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Annexation of Coorg by British

Chikka Veerarajendra and the East India Company were at loggerheads since 1830. Governor-General William Bentinck, who was more interested in reforming India than in annexing new territories, had to finally deal with the Raja of Coorg : Chikka Veerarajendra who had dared the British by keeping in custody one of their emissaries — Kullapalli Karunakaran Menon.

Lord William Bentinck set out from Calcutta on 3rd February 1834 on board the Curacoa to Madras. Bentinck reached Madras on 15th February 1834 and journeyed to Ooty via Vellore, Bangalore and Mysore. This journey was primarily to co-ordinate the attack on the Chikka Veerarajendra. Travel those days was by horse carriages, bullock carts, palanquins and on horseback, with frequent camping en route.

Bentinck wanted first-hand assessment of the situation in Coorg, and for this purpose, the Commander-in-Chief Sir Robert O’Callaghan was in attendance.  Strategies on military action against Coorg were finalised in consultations with O’Callaghan while he was at Bangalore.

Bentinck on his way to Ooty was camping at Gundlupet on 15th March 1834, that day he officially declared war on Coorg. Col. James Stuart Fraser was in overall command. Coorg was encircled from three fronts. Chikka Veerarajendra surrendered on 10th April 1834 and Coorg was annexed by the East India Company.  Incidentally, Coorg was the only province to be added to the John Company during William Bentinck’s tenure, for which he came under criticism back home in England.


Belliappa C.P., The Day War Was Declared On Coorg. Star of Mysore.