Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

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Devanahalli:: Here, a star was born :: – Birthplace of Tipu Sultan


Here, a star was born : Birthplace of Tipu Sultan


Tipu’s legacy is crumbling under the pressure of development, says SRINIDHI RAGHAVENDRA L V

Devanahalli is a small town on the outskirts of Bangalore. The town shot into fame the day it was chosen for the construction of International Airport. But the authorities are yet to realise that apart from being the real estate treasure mine because of the international airport, Devanahalli also is a potential tourist and heritage hotspot.

The town hosts several important monuments such as the birth place of Tipu Sultan, a fort and beautiful temples dedicated to Chandramauleshwara, Venugopalaswamy and Nageshwara among others. These heritage structures are slowly but surely succumbing to the vagaries of the weather thanks to the neglect and apathy of those in charge.

Tipu Sultan

Tipu Sultan was born in Devanahalli in 1750. The birthplace of Tipu Sultan, located very close to the Devanahalli Fort is just a small pillared enclosure with a stone tablet which declares the place to be the birth place of Tipu Sultan.

The area around the enclosure is known as Khas Bagh and has a dried up stone pond, banana, tamarind and mango plantations.

There are no information boards to tell visitors about Tipu Sultan, popularly revered as the Tiger of Mysore. Hardly anyone is aware that he was born in Devanahalli.

If the tourism department or the Archeological Survey of India were to develop infrastructure around the area of Tipu’s birthplace, it would encourage schools to conduct field trips and tourists to visit the place. This will ensure that our future generations will be aware, appreciative and protective of our rich heritage.

According to historical records Devanahalli was formerly known by several names: Devanapura, Devandanahalli, being two of them.

The fort was built in 1501 by Mallabairegowda of Avati clan, with the consent of ‘Devappa’ a feudatory at Devanadoddi. Subsequently the name was changed to Devanahalli.

The fort remained under the Avati rulers until 1747, when Mysore Dalawai, Nanjarajaiah, attacked the fort and captured it. Subsequently Devanahalli was usurped by the Marathas and reclaimed by the Mysore army under the leadership of Haider Ali.

During the reign of Tipu Sultan Lord Cornwallis laid siege to the fort and took possession of it during the Mysore War of 1791.

The original mud fort built by the Avati rulers was renovated and the present stone fort was built by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan after they recaptured the place from the Marathas.


Tipu Sultan also tried to change the name of the place to Yousufabad (the abode of Yousuf, the finest man), a name which never became popular. Devanahalli fort is an interesting structure.

Unlike most other forts in Bangalore district, such as Ramanagaram, Savandurga, Makalidurga, etc, built atop rocky hills, Devanahalli fort is built completely on flat ground.

The ramparts and bastions of the fort are still preserved fairly well. But due to lack of awareness and proper maintenance the ramparts are currently being used as public urinals and toilet by the villagers.

A walk on the ramparts of the fort would make one proud of the rich heritage of our land and simultaneously cringe at the filth and squalor that pervades the place.

The house in which Tipu and Hyder Ali lived also exists till date. According to residents of the town the authorities have made no attempt to either preserve or protect the monuments. The house of Dewan Purnaiah, a high ranking official in Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s court, is also located here but there is no board or sign to direct the visitor to the dwelling.

The only commercial use the Devanahalli fort is being put to is as venue of film shootings, primarily in ancient historical movies.

The old buildings and structures within the fort are disintegrating gradually. The fort is also crumbling and is badly in need of restoration.

Several houses have sprung up within the walls and buildings and other structures dating to the period of Tipu Sultan are being demolished.

Unless preservation and restoration of these monuments including the fort is done we may lose them to modernisation and urbanisation associated with the construction of the International airport. Are the authorities listening?

How to get there

If you travel on the Bellary Road (NH-7) and move towards Mekhri circle, after 9 km from Bangalore you get the Yelahanka Satellite Town. Proceed straight ahead for another 29 km to reach the outskirts of Devanahalli.

Then you have to turn left at the entrance of the town and half-a-km from the entrance is Tipu’s birth place and fort.




Devanahalli, Bangalore, Karnataka State, India

– Located 30 km outside the city limits of Bangalore, India

– Birthplace of Tipu Sultan

– Site of the new Bangalore International Airport [1] scheduled to open in April 2008. At that time, the city’s existing HAL airport will be closed to commercial traffic (defence, test and VIP flights will continue).

Devanahalli is known as the birthplace of Tipu Sultan and as the site for Bangalore’s new International Airport. Situated 30 km from Bangalore, Devanahalli, was earlier called Devanadoddi or Devanapura. When Tipu came to power, he renamed it as Yusufabad, which however did not prove to be popular.

