Friday, December 1, 2017

Gen Harris Residence Srirangapattana

Gen Harris   Commander of the Madras Regiment that stormed Srirangapattana  May 1799 and the bungalow above.

Not many would have noticed  a Bungalow on the banks of the Cauvery in Srirangapattana on a  small tract towards the left  ahead on the main road towards Mysore. The  road leading to this Bungalow is a well maintained one thwarted by tourists enjoying the serenity of this place with a resort adjacent to it.

After the fall of Srirangapattana to English hands  Gen. Harris appears to have lived in this place for a brief while and also served as the headquarters of the Garrison that Srirangapattana came to be known as. Garrison is a military centre where arms are made and stored with soldiers to defend the territory, Arms being made by local populace   at Ganjam a village within Srirangapattana under the guidance of people like Col.Scott  whose residence is close by and would be the matter of another description.

Whence and who built this residence is a matter of concern for there is not much written about it anywhere.It is likely it was built by the French (few years before the siege )in European architecture.If this be the case  Gen.Harris would have  pre-occupied this house for a matter of six months or so later to be inhabited by officials of the East India Company who had a say about the Garrison.All was not well with the English Military establishment can be seen in an English Sepoy Mutiny here centered around this Bungalow and the events thereafter leading to the exit of the English East India Company and the Bungalow falling into the hands of the Wodeyar Kings who appear to have let Dewan Purniah occupy this house after retirement  and being deceased in this house.

Srirangapattana appears to have brought tragedy  to any one who occupied it..this appears resplendent and obvious to anyone who studies the course of events.The Vijayanagar kings were dislodged from here ;thereafter the Wodeyars; thereafter the defacto rulers and finally the English.The English for all practical purposes abandoned Srirangapattana preferring Bangalore as a final place of settlement (and Ooty on the other side) even venturing to transfer power and water through nearly one hundred miles from the Cauvery.

I paid a visit to this house now called Inspection Bungalow and has a large hall with two rooms adjoining on either sides  overlooking a servants quarters and a similar feature upstairs.

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