Those who consider Tipu Sultan as a great king and a freedom fighter should also know about his barbaric treatment towards Hindus.
Does our history books tell us about the barbaric incident that happened at Melukote (Karnataka) where almost 1000 Iyengar Brahmins were brutally killed by Tipu’s Army on the festival of lights. Till date people of Melukote don’t celebrate Diwali but mourn over the genocide of their ancestors who were killed in this barbaric act.
It was time of the last Anglo-Mysore war between Tipu on one hand and the British and Nizam of Hyderabad on the other hand.
Tipu has been seething with anger at what he considered humiliating and unfair terms of the treaty that brought an end to the third Anglo-Mysore war. He was particularly harsh on his detractors and critics.
One day, Tipu received news that one of his Hindu or rather Brahmin ministers, Shamaiah Iyengar had allied himself with the Dowager Queen of the Wodeyars, Lakshmammani, who wanted to oust him.When Hyder Ali captured the throne of Mysore in a treacherous way from Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, the royal family of Mysore was kept under house arrest. But Lakshmiammani Devi constantly made efforts for restoration of the rule of Wodeyars after looking at the atrocities on Hindus.
Queen Lakshammanni, the Dowager Queen of Mysore with the help of Tirumaliyanger and Narayana Rao began trying to regain the throne when Hyder Ali usurped power. And so Tipu decided to take revenge from the Iyengars. Tipu ordered his troops to round up all Mandyam Iyengars of Melkote, many of whom were relatives of Tirumaliyengar, and he massacred them in cold blood. The slaughter was on the day when the Mandyam Iyengars were celebrating Naraka Chaudas. The celebrations turned into mourning.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of the despicable incident in any history book, but even now the local folklore and a few accounts of the horrifying event still exist. Queen managed to live up to the promise that the Mysore throne would revert back to them and that their scion would ascend d throne. The Queen was helped in this endeavour by Tirumalaiyengar and Narayana Rao. These Pradhans were loyal to the Wodeyars and they played a vital role in protecting the royal family. Unfortunately, the Queen and the Pradhans are a forgotten chapter of history.
About the Cheluvanarayana Temple:
Cheluvanaraya Swamy Temple is one of the iconic temples of Melukote and is one of the most important shrines of the Sri Vaishnavas, which was established by the Sri Vaishnava pontiff Sri Ramanujacharya.
This temple is over 1000 yrs old. D carvings, intricacy & d manifestation of the engravings on it are simply commendable and is richly endowed, having enjoyed the special patronage of the Wodeyars, who then handed over the temple to the Brahmins at Melkote and the same tradition have been practiced till date.
The Puliyogare and Thuni Thengol are famous Prasadams of the shrine. The Prasadam here is phenomenal and hence popularly known as the ‘Melkote Puliyogare’ or ‘Iyengar Puliyogare’ worldwide; as prepared by the Iyengar community who are the temple priests of the town. Please do plan to visit this temple as it is call “Dakshin Badri”.