UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Aug 27

27 August 1781

Battle of Pollilur

What happened?

Hyder Ali of Mysore clashed with the British East India Company’s forces at the Battle of Pollilur on 27th August 1781. The English were victorious.


  • The Battle of Pollilur was fought as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War between the English forces and the Kingdom of Mysore under Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.
  • The location of the battle was Pollilur, near Kanchipuram in present-day Tamil Nadu.
  • The British company forces were led by their esteemed General Sir Eyre Coote (who is famous for his role in the decisive English victory at the Battle of Wandiwash).
  • In September 1780, there had been a clash between the English and the Mysorean army at the same site of Pollilur. At that time, the English had been defeated by Hyder Ali.
  • In the battle fought in 1781, however, the English was victorious although it was not quite decisive. In fact, the English themselves called it a ‘dubious victory’.
  • The company’s forces were divided into two lines, one fighting Hyder Ali’s men and the other against Tipu Sultan.
  • The troops under Hyder Ali endured many casualties and eventually retreated to Kanchipuram.
  • After the battle, Coote’s men faced a shortage of provisions and thus had to move towards Tripassore. Hyder Ali thought of this as a retreat and also proclaimed victory.
  • Coote also secured victory over Mysore at another battle at Sholinghur (September 1781).
  • The Second Anglo-Mysore War ended inconclusively with the Treaty of Mangalore. As per the Treaty of Mangalore, both parties agreed to return the captured territories and prisoners to each other.
  • Today at the site of the battle is mostly under paddy cultivation. There are two obelisks standing in memory of two British officers who were killed.
Also on this day

1604: The Guru Granth Sahib was established at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. 1979: Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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