Described as the Scotland of India, the district of Kodagu, of which Madikeri is the headquarters, has made a significant contribution of valiant men to the country’s defense forces. It has produced some of the country’s best and efficient generals and sepoys. The robust and martial race of Kodavas has distinct features in their culture and tradition, living in the picturesque hilly district. Kodava is their language.
Their festivals, Huthri celebrated between November and December, Kail Padu held in September and the Madikeri Dasara organized in October are quite popular. Here takes birth the life-sustainer of Karnataka, the Cauvery. The district, formerly known as Coorg, is also famous for its coffee cultivation. It perches on the Western Ghats amidst well-cultivated coffee and orange plantations. It is equally famous for its breath-taking views of hills and valleys.
The monsoon season, when the rains pour, are between the months of June and September. The rains flood the rivers and rivulets and replenish the Cauvery. The best period to visit Madikeri to enjoy its pleasant weather is between October and April when the skies are clear and the climate is cool like a hill station. Madikeri offers several places of interest in addition to the natural scenic beauty.
Facts About Madikeri
The Fort was constructed by the Rajas of Coorg and their Palace, now the district administrative headquarters stands at the center. The 19th-century fort has a temple, a chapel, a prison, and a small museum. Two life-size elephants made of mortar catch the eye as one enters the fort. The palace is an impressive building. The fort offers a panoramic view of Madikeri.
Omkareswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in 1820. The temple, associated with the Rajas of the former small State, is in the heart of the town. Having a unique style of construction, the temple has minaret-like turrets at the four corners and a dome at the center.
Raja’s Seat One of the most popular scenic places in the town is Raja’s Seat. An elevated spot, here at the Mantap sat the Rajas of Kodagu and enjoyed the thrilling view of the valleys and the hills and the far off mountains, the clouds swiftly passing over them. It also provides a spectacular view of the sunset.
The most famous and sacred place in the district is Talacauvery. The sacred river takes its birth at Talacauvery, 40 km by road to the west of Madikeri. The sources of the river are situated on the slopes of the Brahmagiri Hills. The Cauvery springs out in a small well less than a meter square on the auspicious Sankramana Day in the month of October when thousands of pilgrims gather to witness the nature’s miracle. At the summit of Brahmagiri, which commands a picturesque sight, are seven small pits, which never dry, and they are described as the place of ‘Saptha Rishis’ or the seven sages.
Bhagamandala, which is about 35 km from Madikeri and 7 km from Talacauvery, is another sacred place in the district. Here the river Kannika joins the Cauvery. It is also believed that Sujyothi, another stream also joins the Cauvery, making it a Triveni Sangama, a confluence of three rivers. A temple has been built at this place. Pilgrims before coming to Talakaveri go to Bhagamandala and have their first dip at the Triveni Sangama.
A few kilometers outside Madikeri, Cauvery offers a great place for a picnic. Here she cascades down in steps in a picturesque place.
Another beautiful spot is the Irupu Falls on the way to Kutta from Gonikoppal in the district. It is a place of Pouranic background. It is associated with Ramayana and Rama’s brother Lakshmana. The river Lakshmanathirtha, a tributary to the river Cauvery, takes a fall of about 80 feet in picturesque surroundings. Near the falls is the temple where Lord Rama is said to have installed the idol of Linga for worship. An annual Jatra takes place here.
Regular buses operate to Madikeri from Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, and several other places, including those plying towards the neighboring State of Kerala, connecting Cannanore and Tellichery. Taxies are available at Madikeri. Madikeri is 253 km from Bangalore and 130 km from Mysore.