Haider Ali was no ordinary ruler. The became the de facto ruler of Mysore Kingdom from being an ordinary soldier. And ultimately he became a terror to the British Empire in India.

Not much is known about Haider Ali during his early days. How do you expect somebody to keep track of a common person right from his birth? Only those born with golden spoon have an advantage of being documented of their life. This is true with anybody and any day.

However, historians were able to find out the birth date of Hyder Ali, though some say it is not correct. According to the history books Hyder Ali was born in 1721 to Fateh Muhammed who was serving as a military officer in Budikote near Kolar. Haider lost his father at the early age of 6 and had to undergo various hardships to survive.

It was his uncle Haider Saheb who was serving in the army of the Mysore Kingdom who helped Haider Ali to enrol in its Army as a soldier. According to some books Haider joined the Mysore Army at the age of eighteen. He didn’t have a formal education and for illiterate. He didn’t know read and write but was very intelligent, energetic and very ambitious soldier.

While Haider was serving as soldier to the Mysore Army, the ruler of Mysore was a kind of puppet under his most powerful ministers called Nanjaraja and Devaraja. The entire Kingdoms affairs were taken care by these to ministers. In a couple of encounters with the enemies, Nanjaraja understood the ability of Haider Ali and soon he made him the Faujdar of Dindigul which was under Mysore Kingdom during that time.  

It was Haider Ali’s luck that the ministers and the king had some kind of indifferences. While in Dindigul, Haider made a secret pack with the King and attacked Srirangapatna. Nanjaraja was thrown of the Kingdom and its administration came under Haider Ali. This was the first major turning point to Haider Ali. As stated earlier, the King was not that powerful and was not an able ruler, he was forced to retire. Haider became the de facto ruler of the Mysore Kingdom.

Those days, the Mysore Kingdom was not limited to present day Mysore city. The Mysore State included Mysore as their capital, Bangalore, part of present Tamil Nadu and Kerala State.

The new rule of Mysore Kingdom faced constant threats from neighbouring Kingdoms like the Nizams, Marathas and more from the British Empire. Alliances were made and broken between these Kingdoms but nothing favoured Haider Ali. The Nizams and the Marathas were fickle minded, they sometimes acted as a friend and sometimes as a foe to Haider. Haider and British did personally not like each other because of their growing powers. The British could never ever tackle him without the neighbours help. 

Haider Ali’s son Tipu Sultan was no less. Tipu had all his father’s qualities but was a learned man. He equally opposed the English as did his father. It is worth reading the history about Haider and Tipu. 

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