Sunday, 3 March 2013

Tipu's nemesis is buried here

He was the Governor-General of India twice. During his tenure the first time, he led a victorious campaign against Tipu Sultan. During that time, he also contributed towards revenue and administrative reforms and also revamped the judiciary.
To him goes the credit of establishing the Supreme Court of India. He is also credited with having separated the powers of the District Collector from that of a Judge. He lasted for more than seven years as Governor-General.
His second innings as Governor General was rather short. Just ten months into the position, he died while he was traveling in Uttar Pradesh and today he is one of the few high ranking officers of East India Company to be buried in India.
In Karnataka, he is known for the battle of Nandidoorg or Nandi Hills where he defeated the Mysore army. He is Lord Cornwallis who was Governor General of India from September 1786 to October 1793 and again in 1805.
He personally led the British Army against Tipu from 1790 to 1792. He was in Bangalore from March 7 to March 21 and captured the fort of Bangalore. He also cleverly isolated the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad from Tipu and drew up plans to contain the Mysore Kingdom.
He personally led the siege of Srirangapatna and received as hostages the two sons of  Tipu, the elder Abdul Kalick (10) and the youngest, Mooza-ud-Deen (8). He won all round respect when he promised to treat Tipu’s sons as his own. 
He proved to be Tipu's nemesis. The treaty which he imposed upon Tipu left the Mysore ruler with little option but to fight again.   
The tomb of Lord Cornwallis is located at Ghazipur, a small town in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh approximately seventy kilometers east of Varanasi. It is well connected by road and railways with different parts of the country.
He left India in 1793 and went back to England. After him, successive Governors-General-John Shore and Arthur Wellesley-  could not hold on to the finances of the company. Wars with native rulers had ruined the East India Company and they once again appointed Cornwallis as Governor-General.
The company wanted Cornwallis to tighten the administration and also improve the finances. By then, Cornwallis was well past his prime. Yet, he accepted the challenge and he sailed back to India. He stationed himself in Calcutta and then ten weeks later he came to Ghazipur on October 5, 1805, where he succumbed to old age. He was 67 years old and pretty exhausted.
Today, Ghazipur is known for the tomb of Lord Cornwallis. It was built by the people of Calcutta out of respect for him. The tomb is a protected monument and it consists of a lofty dome supported by twelve columns constructed on a 3.66 metres high circular platform.
The platform has a diameter of 18.30 metres. The square structure of white marble raised at the centre of the platform bears the bust of Lord Cornwallis with a Hindu and a Muslim on either side shown in the attitude of mourning. Below is an epitaph in English. The other side of this structure depicts a European and a native soldier paying homage with an epitaph below in Urdu.
The exterior of upper portion of the tomb has been ornamented with an Army cap and floral motifs. The circular iron railing around the tomb with its gate toward south-east is beautifully fabricated with spears, bows and arrows, swords and inverted cannons. 
The tomb is open from sunrise to sunset. The entry fee is Rs. 5 per head.
Ghazipur is in Uttar Pradesh and it is easily approachable by road and rail. Varanasi is about 30 miles away.

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