Tipu Sultan's armory of Bangalore, a forgotten relic from the past - spruced up now

Bangalore city is one of those places where there is no dearth of historical sites that can be explored for fun and education. Like Srirangapatna, Bangalore has a few places the bear testimony to the influence of Tipu Sultan in this part. One among the sites is Tipu's Armory, unfortunately a long forgotten heritage site where Tipu  secretly conducted his rocketry experiments to engage them in the battle against his enemies in particular, the army owned by the East India company.  

spruced up Tipu Sultan's armory, Bangalore. indianexpress.com

According to historians Tipu had built as many as 10 underground armories in the 18th century called Grand magazine, exclusively devoted to rocketry for military application. Bangaluru city has one such armory  in Kalasipalyam market and behind the Bangalore Medical College. 

Tpu's armory before restoration, Bangalore newindianexpress.com

Tpu's armory before restoration, Bangalore ndianexpress.com

Above images: Post independence till 2015 Tipu's armory that was used by the British to store their arsenal remained neglected. its restoration was on the back burner for a long time It lay  hidden away behind the squalor in a lane running next to the local police station in Kalasipalyam market area. it became a hng out for drunks and rowdy elements. The ASI, the real owner put barricade to prevent trespassers. That there many building near this historical site is a matter of regret. How come permit was given to build structures close to the heritage site? .............

Originally on the South East corner of the Bangalore Fort the armory was made of well-fired bricks and ground lime mortar for strength. It was also used to store arms and ammunition, gun powder, cannon balls, rockets, etc.  It was built close to the wall of Bangalore Fort constructed by Kempegowda, a vassal of  Vijayanagara rulers.  Such armories are normally located close to  the fort's entrance for easy access and positively away from houses and other structures.  Invariably, they  were  built below the ground level to  prevent damages to the surrounding areas in case of fire mishap or an  explosion. Normally, without entrance door  the interior part of the Armory is just a hollow space roughly 12 foot x 30 foot in dimension, with two  small windows for ventilation and light. It has a depth of 22 feet. The other armories are located at Srirangapatna, Manjarabad, Pavagada, Madhugiri and Sultan Bathery. karnataka/

 The Armory, Tipu's legacy is also part of the history of Bangalore so in 2005  the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) took up serious  efforts to preserve the site under ‘protected monuments. Theycleaned up the area by  removing the public toilet. trash. debris, etc. 

Mysorean rockets. navrangindia.in  (commons.wikimedia.org)

It is quite well- known that both  Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan were pioneers in rocketry technology for military application and they were the first ones to have used heat-resisting pipes for the propellent. Fitted with swords, upon  firing them, these missiles could travel several hundred meters through the air before coming down, with  sharp  edges of the sword facing the enemy. Even before  hitting  the ground they could explode and injure the solders with sharp objects. The result was quite devastating.  The heat resistant tubes for  propellant at one end of the sword  gave the missiles good forward thrust and longer range. Some could travel  up to more than one km. EIC stole countless rockets from Tipu's arsenals in Srirangapata after his death in 1799 and later developed Congreve rockets - designed and developed by Sir William Congreve in 1804. He used Tipu's rockets as models for his research in advanced rocketry