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Hyder Ali Biography

Hyder Ali Biography

Hyder Ali (1722-1782) was a great Indian general whose outstanding martial splendor saw him become the factual ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in south-western India. He married Fakhr-un-nissa (Fatima Begum), to become the father of the great warrior-ruler Tipu Sultan, where together they fought many a gallant battle opposing the British invasion in India.

Haidar Ali is believed to have been born in 1722, while other sources state 1717 as his year of birth. He was born into a devout Shia Muslim family, his great-grandfather being a fakir from Gulbarga in the Deccan. Coming from a military lineage, Hyder’s father was a naik (chief constable), while his brother served as a commander of a brigade in the Mysore army. Assisting his brother, young Hyder slowly learnt the art of warfare over the years, to then infuse his own military brilliance into operations, eventually rising from his humble roots into a ruler of the Hindu state of Mysore.

An adventurous warrior and a great strategist by nature, Hyder Ali is accredited as being the first Indian to have formed to a corps of armed sepoys backed by a artillery base comprising European sailors. His contribution during the siege of Devanhalli (1749) earned him an independent control from the Raja of Mysore, which, over the years he strengthened to gain power, thus becoming the practical ruler of Mysore in 1761.

Hence began Haidar Ali’s several conquests to expand the dominions of his kingdom which included the wealthy conquest of Kanara (1763), the conquest of Calicut, and the quashing of the Hindus at the Malabar Coast in 1765, avenging himself against the Marathas. The 1766 agreement of alliance between the Madras Presidency and the Nizam of Hyderabad against Hyder Ali fell through with the British fighting battles at Chengam and Tiruvannamalai against united forces however, prevailed.

Following a rebuke in the peace propositions owing to Hyder’s severe losses on the western coast, he moved his army to the outskirts of Madras, thus resulting in the treaty of defensive alliance and mutual restitution of all conquests in 1769. When the British breached the faith of the treaty resulting in his loss against the Marathas in 1772, Hyder Ali avenged it by seizing Mahe from the French in 1779 and then completely devastated a British force 1780, led by Colonel Baillie in the invasion of the Carnatic region. The British bounced back with all their might in 1781, and Hyder Ali faced three successive defeats against Sir Eyre Coote and the capture of Nagapattinam by the British fleet.

Hyder Ali breathed his last at Chittoor in December 1782, however, his son Tipu Sultan, continued his father’s legacy and unrelentingly wagered on the battle against the rivaling British.


Facts and Information about Hyder Ali

Nick Name Hyder Ali
Reign 1761-1782 AD
Born 1721 AD
Full Name Sultan Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur
Birthplace Budikote, Kolar, Karnataka
Died 7 December 1782
Place of Death Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
Buried Srirangapatna, Karnataka
Predeccessor Krishnaraja Wodeyar II
Successor Tipu Sultan
Father Fatah Muhammad
Wife’s Fakhr-un-nissa
Brother Shahbaz
Son Tipu Sultan, Karim
Royal House Kingdom of Mysore
Religion Islam
Languages spoken by Hyder Ali Kannada, Tamil, Persian, Telugu, Hindustani, Marathi
Ruler of Mysore Hyder Ali founded the Sultanate of Mysore and became Sultan Hyder Ali Khan.
First war with the Marathas Hyder was defeated by the Marathas. He had to pay 35 lakhs in order to end the war. He also abondoned Bednore but was able to retain Sira.
First Anglo-Mysore War The First Anglo-Mysore War started in 1767 between the East India Company and the Sultanate of Mysore.
Battle of Ooscota During the Battle of Ooscota, the Marathas were attacked by Hyder Ali but the Maratha forces weren’t able to succeed.
Second war with the Marathas In 1773 Hyder sent Tipu to recover territories lost to the Marathas to the north, while he descended into Coorg.
Second Anglo-Mysore War The Second Anglo-Mysore War started in 1780 between the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore.
Death Hyder died on 6 December 1782 due to a cancerous growth on his back.