Hyder Ali

Rise of Hyder Ali in Mysore

From 1734 to 1766, Mysore was under Krishnaraja Wodeyar II. His reign was dominated basically by his commander in chiefs and among them; Hyder Ali came to prominence from 1760 onwards. When Krishnaraja died, Hyder Ali became the de facto ruler of Mysore in 1763, though Nanjaraja was placed on the throne of Mysore as nominal head.

The Mysore had territorial threats from both the Marathas and Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1758, Hyder Ali was able to successfully drive out Marathas from Bangalore where they had laid a siege. But the Marathas were dominant and kept raiding Mysore territories at their will.

But before Hyder could become a ruler of Mysore, he had to overcome a conspiracy by Queen Mother of Mysore and one Khanderao. He cleverly overcame this conspiracy and captured and imprisoned Khanderao and took over Shrirangpatnam. After that he tried to overrun the territories of Marathas but got defeated.

In 1761, in the Battle of Panipat, the Marathas got defeated and due to this they drew their forces from Mysore. Hyder Ali was able to increase his influence after this battle.

The British were conscious of rising power of Hyder Ali but they had no immediate reasons to become enemy of Hyder.

  • They immediate reason of the rivalry was the access to the Northern Circars, which was a series of coastal territories held by French.

The Hyderabad Nizam was a French Protégé, who rejected the demand of Robert Clive for access to this area. But, Robert Clive took his application to Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II who in 1765 issued a decree granting the rights of that territory to Clive.

Now after getting a Firman from the Boss, British began occupying the Northern Circars, the Nizam objected.

But the Nizam was too poor to fight a battle with the British. He sent letters to the Madras Presidency for a settlement.

As per terms of this settlement, he gave the company 4 of the 5 Circars for a payment of Rs. 7 Lakh in Nizams endeavors.

The British also provided Nizam, two battalions of the troops.

Now Nizam was getting ready to get Mysore from Hyder Ali. The Marathas also joined the Nizam in this alliance against Hyder Ali.