Tippu Sultan: The Destroyer of Hindu Temples

By: Author unknown

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The Mysore Gazetteer says that the ravaging army of Tippu Sultan had destroyed more than 8000 temples in South India. The temples of Malabar and Cochin principalities had to bear the brunt of plunder and destruction.

The History of Cochin by K.P. Padmanabha Menon and History of Kerala by A. Sreedhara Menon narrate some of them:

“In the month of Chingam 952, Malayalam Era (corresponding to August, 1786) Tippu’s Army destroyed idols of the famous Perumanam Temple and desecrated all the temples between Trichur and Karuvannur river. ” The list of the temples destroyed by Tippu is long one. Some of the temples destroyed were:

Hemambika Temple of Kallekulangara, also known as Emoor Bhagavathy temple, the Family Deity (Kula Devata) of the royal family of Palakkad.

Keraladhiswara Maha Vishnu Temple, Tanur Town, Malappuram Dist.

Jain Temple in Palghat .

Irinjalakuda Tiruvilvamala Temple dedicated to Rama and Lakshmana. It is a twin temple complex situated on top of Vilvadri Hill which is located to the North of Thrissur Town.

Mammiyur Siva Temple in Guruvayur Town.

Thiruvanchikulam Mahadeva Temple, in Methala Panchayat, south of Kodungallur Municipal town on NH 17.

Triprangode Siva Temple near Tirur.

Thrichabaram Sri Krishna Temple near Taliparamba, Kannur Dist.

Taliparamba Siva Temple, Kannur District.

Tiruvanjikulam Siva temple near Kodungallur.

Vadakkum-Nathan Temple of Trichur.

Varakkal DurgaTemple, West Hill Kozhikode.

Trikkandiyur Mahadeva Temple, Tirur Town, Malappuram Dist.

Sukapuram Dakshinaamoorthy Temple, near Edappal, Malappuram.

Vadukunda Siva temple at Vengara village Kannur District.

Pariharapuram Subrahmanya Temple, Ramanathakara, Kozhikode District.

Vadukunda Siva Temple of Madai, Kannur District.

Thrikkavu Durga Temple of Ponnani was converted into Military Garrison.

According to the Malabar Gazetteer, the following important temples were destroyed by Tippu’s Army.

Tali Mahadeva Temple, Kozhikode.

Sree Valayanadu Bhagavathy Temple, Govindapuram, Calicut.

Tiruvannur Siva Temple, Kozhikode.

Shri thirpuraikal Bhadrakali Temple, Puthur, Palakkad District.

Narayankannur temple at Ramantali, Kannur District.

Even the Tirunavaya Temple known all over India as a centre of Rig Veda teaching was destroyed.

Tippu personally ordered the destruction of Calicut which was the capital of the Zamorin Rajas.

In the case of Triprayar Temple, the main deity was shifted temporarily to Gnanappilly Mana situated in a remote village. However, both of them were brought back and ceremoniously installed after the withdrawal of Tippu from Malabar towards the end of 1790.

Following the route of his father Hyder Ali who attacked Guruvayur in 1766, Tippu Sultan attacked Guruvayur temple in 1789 after destroying the Mammiyur Shiva Temple and two other Sri Krishna Temples in the vicinity of the famous Guruvayur Temple. Those two Sri Krishna Temples destroyed in the town of Guruvayur by Tippu are being recovered by the Hindus; one is being renovated as the Parthasarathy Temple and the other one as Tirupathy Balaji Temple.

The 4,000 year old Narasimhamoorthy Temple near Angadipuram was destroyed by Tippu’s Army, rebuilt in 1946 and destroyed again by the Moplah Muslims.


is the website of that Narasimhamoorthy Temple which is now being reconstructed.

A large band of Moplah fanatics desecrated the Tiru-mandham-kunnu Bhagawati shrine at Angadipuram, Valluvanadu Taluk. [Pg 186, Malabar Manual. by William Logan (1841-1914) .

Logan was a Scottish officer of the Madras Civil Service under the British Government. Before his appointment as Collector of Malabar, he had served in the area for about twenty years in the capacity of Magistrate and Judge. The highly acclaimed Malabar Manual was the result of his strenuous research and study of various official records, oral history, and legends of Kerala.To commemorate this British official’s work and life in Thalassery town, the main road that cuts across the town is named after him as “Logan’s Road”.]

