Srirangapatna is a town of Mandya district in the Indian State of Karnataka. Located near the city of Mysore, it is of religious, cultural and historic importance.
Although situated a mere 15 km from Mysore city, Srirangapatna lies in the neighbouring district of Mandya. The entire town is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island, northern half of which is shown in the adjacent image. While the main river flows on the eastern side of the island, the Paschima Vaahini segment of the same river flows to its west. The town is easily accessible by train from Bangalore and Mysore and is also well-connected by road, lying as it does just off the Bangalore-Mysore highway. The highway passes through this town and special care was taken to minimize any impact on the monuments.
Srirangapatna has since time immemorial been an urban center and place of pilgrimage. During the Vijayanagar empire, it became the seat of a major viceroyalty, from where several nearby vassal states of the empire, such as Mysore and Talakad, were overseen. When perceiving the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the rulers of Mysore ventured to assert independence, Srirangapatna was their first target. Raja Wodeyar vanquished Rangaraya, the then viceroy of Srirangapatna, in 1610 and celebrated the Navaratri festival in the town that year. It came to be accepted in time that two things demonstrated control and signified sovereignty over the Kingdom of Mysore by any claimant to the throne:
Successful holding of the 10-day-long Navaratri festival, dedicated to Chamundeshwari, patron goddess of Mysore;
Control of the fort of Srirangapatna, the fortification nearest to the capital city of Mysore.
Srirangapatna remained part of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1610 to after India’s independence in 1947; as the fortress closest to the capital city of Mysore, it was the last bastion and defence of the kingdom in case of invasion.