Chikkamagaluru: While the state government is facing immense opposition from the BJP and other right wing organisations for its decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti, there is at least one Hindu religious centre that is grateful to the 18th century Mysore king.
The Sringeri Sharada Math says its owes its existence to Tipu Sultan , who proved to be its saviour when the Marathas raided it during his reign. Not only did he offer the math his protection , but also presented it an emerald mantapa and a crystal Shiva Linga, which it has preserved to this day.
Says Chief Executive Officer Gowri Shankar of the Sharada Math, "Tipu's gifts are stored in our strongroom and pujas are offered to them." The math also has in its possession 43 letters from Tipu and his father, Hyder Ali. Those familiar with the math's history recall that on learning of the Marathas raiding it and plundering its temple, Tipu sent his army to Sringeri to protect it from further attacks. "Tipu is the saviour of Sringeri," they say.
According to them, Tipu also helped the math financially and had immense faith in it deity as revealed in his correspondence with it. He loved Kannada too as he wrote his letters in the language, they reveal.
Although it was suggested that the Sringeri Math celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan to show its gratitude for his protection, the idea reportedly fell through....