The Muslim mosque at Kathiroor, near Chokli in Kannur District is almost a temple. Historians feel that it was originally a temple but converted into a mosque in the wake of Hyder Ali’s or Tippu’s destructive march over Kerala.

The Malabar Manual mentions that the Maniyoor mosque was once a Hindu temple. The local belief is that it was converted to a mosque during the days of Tippu Sultan.

According to certain personal diary notes of Tippu Sultan, the Chirackal Raja offered to pay over Rs. 4 lakh in gold and silver to save the destruction of the local Hindu temples by Tippu’s army. But, true to his fanatical jihadi character, Tippu replied that “even if the entire world is offered to me, I will not desist from destroying Hindu temples” (Freedom Struggle by Sardar Panicker). It was the reply of a typical Islamic ruler!

Tippu’s jihadi soldiers made it a point to slaughter cows en masse. To rub it in, they always slaughtered a cow at the very spot where a Hindu moorti was worshipped, before erecting a mosque in its place. Most of the time, the moorti was smashed and placed at the steps of some mosque for the “faithful” Muslims to tread upon as they came for prayer.

In the wake of that murderous jihadi aggression by the barbarous Muslim Tippu Sultan more than eighty percent of the temples were destroyed in Malabar.

By: Prashant Nair

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In 1193, Bhakhtiyar Khilji torched the Nalanda University and destroyed it, citing the reason that the entire system didn’t suit their Islamic ideology and culture.

Many centuries later, we again have the misfortune of affronting   similar kind of barbarism.  Just a few years back in Kerala, the Calicut University authorities not only withdrew the third year correspondence course history text book acquiescing to the demand of Islamic fundamentalists but also burned the entire published lot.

The text book contained portions of Tipu Sultan’s conquest of Malabar, which mentioned the atrocities committed by him on Hindus during that time.

In Kerala, the trend has become such that, by the forceful interference of Islamists and  the leftists, the authorities are mutilating the factual history especially that of the Tipu’s conquest that saw hundreds of temples destroyed, thousands of Hindus killed or converted and the wealth of Malabar looted.

There is an effort going on in Kerala to paint Tipu as a secular social reformer and to convert his bloody conquest as a social revolution. Tipu’s conquest of North Kerala from 1766 to 1793 destroyed the peaceful social-cultural lives of the people there. The conquest not only ruined the economy of Malabar but also the religious demography there.

Let us see what the historians have said:

Vadakannoor Rajaraja Varma wrote in  “Kerala Samskrita Sahitya Charithram” that  the favourite hobbies of Tipu and his father Hyderali was to burn Temples, destroy the idols and behead cows in front of Temples.

K.V. Krishna Iyer, Historian of Kozhikode wrote- “ The attack of Hindus by Tipu’s army should be compared to world’s most cruel and barbaric persecution on a community as a whole”.

Ilamkulam Kunjan Pillai (Wrote in the Mathrubhumi weekly of 1955 December 25):

“During the conquest of Tipu, Kozhikode town was the centre of Brahmin. There were around 7000 odd households at that time. About 2000 homes were destroyed by Tipu’s attack. He didn’t even spare women and children. Men absconded to neighboring regions and forests. Population of Mohammedans increased. Hindus, in groups, were forced to do sunnath (circumcision) and convert to Islam. After Tipu’s conquest the population of Nairs became negligible and Namboothiris very low”.

Temples destroyed by Tipu:

Kozhikode: Thali, Sree Valayanadu, Kavu, Thiruvannur, Varaykkal, Puthoor, Govindapuram, Thalikunnu temples in Kozhikode town and many temples in the outskirts were destroyed by Tipu’s army.

In the rest of Malabar:

Malabar Gazette says even the famous Thirunavaya temple also wasn’t spared by Tipu’s army. Temples in Vettathunadu- Keraladheeswaram, Thrikandiyoor, Thriparangodu were also destroyed by Tipu.

The Gopuram and idols of Thrikavu temple in Ponnanni  were destroyed and the place was converted to ammunition store of Mysore army.

