HUMILIATION OF TIPU SULTAN


         In course of time, Tulu kingdom came to be ruled by several Bangarajas, in succession. They were Pandyastha Bangaraja (1224-39 A.D.), Vithala Devi (1239-1264 A.D.), Kamaraya I (1264-1274 A.D.), Padumala Devi (1274-1287 A.D.), Havali Bangaraja I (1287-1323 A.D.), Shankara Devi (1324-1349 A.D.), Havali Bangaraja II (1349-1400 A.D.), Lakshmappa Bangaraja I (1400-1455 A.D.), during whose period four palaces were built at Bangawadi (now called Bangadi), Belthangady, Mangalore and Nandavar, Shankara Devi II (1455-1491 A.D.), Kamaraya II (1491-1533 A.D.), Havali Bangaraja III (1533-1545 A.D.), Lakshmapparasa Bangaraja II (1545-1556 A.D.), Kamaraya III (1556-1612 A.D.), Lakshmapparasa Bangaraja III (1612-1629 A.D.), Havali Bangaraja Odeya IV (1629-1631 A.D.), Shankara Devi III (1631-1653 A.D.), Havali Bangaraja V (1653-1699 A.D.), Lakshmapparasa Bangaraja IV (1699-1767 A.D.) and Kamapparasa Bangaraja IV (1767-1799 A.D.). During the corresponding period of the above rulers, priest Ganesha Bhatta's descendants used to conduct the worship of Ganapathy at Sharavu Mahaganapathy temple, and undertake periodic renovation works by investing their own funds. Thus, the regular worship at, and administration of the temple by the descendants of Ganesh Bhatta continued for generation after generation, and the temple witnessed all-round progress.

        In 1784 A.D., Tippu Sultan, well known as 'Tiger of Mysore', invaded Mangalore (Mangalapur), with his soldiers with a view to looting merchants and the rich people of the town. He knew that Mangalore was a prosperous town and that the then Bangaraja (king) was a weak ruler, and he could easily overthrow him from his kingdom. As darkness had enveloped the town when he reached Mangalore, along with his soldiers, he thought it fit to camp at the vast open ground in front of the Mahaganapathy temple, for the night. At the time of Tippu Sultan's invasion of Mangalore, Sharavu Krishna Bhatta was the priest and administrator of Mahaganapathy temple. On hearing the news of Tippu's invasion, the citizens of Mangalore were scared, and rushed to the priest, seeking his help. The priest requested them to stay calm, and told them that only Lord Mahaganapathy alone could help them in times of distress. He appealed to them to offer a mass prayer to Sharavu Mahaganapathy, seeking His protection from the impending peril, which they undertook. In the meantime, Tippu had finished his dinner, and thought of going to sleep, but he could not. He was haunted by a nightmare in which an elephant trampled on him, lifted him with its trunk, and threw him to the ground. This haunted him continuously and disturbed his sleep. He called for his minister Purnayya and sought his advice. Then Purnayya walked towards Mahaganapathy temple, and consulted the priest Ganesha Bhatta, who told him that Tippu's nightmare was caused because of the anger of Lord Mahaganapathy, Who did not approve of Tippu's evil intentions. When Purnayya apprised Tippu of this, he immediately called for the priest, who, in turn, went to meet him. He told the priest that he feared the supernatural powers of Lord Mahaganapathy and that, from then onwards, he would become a devotee of Him and would construct a temple for Him at Srirangapatna, near his palace, and worship Him. Tippu also told the priest that he would grant a 'tasdiku' of four 'varaha' (equivalent to sixteen rupees) a day from his government. Next morning, Tippu abandoned his plan of looting Mangalore town and, after partaking of the hospitality of Bangaraja, returned to Mysore, along with his troupe. That Lord Mahaganapathy with His supernatural powers, made even a follower of another faith, believe in Him is, strangely, surprising!


II OM SRI MAHAGANAPATHAYE NAMAHA II