The Wealth Of The Sea

One of the prime attractions in the town of Srirangapatnam, the Dariya Daulat Bagh houses the summer palace of Tipu Sultan. The Garden House, as it is called, is a decorated structure made entirely of wood and has beautiful frescoes on various themes. This protected monument provides great insight into the life and times of Tipu Sultan and the prevailing culture.

The Dariya Daulat Bagh @ Srirangapatnam

While I have not been able to deduct the exact purpose of constructing this grand edifice, I believe this was built as a recreational place for the royalty. I have also not been able to understand why it is called Dariya Daulat – Wealth of the sea.

Pigeon House for the avian mail carriers

The entrance is a grand structure and houses quarters that could have had the guards once upon a time. Interesting part are the Pigeon houses, one each on either side of the main entrance. These domed structures housed the avian mail carriers that Tipu favoured.

The Garden House @ Dariya Daulat Bagh

The palace is called the Garden House and is built in the Indo-Saracenic style. Well manicured lawns with various flowering and fruit bearing trees planted during Tipu’s times grace the environs. The house by itself is not as grand compared to the Wodeyar Palace. But, that does not rob off the richness of this place. The walls are covered with fine frescoes that depict flowering plants in beautiful vases, Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali in battle with British, various ruling heads of the kingdoms that vowed allegiance to the Mysore state etc.

Frescoed ceilings, walls and canopied balconies. The balconies are also made in teak wood.

The structure has 2 floors – ground and first floor. These days, visitors are not allowed to go to the upper floor because the structure has become weak. But my grandfather who had been here about 30-40 years ago tells me of some amazingly beautiful ceiling frescoes in the upper floor. There are overlooking balconies where the queens and begums used to sit and watch the proceedings. The durbar was in the ground floor. There are tall ornate pillars made entirely with the trunk of one teak tree. Almost the entire structure was made with teakwood, with some exceptions that I do not clearly recollect.

Tipu Sultan and his entourage in battlefield.

Fresco depicting various ruling heads of the villages and towns around Srirangapatnam. These rulers swore allegiance to the Tipu empire.

The structure by itself has been built on a 5 feet high elevated square platform.

This Garden House also has a museum where silver articles, furniture, pencil sketch, paintings and attires of a bygone era are displayed. Various belongings of Tipu are also exhibited, including his famous sword.

Some paintings grace the museum in the Garden House. In this painting, Tipu is shown battling a Tiger.

For more pictures: Flickr Album on Dariya Daulat Bagh

How to go?
Road: The Bangalore – Mysore highway is a treat to drive on. The older one was a narrow 2 lane highway. The improvised one is a beautiful 4 lane highway. Distance to Srirangapatnam is about 140 kms from Bangalore and 16 kms from Mysore. If you travel from Bangalore towards Mysore, it comes just before Mysore. As soon as you cross an old bridge across the Cauvery, you have to slow down and look for a road that branches to your left. It is not very clearly indicated, but you can surely spot the crowds milling around the diversion.
Rail: There is a Shatabdi train that runs between Bangalore and Mysore. Alternatively, you can take many other trains that ply between the 2 cities. The journey takes anywhere between 2 and 4 hours depending on the train that you take. You can choose the train from the list provided in this search.
Air: Nearest airport is located at Bangalore. From Bangalore, you can either go by road or rail.

What else to see?

A map at the entrance shows the location of various other places of interest. A quick list is included below.

1. Gumbaz – The mausolem of Hyder Ali, Fatima Begum and Tipu Sultain. Grand structure by itself.
2. Nimishamba Devi Temple – The deity is supposed to answer honest prayers within a minute. And therefore the name “Nimishamba”. Nimisham – Minute, Amba – Goddess.
3. Cauvery Sangama – Also known as the Triveni Sangama, you can see only 2 rivers confluencing here. One is the Lokapavani and the other is Cauvery. The third river is Paschima Vahini which joins Lokapavani much upsteam before Sangama. Cauvery flows ahead from the right, Lokapavani approaches from the left. You can easily notice that the Cauvery flows faster and appears more roguish. There is a legend associated with why Cauvery is always roguish.
4. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – Presiding Lord of the Town. Lord Vishnu in his sleeping posture graces the temple. This temple is considered very sacred in that it forms the triangle with the other 2 Ranganathaswamy Temples – one located at Srirangam near Tiruchirapalli and the other located near Shivanasamudram. The Srirangapatnam temple is called the Aadi Rangam (Head Rangam).
5. Important Tipu related attractions like the Watergate, Dungeons etc.

For more and detailed notes, refer this tourism page at website.

So, next time when you drive to Srirangapatnam, you know what to see and enjoy. And remember that you are walking the grounds that once great warriors had tread upon… the grounds that witnessed grandeur unparalleled.

Copyrights: The above pictures belong to the websites where they originate from and their rights belong to the owners thereof. The pictures originating from Flickr are my own and can be used for your purposes, but please do write to me with your intent at rubic_cube [at] rediffmail [dot] com.

6 Comments so far

  1. Naveen (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    I had been to Dariya Daulat and Nimishamba temple two months back. Srirangapatnam is such a historic place, ain’t it?
    There’s a place called Nagamangala, 40 kilometres from Mandya. It has a beautiful Vishnu temple, built by the Hoysalas in their signature style – the star shaped main temple, amazing carvings on the temple walls and dome. Reminds one of Belur-Halebidu and Somanathapura temples. The road is very good. I think its a State Highway. After you enter Mandya town (100 kms from Bangalore), you can ask anyone about the road to Nagamangala and they’ll guide you. There’s a board also put up in the main road.
    From Nagamangala, you can go to Melukote (Melu=Top, Kote=Fort), about 30 kms away. It was the place where Sri Ramanujacharya settled down and is one of the most sacred Vaishnava sites. The Vishnu temple is again very beautiful. There’s a temple midway up the hill and one at the hill summit.
    From Melukote, Srirangapatnam is another 40 kms or so. The road is quite bad in some places and is being repaired now.
    The entire circuit takes you through the sugarcane belt of Karnataka – a beautiful sight to all nature lovers.

  2. rubic_cube (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 1:56 am

    Naveen… thanks for that great bit of info! I never knew the existence of the temple at Nagamangala. From whatever you have described, my next jaunt is going to be planned around it. Thanks again!

  3. Shruthi (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 10:53 am

    Good one, RC. I think Dariya Daulat was built to serve as Tipu’s summer palace.
    The frescoes by themselves can engage you for hours, if you are so inclined! :)
    Btw, I am curious to know the legend about Cauvery being roguish. Tried to google, but couldn’t find anything. Any idea?

  4. S-H-A-D-O-W (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    There is a big correction in your writing , You said it “Srirangapatnam” but world knows it by SRIRANGAPATANA & yes it is. Do correct it in future.

  5. rubic_cube (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 11:39 am

    Shruthi.. that’s a blog post topic. Hang on till then! :-)

    Shadow – Well, I have seen all sorts of spellings for this town. You can see the tags for this post where I have listed both names. Srirangapatna and Srirangapatnam. Depends on which literature you are referring.

  6. Adi (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

    Dariya Daulat…hmm… good info there! Have been there on several occasions! Also admired the architecture. But what stuck me most about Shrirangapatna was the strategic location that Tipu chose. To get to Shrirangapatna itself you needed to cross the River Cauvery. Never mind which side you are entering from!

    And the serenity of that place. Wow! I like That Mayuri Resorts right next to the river cauvery. Been there?

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