Description of Tipu's Palaces and Apartments at Seringapatam
"... From the principal front of the palace, which served as a revenue office, and as a place from whence the Sultan occasionally showed himself to the populace, the chief entry into the private square was through a strong narrow passage, wherein were chained four tigers; which, although somewhat tame, would in case of any disturbance become unruly. Within these was the hall in which Tippoo wrote, and into which very few persons, except Meer Saduc, were ever admitted. Immediately behind this, was the bed-chamber, which communicated with the hall by a door and two windows, and was shut up on every other side. The door was strongly secured on the inside, and a close iron grating defended the windows. The Sultan, lest any person should fire upon him while in bed, slept in a hammock, which was suspended from the roof by chains, in such a situation as to be invisible through the windows. In the hammock were found a sword and a pair of loaded pistols.
The only other passage from the private square was into the Zenana, or women's apartment. This has remained perfectly inviolate under the usual guard of eunuchs, and contains about six hundred women, belonging to the Sultan, and to his late father. A great part of these are slaves, or attendants on the ladies; but they are kept in equally strict confinement with their mistresses. The ladies of the Sultan are about eighty in number. Many of them are from Hindustan Proper, and many are the daughters of Brahmans, and Hindu princes, taken by force from their parents. They have been all shut up in the Zenana when very young; and have been carefully brought up to a zealous belief in the religion of Mahomet. I have sufficient reason to think that none of them are desirous of leaving their confinement; being wholly ignorant of any other manner of living, and having no acquaintance whatever beyond the walls of their prison.
Without the walls of Seringapatam are two gardens and palaces, which formerly belonged to the Sultan, but are now occupied by the Commandant of the forces, and by the Resident at the court of Mysore. The gardens have been laid out at a considerable expense; and canals from the river afford them a copious supply of water. The palace at the Laul Baug, which occupies the lower end of the island, though built of mud, possesses a considerable degree of elegance, and is the handsomest native building that I have ever seen. Near it stands the Mausoleum of Hyder, where his son also reposes in state. The tombs of both are covered with rich cloths at the Company's expense; and the establishment of Moulahs to offer up prayers, and of musicians to perform the Nobat, is kept up as formerly. The buildings are handsome of the kind, and are ornamented with mishapen [sic] columns of a fine black horneblende, which takes a most splendid polish. The other palace and garden, called the Durria adaulut Baug, was Tippo's favourite retreat from business. Its walls are covered with paintings, which represent the manner in which the two Mussulman princes, Hyder and Tippoo, appeared in public processions; the defeat of Colonel Bailie; and the costume of various casts [sic], or professions, that are common in Mysore. In these paintings the figures are much in the style of caricatures, although they retain a strong likeness of native countenance and manner..."