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Hyder Ali

Haider Ali was born in 1727 in Ajmer Rajasthan. His father was an ordinary soldier of Mysore army named Fateh Muhammad. Haider Ali was the father of famous Tipu Sultan known as “Tiger of Mysore”. He had two wives first wife died after that Tipu was brought up by his second wife named Fatima. He belonged to a foreigner family and from the rank of an ordinary soldier he became the ruler of the Indian state Mysore. He begins his career as a soldier like his other family members but due to his professional skills he excelled in army ranks. He became a strong commander in chief of Mysore army fought with many dissidents. After the scuttling situation in Mysore state the king of state made him commander in chief to handle the deteriorating condition in the state. He organized the army, trained the soldiers on European model, established peace in state, and directed the finances. After that he had to fight internal opposition which he squashed and by pensioning king forcefully he became the undisputed ruler of the Mysore state in 1761. He consolidated his position and turned his efforts towards conquest, he captured Bednur, Sirra, and territories of Malabar. His whole career he had to fight Marathas and the British. Due to his increasing influence Marathas became insecure and launched many fights against him eventually in 1765 he was defeated by Marathas and had to pay indemnity of 28 lakhs. British and Nizam also felt uneasy because of his increasing power and initiated several conflicts with Haider Ali on different occasions. In order to counter the British he sought help of French and also helped French in the Carnatic Wars.


In 1766 Madhav Rao the Marathan Peshwa convinced Nizam of Hyderabad to make an offensive alliance against Haider Ali. British also helped the Nizam before that Marathan forces already occupied Sirra which was Haider Ali’s territory after the he concluded peace by giving 33 lakhs by receiving back his occupied territories. First Anglo-Mysore war was won by Haider Ali in 1769 in which he dictated his own terms towards the British in order to conclude peace. Unfortunately he could not sustain his victories due to internal conflicts. In 1770 Marathas attacked Mysore and British did not help Haider in order not to displease Marathas. So he was defeated on 5th of March 1771 near Bangalore. In 1779 the Marathas, Nizam, and Haider Ali buried all their differences and decided to fight against the British in order to throw them out from southern part if India. The war started it inflicted many wounds on British power and Haider Ali and his allies won many battles against them. Unfortunately Haider Ali died of cancer in the midst of Chittur war in 1782. He was succeeded by his eldest son Tipu Sultan who carried on his campaign and also died without accomplishing his father’s aspired dream; which was to throw British out of their territories.  Haider Ali possessed inherent leadership and administrative qualities; he was a skilled soldier with extra ordinary qualities. Due to his vigor and hard work he made the small and meager state of Mysore a powerful and an influential state.

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