Khedda Silver Medal, Mysore

This silver medal dates back to 1960 and is attributed to the Mysore Khedda (Elephant Stockade). Khedda was a practice for centuries in India, where wild elephants were captured to be tamed and domesticated. In the Mysore Khedda, in Southern India, the Kabini river was a permanent capture site given its topography and having one… Read more »

Letter, Gulam Muhammad Sultan Sahib to Captain Peacock , 1868

This is a letter written by Prince Ghulam Muhammad Sultan, the fourteenth son of Tipu Sultan (1751-1799), the ruler of Mysore. The letter, dated 21st August 1868, is addressed to a British government official, Captain Peacock. After Tipu Sultan’s defeat in Seringapatam, the British deported the Sultan’s remaining family members to Calcutta. Prince Ghulam Muhammad… Read more »

Elephant Rattle

This elephant rattle is made from bamboo and was used at the Mysore Khedda (Elephant Stockade). These devices, used as elephant rattles, are traditional percussion instruments known as bamboo clappers. Bamboo clappers are common across India and are known by different names. They are made from a thick piece of bamboo, which is split halfway… Read more »

Dark Mother – Goddesses of wrath

Within the mythology of the Mother Goddess there exists a duality. Just as her benevolent aspects are depicted in many forms, here are some of her fiercest and most terrifying forms

Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, Maharaja of Mysore

Wadiyars served as vassals of the Vijayanagara rulers but as that empire weakened in the 16th century, the they asserted their dominance as independent kings. After the final Anglo-Mysore war ( 1798–99) ended the era of Tipu Sultan, Mysore was returned to the Wadiyars to rule as a subsidiary to the East India Company. Chamarajendra… Read more »

Tipu Sultan, Silver Double Rupee of Patan Mint

This coin is a Double Silver Rupee of the Mysore Kingdom, minted by Tipu Sultan ( r. 1783-1799). Tipu Sultan ascended the throne of Mysore on 4th May 1783. He is recognized for his military prowess, administrative skills, and battle against the British during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. Tipu Sultan issued gold, silver, and copper coins… Read more »

Premier Tableau: Taking of the Fort and City of Seringapatam, 4th may 1799

This Engraving by French illustrator and engraver Jean Duplessis-Bertaux is the Premier Tableau that depicts the siege of Seringapatam on the 4th of May, 1799. Jean Duplessis-Bertaux’s famous works include many representations of scenes of the French Revolution. Tipu Sultan’s formidable fortress at Seringapatam was breached after a month of relentless attacks by the British… Read more »

The Storming of Seringapatam (triptych)

A mezzotint engraving produced by John Vendramini, this triptych illustrates three episodes from the final victory of the British over the Mysore state during the 4th Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99). Spanning nine feet across, it was created after a painting by Sir Robert Ker Porter, one of the first artists to depict this landmark episode in… Read more »

Fairytale Wedding

When it came to royal wedding spectacles in the last century, Mysore’s maharajas knew how to put on a show

Krishna Raja Wodeyar, Copper 20 Cash, Type IV of Mysore Mint

This is a rare copper coin issued by the monarch of Mysore state Krishnaraja Wodeyar. On the obverse is inscribed the official emblem of the elephant executed in intricate detail, with two lines of inscriptions on top. The line on the top has the word “Shri” inscribed between the sun and the moon. The reverse… Read more »

Music Gallery of The Mosque, Seringapatam (Srirangapatna)

This engraving is after a painting by James Hunter, from his collection of illustrations titled “Picturesque Scenery in the Kingdom of Mysore”. James Hunter worked for the Royal British Artillery in India and took part in the campaigns against Tipu Sultan. After the signing of the Treaty of Seringapatnam  (Srirangapatna) , Hunter took permission from Tipu… Read more »

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, 5 Cash Type IV

The Wodeyars of Mysore issued a number of copper coins in various denominations. The most common numismatic device employed was the elephant. This copper coin issued by Krishna Raja Wodeyar III shows on the obverse an elephant facing the left and laden with ornaments. On the reverse is a three-line Kanarese legend and the lettering… Read more »

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, Silver Pavali or 1/4 Rupee

The Wodeyar/Wadiyar dynasty owns the distinction for being the only Indian royal family to have ruled for five centuries! Chosen to serve as vassals of the Vijayanagara empire in 1399, the Wodeyars grew over time to reign over their own kingdom, which they did right up till the formation of the Union of India in… Read more »

Krishna Raja Wodeyar, Copper, 5 Cash, Type III

The Wodeyars of Mysore issued a number of copper coins in various denominations. The obverse of this copper coin issued by Krishna Raja Wodeyar depicts a caparisoned elephant with the Kanarese numeral one. On the reverse a three-line Kanarese legend and the lettering “5 Cash” – denoting the denomination, but has worn off.

Mighty Mysore

Snapshots of Tipu’s territory, as seen through the Sarmaya collection