In 1791, during the third Mysore war, the invading Maratha army under
Persuram Bhau caused a lot of damage to Sringeri, plundered the temple property and even
displaced the sacred image of the goddess Sharada. The Swamiji of
the temple left the place and went to Karkala in Dakshina Kannada District. The swamiji
informed Tipu about the Maratha raid, and sought his help for consecrating the sacred
image of the Goddess. Tipu responded immediately to the request, and wrote to Sri
Shankaracharya, the swamiji of the temple expressing such sentiments of respect for
Hinduism as to disprove any charge of intolerance leveled against him. He
furnished the Swamiji with funds for reinstalling the displaced image, ordered the Assaf
(Collector) of Bidnur to supply both cash and other articles and expressed his grief at
the unfortunate incidents, which resulted in the damage to the holy place.
In one of these letters Tipu quoted a Sanskrit verse, meaning that people commit wicked
deeds smilingly but they would repent for them later weepingly. Tipu
requested the swamiji to pray for the prosperity of the State and for the destruction of
its enemies. After the idol was installed Tipu received the prasada
and the shawls which swamiji had sent. and in return he sent his gifts of cloth and bodice
for the goddess and a pair of shawl to swamiji.
In another record it is mentioned that Tipu sent two palanquins, one for the goddess and
the other for the Swamiji. These letters express great respect to the holy place and to
swamiji which completely falsify the British propaganda that Tipu was a bigot and
persecuted the Hindus. Nor was this treatment confined only to the period when Tipu was at
war with the Marathas, but extended all through his regime. At another time when there was
no war, Tipu addressed to the Swamiji as Jagadguru and asked him to pray for the welfare
and happiness of all the people.