Sultan Battery (Mangalore)
History and museums
The Sultan Battery watch tower, constructed in 1784 by Tipu Sultan is situated in Boloor,4 km from the centre of Mangalore city, the chief port city in the state of Karnataka, India.
Boloor is known for the watch tower constructed in the era of the emperor Tipu Sultan such that now the area surrounding the squalid structure is its namesake, and buses ply at regular intervals, to and from Sultan Battery, primarily bus no.16 of the city bus system.The watch tower was constructed 15 years before his death in 1784 A.D. The place was previously known as Sultan's Battery, the word Battery meaning firing of canons. It was constructed from stones of 23 churches destroyed by Tipu Sultan, during his 15-year imprisonment of the Mangalorean Catholics and the other Christians.
The place built of black stones was constructed to obstruct war ships from entering the river which was the major route for English invasion but was then retrieved from English by Tipu Sultan. Though the place holds the watch tower, it looks much like a fort with mounting places for cannon.There is an underground storage area under the tower which was used to store gunpowder. This reminds us of the significance the place held as it was the major dockyard and arsenal of the ruler. It was also a naval station and was of great importance to the ruler as he used it to intercept enemy warships and prevent them from docking.
If one climbs to the top of the watch tower by stairs, he can get a panoramic view of Arabian Sea which leaves nature lovers in boundless joy. This place is a blend of natural and manmade beauty. It is now a nearly deserted place with a few shacks and a boating club nearby, but is gathering popularity among tourists because of the pervading eternal bliss of nature.
The coastal area of Boloor and the southern adjoining area of Bokkapatna are probably more apt to be termed Mangalorean villages, than Mangalorean suburbs, given the general traditional lifestyle most residents of the areas around still champion, fishing and trading the primary activities, and the streets of Bokkapatna at sunset give the quaint feeling of a dear old village. Boloor overlooks the Gurpura river which snakes further south and joins the Arabian sea by interrupting the 8 km long Bengre headland, primary breakwater of the city of Mangalore. Boloor, primarily Sultan Battery is circuit wise and systematically linked to the rest of the city by bus no.16 that makes trips to and from at intervals of 15–20 minutes.