SouthMalabar: Temples in Kodikunnu, Thrithala, Panniyoor, Shukapuram, Perumparambu in Edappal

Guruvayoor Temple: When the news of Tipu’s army approaching Guruvayoor reached the people of the holy town, the devotees took Guruvayoorappan’s Idol and escaped from there. Tipu and his army marched forward and on the way they destroyed Palayoor Christian Church and looted households.  It started raining heavily and Tipu stopped his journey. The rain continued for 2 days and Tipu was forced to retreat.

Thus his dream of demolishing and looting Guruvayoor Temple was thwarted, perhaps by a Divine Intervention.

Temples in North Travancore:

Thiruvanchikulam Siva temple in Aluva was looted and destroyed by Tipu’s army.  Venkitachalapathi Devaswom temple in North Paravur and Makhanji temple near Manjali kunnu were destroyed by Tipu in 1790 on his second conquest after getting defeated by Travancore Army.

Varapuzha Catholic Carmalite Church and education centre attached to it was attacked by Tipu’s army. They demolished the church and adjacent buildings, and burned the books and records.

Travancore Army defeated Tipu’s army:

The atrocities of Tipu didn’t end with demolishing Temples, Churches and Jain temples, but included converting Hindus forcefully to Islam on a large scale, raping and molesting Hindu women, killing men, women and children and looting the economy of Malabar.

The brave Army of Travancore finally defeated Tipu at the battle of Nedumkotta in 1789. Tipu injured in the battle had to retreat and left with a permanent lameness.

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By: Dr. Sai

This is the story of the brothers who challenged Tipu and killed him; Mandya’s valiant brothers, who have been made anonymous by pseudo-historians.

“To take control of a nation, it is necessary to erase its true history, to make scarce the stories of courage and acts of valor of their ancestors for the present and future generations, to make people ashamed of their own ancestors”, thus goes the Communist way of thinking.

This is what they did in Russia and China and have been doing in India. DoddananjeGowda and Urigowda were the two brave hearts whose story has been banished into the dungeons of history by the dominent Communist historians; for, these bothers who were loyal to the Mysuru throne, killed Tipu Sultan and saved Karunadu from Islamic rule.

Haidar Ali, who joined the Mysuru army as a common soldier, rose to become the General and by 1761, had taken control of the kingdom by deceit, from Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, who was the reigning king of Mysuru.

Even though Haidar Ali was a dictator, to the external world he pretended to be a representative of the king only. He was cruel by nature but he was not a religious fanatic. But his son, Tipu Sultan, was a born fanatic and he mercilessly massacred everyone who supported Rajamata Lakshmi Ammani’s resolve to rid the curse that had befallen Mysuru. When the Rajamata was still determined to take over the throne again, it was Doddananje Gowda and Urigowda who stood solidly behind her.

At the time when the Mughals, who were foreign invaders, had taken control of a large portion of Bharata, the Vijayanagara Empire established by Hakka-Bukka in Hampi, stood like a bulwark against the sword of Islam in the South. When Islamic fanaticism raised its ugly head in the Mysuru state, these two brothers were at the forefront to free the state.

In Malavalli, Tipu’s army did not fight with the British alone. It was an army of local people led by Doddananje Gowda and Urigowda that forced Tipu to flee the battleground. It was Doddananje Gowda who surrounded Tipu’s fortress and beat Tipu to pulp. When Tipu was trying to escape, a common soldier of the British army fired a bullet and killed him. But history books teach us that a British soldier killed Tipu while there is no mention of the brave brothers, Doddananje Gowda and Urigowda.

This is how our real history has been hidden from us. It is our misfortune that most people do not even know the names of these two warriors. Let alone the common man, even leaders of the Vokkaliga community are not aware of this piece of history or these heroes of their community.

Today’s youths have forgotten real heroes of the past and are busy idolising the very tyrant who terrrorised their ancestors. Is this not a grave injustice to the memory of Doddananje Gowda and Urigowda? Will the Vokkaliga community come together at least now, to recognize and acknowledge the valour of their heroes and stop eulogising the enemy who killed their own people?

Vokkaliga youths must seek answers from their conscience. We must learn self-respect from Doddananje Gowda and Urigowda and shun slave mentality forever.

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