Mysore emerged as a powerful state under the leadership of Haider Ali (ruled from 1761 to 1782) and his son Tipu Sultan (ruled from 1782 to 1799) in the second half of the eighteenth century.

Mysore controlled the profitable trade of the Malabar coast where the Company purchased pepper and cardamom. In 1785, Tipu Sultan stopped the export of sandalwood, pepper and cardamom through the ports of his kingdom, and disallowed local merchants from trading with the Company.

He also established a close relationship with the French in India, and modernized his army with their help. The British were furious. They saw Haidar and Tipu as ambitious, arrogant and dangerous rulers who had to be controlled and crushed.

Four wars were fought with Mysore (1767-69, 1780-84, 1790-92 and 1799). In the last war, Battle of Seringapatam, the Company ultimately win a victory. Tipu Sultan was killed defending his capital Seringapata.

Large ports like Kanara, Coimbatore and Seringapatam were secured by the British. Mysore was placed under the former ruling dynasty of the Wodeyars and a subsidiary alliance was imposed on the state.