Tipu Sultan died at Srirangapatnam in the battle agsint the joint military force of British, Nizam and Marathas. He became martyr for India. His primary aim was the expulsion of the British from India and for this purpose he sought assistance wherever he could. But the two other important powers of southern India, namely, the Mahrattas and the Nizam, had shut their eyes to the impending danger of foreign domination and the British used them as tools to achieve their objects.
Lord Wellesely, who had become the Governor-General of British India, reached Madras in January 1799. Here he conspired with the Mahrattas, the Nizam and the highest dignitaries of Mysore state to wipe out Tipu Sultan, the only serious obstacle in his way of domination over India. In utter disregard of the treaty concluded after the third Mysore War, Lord Wellesley made an unprovoked attack on Mysore. On February 3rd, 1799 General Harris marched from Vellore and General Stuart from Cannanore. The Mahrathas and the Nizam too moved their forces into Mysore territory. Arthur Wellesley was in command of an army from Hyderabad. Tipu Sultan, who was surprised by this unexpected as well as unprovoked attack, fought valiantly, displaying brilliant strategy. But the treachery of his own generals foiled his efforts and the allied forces appeared before Seringapattam on April 17, 1799.
A siege was laid to the capital of Mysore. High dignitaries of the Mysore Government, including Dewan Purnia, Prime Minister Mir Sadiq, and Mir Ghulam Ali, were in secret league with the British. The final assault on the city was fixed for May 4th. On that day, according to the plan, Mir Sadiq started distributing salaries to the army. The soldiers left their posts and hurried to receive their pays. At that moment, the British troops in conjunction with the treacherous elements in the fort, crossed the Kaveri, stormed the opening guarded by Syed Abdul Ghaffar together with his few gallant soldiers, and entered the fort. Syed Abdul Ghaffar was killed in action. The Sultan was taking his meals and when informed of this disaster, he hurried to the spot and gallantly fighting a hand to hand battle fell a martyr to the cause of national freedom. Thus perished on May 4th, 1799, Tipu Sultan, one of the most chivalrous and enlightened monarchs that India has produced. He preferred an honourable death to a life of humiliation and subjugation to a foreign power.
Tipu Sultan was an embodiment of nobility, chivalry and magnanimity. His life was a constant struggle for a noble cause against heavy odds. He sacrificed his life for the realization of his ideal of freeing his country from foreign domination and thus set an example for future generations. He was a true patriot, and a true Muslim who practised what he preached. He was a farsighted ruler who foresaw the danger which loomed on the Indian horizon and staked his all to remove it.