Tipu Sultan was born here in 1750. As one reaches the town from Bangalore, one finds a scant signboard, proclaiming the birthplace of Tipu. A few yards away is a stone tablet surrounded by fields, stating that Tipu was born here. A little distance away is the Devanahalli fort, built in 1501 by Mallabairegowda (before Tipu’s time), which remained in the hands of his descendants until the mid seventeenth century. In 1749, the then Dalwai of Mysore – Nanjarajaiah, attacked the fort and occupied it. Later, the fort passed into the hands of Hyder Ali and subsequently Tipu Sultan. In 1791, Lord Cornwallis laid siege to the fort and took possession during the Mysore War.

The house where Tipu and Hyder Ali stayed can be seen to this day. Dewan Purnaiah, who was a high ranking official during the time of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, also used to have a house here, which stands till this day. However, there haven’t been any efforts from the State or the Archeological Society of India or other organizations to maintain or repair these historical structures. It is only a matter of time before these structures get vandalized.

Although Devanahalli is just an hour’s drive from Bangalore, there is very little tourist traffic as the authorities have failed to realise the potential of the area. This should hopefully change with the impetus on the Bangalore International Airport.

There have been several articles written about Devanahalli by enthusiastic travel writers. Here are two links to the articles.




October 21, 2006 - Posted by | EKAVI COORG-KODAGU, History of Karnataka


  1. Thank you very much for the clear information about Devanahalli. Today I planned to vist Tippu’s bith place and I was searching for the information on the web. Your web site gave me full information. Great Job! Keepit up!.

    I am from Mysore.


    Comment by Fairoz Khan | November 10, 2007 | Reply

  2. dear shri. srinidhi,
    it is paining to to see your letter.
    i visited mysore (from chennai in june 2007 with my kids).
    if i had been aware of this i would have visited.
    govt should not forget about tipu(the only indian king fought against british in direct fight.

    Comment by raghavan | March 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. They also should read the atrocities carried out by Tipu and his men in Malabar. Check out what he did to the city of Calicut in the year 1800 AD.

    Comment by Ani kumar | May 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. You all search “atrocities of TIPU SULTAN” and read. Then decide for yourself whether he is a hero or not? He fought the british, but Tipu was trying to take French help and was in contact with Napoleon. If Napoleon was not defeated in Egypt, it would have caused a disaster to India.

    Comment by Ani kumar | May 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. @ani kumar

    When will you guys learn?. Tipu tied up with the French cause none of the so called Indian rulers (read Marathas among others) would join up with him. Just like the Europeans were using differences between Indian rulers & taking advantage of the situation, so did Tipu take advantage of enemity between Europeans (French & English) to his advantage.

    And regarding your comments about Tipu’s atrocities, do not judge people of the past by standards of conduct established today. Tipu fought many wars & killed many people. So did just about everybody else. Why single out Tipu?. Did Shivaji build the Maratha empire without killing people?. Read about what Shivaji do to the town of Surat. DId Chandargupta Maurya establish his great empire by distributing sweets to his neighbours?. Absolutely not. All kings fought wars & killed anyone who stood to oppose them. That is why they were kings. If you can’t understand that then you don’t have any knowledge about History.

    Comment by boris | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. I visited the birth place of tipu sultan & the Devanahalli fort. It is disheartening to note, almost most of the fort structure is getting destroyed if govt does not wake up we might loose our historical monument. We glorify tipu’s name in history and talk enthusiastically to students, but the same enthusiasm is not shown in preserving the monuments related to tipu.

    Comment by jagadeshwari | November 8, 2009 | Reply

  7. dont forget Pazhassi Raja and his adivasi warriors who died unsung in the forests of Wayanad

    Comment by shaji | December 23, 2009 | Reply

  8. On my way back from hyderabad to bangalore i accidently saw this fort with a board placed infront of it “tipus birth place”….I never knew tipu was born in devanhalli and a fort existed so near bangalore.I have never read this info nywer… this new year i plan to visit this place and info shared in this article is of great help..Thanks a lot!!!!Happy New Year to All.

    Comment by ruby shiv | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  9. I feel very happy today to know all this info with full details, cos i am from bangalore but till to this date i dint know Tippu’s bith place just a few kilometers from here. Thank you very much for the clear information, who ever feeded this info may Allah bless you. very soon i will visit there :- )

    Allah Hafeez

    Comment by Syed | April 22, 2010 | Reply

  10. i love tippu sultan

    Comment by sati | June 4, 2012 | Reply

  11. Government should atleast appoint history guides.so that people who visit devenahalli will get correct and complete information.this will also help to increase the tourist.

    Comment by bharat j | September 10, 2013 | Reply

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