It’s hard to believe Srirangapatnam, this tiny island-based fort town, was the de facto capital of much of southern India during the 18th century. Apparently, power-hungry father-and-son team Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan preferred life in the slow lane, at least until 1799 when the British waged an epic battle and killed Tipu Sultan here on his home turf. Stop here on your way to Mysore to see the ramparts, battlements and gates of the fort.

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