself to the utilization of land for farming in the succeeding period the British brought all the lands under cultivation and offered lands to farmers to cultivate at concessional rates of taxes. Tipu never thought about the collective responsibility in agriculture in all areas under him including Baramahal. But the British with all seriousness infused collective responsibility in agrarian activities, and introduced Mahalwari settlements and Zamindari system.
The absence of any attention to economic pursuits led to the migration of the labour population of the Baramahal region to urban centers. It had its own echo and impact over the self sufficient nature of the villages. For earning their livelihood and to find markets for their agrarian products, the shifting from rural areas to urban centres began during the last stages of the life of Tipu Sultan. The weaving communities such as Jadars, Salars and Sourastrars produced magnificent variety of nice texture of clothes and few undeveloped implements. They were encouraged mostly by traders and not by administrators. If the merchants did not pay for the order, the position of the weavers became precarious. With the transfer of Baramahal region from Tipu to the East India Company, the foreign trade concerns advanced money to the native weavers and procured the yield which gained huge profit to them in England. This was also an obstacle for Tipu in fetching income to the state. The artisans and craftsmen also had to face the competition and the old economic system had to yield to the fresh western system of economy.
When Tipu Sultan paid no heed to trade and commerce due to his involvement in wars and in maintaining his position amidst the enemities of the British, Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad, the English exploited the situation. They, instead of giving assistance to trade, acquired the territories and imposed heavy duties for their products and also purchased from them at cheaper rates for enriching their own commercial prospects. This also had its own adverse effects over Tipu. The British at the initial stage advanced money to traders. But when they gained superiority over Tipu in Baramahal they dumped their manufactured goods which completely wiped off the native hand made goods. The failure of Tipu Sultan in promoting roads and the means of transport in Baramahal and other regions was a menance. The British used boats in Kaveri and Bhavani rivers. From Trichinopoly they covered 173 Kms of water transport. But Tipu did not pay any heed to that. That affected him in many ways. The Baramahal region, during his last days, was in a state of confusion because he had already lost it in 1791. In general due to Tipu’s wars, the Baramahal region became a desolated one. There was a fall in all the sphere. The economy was deteriorating. Corruption among officials was an ineradicable one. There was a fall and depression in agriculture. Tipu found no time to concentrate or removing the distresses of the people due to his involvement in wars. The administration of the Baramahal region as the other areas was left unnoticed. He allowed the civil administration to move in its own way and that resulted in pushing his own people towards the East India Company administration of Baramahal region too.
Fall of Baramahal
The capture of Baramahal in the last of Tipu Sultan’s rule favoured the British to have the control over the passes leading to the Mysore Kingdom. Though this success of Lord Cornwallis was a considerable one, it was in nature not a total victory. By this the British had cut off the Sultan of Mysore from his access to the land of his country. Lord Cornwallis was able to cripple his enemy without making either the Marathas or the Nizam of Hyderabad too formidable. As a consequence, Tipu, during the remaining years of the British power in India, simultaneously made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the support of the French. Such disasters served as causes for the fourth and last Anglo-Mysore war in 1799.
As long as the British fought alone against Tipu Sultan, the latter had an upper hand. But the Triple Alliance of 1790, between the British, Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad enabled the British to crush Tipu’s powers. When the Maratha ruler and the Nizam of Hyderabad accepted the Subsidiary Alliance with Lord Wellesley, Tipu bluntly refused the offer. So he had to face another unsuccessful war in 1799, which brought his fatal end. Towards the close of the 18th century, Baramahal became an economically backward region, left unconcerned90. It became defenceless and weak due to the repeated wars of the native powers and lack of proper leadership on the native side. The code of revenue administration issued by Tipu after his accession in 1782, did not favour Tipu due to his constant and contending enemity with the British. This turned deadly against Tipu after 1792.
The failure of the English forces after the siege of Mangalore from May 4, 1783, to January 30, 1784, stressed Macartnet, the Governor of Madras to send Commissioners to Tipu Sultan for peace. Tipu was therefore able to exploit the situation. He even criticized that the British had sent commissioners all the way from madras to Mangalore begging for peace. Though Tipu was audacious and known for his personal valour, he had no calculating foresight. That ruined him ultimately and that actually commenced from the fall of Baramahal. The strained relationship between the Marathas and Tipu had its echo at Baramahal. On February 15, 1786, the Maratha Nana Fadnavis and Nizam of Hyderabad met at Yadgir and revived their relationship. This also precipitated the situation and Tipu was the affected person. The chain of events were not conducive for Tipu and he was left alone to face the formidable British and the consequence was seen reflected in the Baramahal region.
Baramahal, which fetched him the land revenue encouraged Tipu Sultan to promote the agriculture of that region even by bringing the waste and fallow lands into cultivatable lands. Tipu directed the peasants to undertake the cultivation of mulberry and betel in that area. His system adopted in Baramahal continued to survive even under the British rule. He relieved the distresses of the farmers and maintained his own economic pursuits of the Baramahal region. So when the Baramahal region fell into the hands of the British, Tipu became actually the loser as seen earlier due to war.
After 1792, Tipu Sultan’s intrigues to draw the allies of the British to his side did not succeed. This was another cause of hostility between Tipu and the British even after the loss of the Baramahal region. Lord Cornwallis, who anticipated a war with Tipu, hastened his military activities. But Tipu precipitated the situation by an attack on Travancore which was in an alliance with the East India Company. So it was the opportunity for the British to attack Tipu and the capture of Baramahal was favourable. The failure of Tipu in the Baramahal region allowed the British to have an upper hand in the entire Madras region. Tipu also had to face the problem of the loss of a sizable portion of his infantry and manpower as well as his territorial possessions.
The weakness of Tipu Sultan in the Baramahal area allowed the equally ambitious allies to rose against Tipu to ensure their share in the Mysore region. The English who gained the help from the native rulers and people, unhesitatingly continued their military operations against Mysore. Thus Tipu had to face a perennial problem. The other native rulers, mainly to maintain peace with the British for their own safety, were unwilling to have any alliance with Tipu and refused the movement of the Mysore army through their regions. So Tipu had to face critical situations. But he had no idea to yield to the army proposal mentioned by the British. The increased number of enemies prevented Tipu from devoting to a specific area and that endangered his services and activities.
When Tipu Sultan was harsh towards his Zamindars and punished his disobedient people, they migrated to the Arcot region without paying their revenue dues to Mysore. In addition to that during their movement they indulged in plunders and devastated the properties of others. So Tipu’s financial positions became weak. So under such critical situations, Tipu could not achieve success at any level. The failure of proper administration in Baramahal opened the eastern gate way to the company’s army which was marching towards the monarch’s kingdom of Mysore. Earlier the commander of the British army camped at Sankri durg, moved his army and took part in the Third Anglo-Mysore War.