The First Battle
The second half of the eighteenth century was a period of great confusion in Indian history which witnessed the rise of a colonial power. The only state which offered stiff resistance to their expansion was Mysore, which fought not one but four wars. Tipu participated in all those four Mysore wars, in two of which he inflicted serious blows on the English. In fact Tipuís rule starts in the midst of a war against the English and ends in the midst of war against them. His short but stormy rule was eventful for his several engagements with his neighbours, the Marathas and the Nizam, as well, whose shortsighted policy prompted them to join the colonials against Mysore.
In the First Mysore war Tipu, a lad of 17 years, suddenly surprised the English when he appeared at the gates of Madras in September 1767. He caused great consternation to the Governor of Madras, to the Nawab of Carnatic, Muhammed Ali, and to almost all Councilors who very narrowly escaped being taken in the country-house in the Company's garden. Happily for them a small vessel that by accident was opposite the garden furnished them with the means of escaping. Thus, it was a providential escape of the entire Madras government, which were about to be captured by Tipu, who had been in independent command of a body of troops in the First Mysore war.