Tipu Sultan, who was born as Sultan Fateh Sahab Tipu on 20th November 1750, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in Karnataka. He was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore. He is famously known for being the pioneer in the use of rocket artillery at the time of wars. He is also known for his innovative style of administration in which he introduced coinage, Mauludi Lunisolar Calendar, a military manual Fathul Mujahidin and new land revenue system which led to the growth of Mysore silk Industry. In his short life span, he proved to be a tough enemy to the British who he continuously opposed and fiercely resisted. Despite all his great achievements, the fact remains that he never went up north of the country. He hasn’t stepped foot in Kolkata and yet has two mosques built in his honor and named after him.
The Tipu Sultan mosque was built in 1832 by Prince Ghulam Mohammed who was the youngest son of Tipu. There is a history behind how the ruler’s family came to be in Calcutta. Tipu Sultan took over the throne after the demise of his father Hyder Ali. With military and administrative genius running in his blood, he made a number of innovative decisions and was an able foe for the British at the time. After his death in the battle field in 1799, the treaty he signed seven years earlier (in which it was stated that his two minor sons would be shifted to Calcutta in he was unable to pay 300 lakh to the British) got implemented. But even after taking his sons, they were returned to his family after a period of two years. But because of a mutiny that arouse in 1806, the entire family was moved to Calcutta.
Prince Ghulam Mohammed Anwar Shaw, Tipu’s 11th son was very smart and enterprising. He saved how much ever he could from the stipend the British provided and invested the same. He acquired lands, built the mosque in 1832 at Dhartamtalla to honor his father; then in 1842 he built a twin mosque in Tollygunge area again in his fathers name and set up a trust called Prince Golam Mohammed Trust in 1872. The trust is said to be one of the richest Muslim trusts in the country today. The revenues that come to it are mainly from properties owned from south to central Kolkata.
The Tipu Sultan Mosque despite being at the heart of the city where a number of famous monuments are located, this is a lesser known relic with a very interesting history. However people from all section of society visit it to admire and take pictures.