Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Haidar Ali or Hyder Ali (both: hī’dər älē’) , 1722–82, Indian ruler.

Haidar Ali or Hyder Ali (both: hīdər älē) , 1722–82, Indian ruler. A Muslim of peasant stock, he rose by military brilliance to command the army of the Hindu state of Mysore. By 1761 he was virtual ruler of Mysore and began expanding the dominions of that kingdom at the expense of the Maratha states and Hyderabad. In 1767 the British, in alliance with Hyderabad and the Marathas, took the field against Haidar. They were soon deserted by their allies, however, and Haidar, after some initial reverses, took his army to the outskirts of Madras (now Chennai) and dictated the peace (1769). Angered by the British refusal to honor a defensive alliance (formed in accordance with the 1769 peace terms) in 1772 and by their seizure of Mahé from the French in 1779, Haidar invaded the Carnatic in 1780 and routed a British force. In 1781 he was defeated near Madras (now Chennai) by Sir Eyre Coote. Haidar died a year later, but the war was continued by his son Tipu Sultan (see Tippoo Sahib).




See biography by N. K. Sinha (3d ed. 1959); study by L. B. Bowring (1969).

Hyder Ali

Hyder Ali

Engraving of Hyder Ali by William Dickes, 1846


Engraving of Hyder Ali by William Dickes, 1846

Hyder Ali or Haidar ‘Ali (c. 17221782), was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India.

Hyder Ali was a Muslim soldier-adventurer, who, followed by his son Tipu Sultan, became the most formidable Asiatic rival the British had ever encountered in India. He was the great-grandson of a fakir or wandering ascetic of Islam, from Gulbarga, Deccan. His father was a naik or chief constable at Budikota, near Kolar in present-day Karnataka. He was born in 1722, or according to other authorities 1717. An elder brother, who like himself, was , at an early age, turned out into the world to seek his own fortune, rose to command a brigade in the Mysore army, while Hyder, who never learned to read or write, passed the first years of his life aimlessly in sport and sensuality, sometimes, however, acting as the agent of his brother, and meanwhile acquiring a useful familiarity with the tactics of the French when at the height of their reputation under Joseph François Dupleix. He is said to have induced his brother to employ a Parsi to purchase artillery and small arms from government of Bombay Presidency, and to enroll some thirty sailors of different European nations as gunners, and is thus credited with having been “the first Indian who formed a corps of sepoys armed with firelocks and bayonets, and who had a train of artillery served by Europeans.”

At the siege of Devanhalli (1749) Hyder’s services attracted the attention of Nanjiraj, the minister of the Raja of Mysore, and he at once received an independent command; within the next twelve years his energy and ability had made him completely master of minister and raja alike, and in everything but in name he was ruler of the kingdom. In 1763 the conquest of Kanara gave him possession of the treasures of Bednor, which he resolved to make the most splendid capital in India, under his own name, thenceforth changed from Hyder Naik into Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur; and in 1765 he retrieved previous defeat at the hands of the Marathas by the destruction of the Nairs or military caste of the Malabar coast, and the conquest of Calicut. Hyder Ali now began to occupy the serious attention of the Madras Presidency, which in 1766 entered into an agreement with the Nizam of Hyderabad to furnish him with troops to be used against the common foe. But hardly had this alliance been formed when a secret arrangement was come to between the two Indian powers, the result of which was that Colonel Smith’s small force was met with a united army of 50,000 men and 100 guns. British dash and sepoy fidelity, however, prevailed, first in the Battle of Chengam (September 3, 1767), and again still more remarkably in that of Tiruvannamalai (Trinornalai).

On the loss of his recently made fleet and forts on the western coast, Hyder Ali now offered overtures for peace; on the rejection of these, bringing all his resources and strategy into play, he forced Colonel Smith to raise the siege of Bangalore, and brought his army within 5 miles of Madras. The result was the treaty of April 1769, providing for the mutual restitution of all conquests, and for mutual aid and alliance in defensive war; it was followed by a commercial treaty in 1770 with the authorities of Bombay. Under these arrangements Hyder Ali, when defeated by the Marathas in 1772, claimed British assistance, but in vain; this breach of faith stung him to fury, and thenceforward he and his son did not cease to thirst for vengeance. His time came when in 1778 the British, on the declaration of war with France, resolved to drive the French out of India. The capture of Mahé on the Malabar coast in 1779, followed by the annexation of lands belonging to a dependent of his own, gave him the needed pretext for the Second Anglo-Mysore War.

Again master of all that the Marathas had taken from him, and with empire extended to the Krishna River, he descended through the passes of the Western Ghats amid burning villages, reaching Kanchipuram (Conjeevaram), only 45 miles from Madras, unopposed. Not till the smoke was seen from St Thomas’ Mount, where Sir Hector Munro commanded some 5200 troops, was any movement made; then, however, the British general sought to effect a junction with a smaller body under Colonel Baillie recalled from Guntur. The incapacity of these officers, notwithstanding the splendid courage of their men, resulted in the total destruction of Baillie’s force of 2800 (September 10, 1780). Warren Hastings sent from Bengal Sir Eyre Coote, who, though repulsed at Chidambaram, defeated Hyder thrice successively in the battles of Porto Novo, Pollilur and Sholingarh, while Tipu Sultan was forced to raise the siege of Vandavasi (Wandiwash), and Vellore was provisioned. On the arrival of Lord Macartney as governor of Madras, the British fleet captured Nagapattinam (Negapatam), and forced Hyder Ali to confess that he could never ruin a power which had command of the sea. He had sent his son Tipu to the west coast, to seek the assistance of the French fleet, when his death took place suddenly at Chittoor in December 1782.

The Wodeyars of Mysore, although nominally king, were effectively prisoners of Haidar Ali [1]. Haidar Ali’s son Tipu Sultan dropped the charade and declared himself a sovereign ruler.


  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Bhagwan S. Gidwani The Sword of Tipu Sultan.
  • 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica references:
    • LB Bowring, Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, Rulers of India series (1893)
    • For the personal character and administration of Hyder Ali see the History of Hyder Naik, written by Mir Hussein Ali Khan Kirmani (translated from the Persian by Colonel Miles, and published by the Oriental Translation Fund)
    • The curious work written by M Le Maitre de La Tour, commandant of his artillery, L’histoire d’Hayder-Ali Khan, Paris, 1783
    • For the whole life and times see Wilks, historical Sketches of the South of India (1810-1817).

See also

External link


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


  1. you should have a lot of pictures

    Comment by arjun j johnson | July 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. i think dis page can’t solve my problem……………./////////

    Comment by sonia kanojia | July 8, 2012 | Reply

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