Madikeri, the district headquarters of Kodagu is a mesmerising city situated at an elevation of 1170m above sea level. The fabulous climate and stunning location makes it one of the famous tourist destinations in south India. At about 260kms from Bangalore, this hill station is a perfect weekend getaway for many of the city dwellers. This mesmerising city is 320 years old and carries a grand history with it.
The Palegaras of Kodagu were defeated by the Haleri kings, who then ruled Kodagu from 1600-1834. The kings made Haleri near Madikeri their capital. Mudduraja, the third Haleri king made Madikeri as his capital. The place was named after him as “Muddurajakeri”. Mudduraja then built a fort (now called as Madikeri fort) and a palace inside it. After his death, Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan captured the city and renamed it as Zaffarabad. Doddaveera rajendra son of Mudduraja captured the fort back from Tippu in 1790. In 1796, the ruler, Veerarajendra, married the queen, “Madadevammaji”. A separate area was carved out towards the northern end of the town, called “Mahadevapete”. The area still retains the name. The areas dominated by members of the “Gowli” community came to be known as “Gowli beedi”, and the locality of the Brahmins was known as “Brahmanara Oni” (now Brahmins’ Valley).
The British took over Coorg in 1834. A british surveyor deputed by the East India company to coorg called the town as “Muddukayray”. Gradually, British after gaining control over the Coorg, began calling it as Mercara. The salubrious climate of Madikeri attracted a large number of British to the town. Soon, clubs, shops, vehicles, education, library, medical assistance, racecourse, golf links, and other civic amenities were introduced. There is a mention of the presence of a regiment of the Madras Infantry here from 1837 to 1883 when Kodagu was part of the Madras Presidency.
Post independence the city was called as Madikeri. Today, the Madikeri fort, which was the “palace” of the rulers of Kodagu, stands testimony to history. The “Raja’s Seat“, the “Omkareshwara Temple“, and the “Gaddige” of the rulers, point to the grandeur of the past. The ruins of a chapel inside the fort, now a museum, and the Anglo Vernacular School (AV School) speak of the British legacy.
1170 meters above sea level
The famous tourist places in Madikeri are