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"Mercara" redirects here. For the 1999 Malayalam film, see Mercara (film).
Gaddige Tomb
Gaddige Tomb
Nickname(s): The Scotland of India
Madikeri is located in Karnataka
Madikeri is located in India
Madikeri is located in Asia
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 12°25′15″N 75°44′23″E / 12.4209°N 75.7397°E / 12.4209; 75.7397Coordinates: 12°25′15″N 75°44′23″E / 12.4209°N 75.7397°E / 12.4209; 75.7397
Country  India
State Karnataka
District Kodagu
Region Coorg, Malnad
Elevation 1,170 m (3,840 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 33,381
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 571 201
Telephone code 0827
Vehicle registration KA-12

Madikeri is a hill station town in Karnataka state, India. Also known as Mercara, it is the headquarters of the district of Kodagu (also called Coorg). It is a popular tourist destination.


Madikeri was formerly known as Muddu raja keri.[1] Muddurajakeri which means Mudduraja's town, was named after the prominent Haleri king, Mudduraja who ruled Kodagu from 1633 to 1687.

The form of the name often used in English, Mercara, is derived from Madikeri by a standard transformation of the retroflex 'd' to an 'r' consonant.


Map c. 1854

The history of Madikeri is related to the history of Kodagu. From the 2nd to the 6th century AD, the northern part of Kodagu was ruled by Kadambas. The southern part of Kodagu was ruled by Gangas from the 4th to the 11th century. After defeating the Gangas in the 11th century, Cholas became the rulers of Kodagu. In the 12th century, the Cholas lost Kodagu to the Hoysalas. Kodagu fell to the Vijayanagar kings in the 14th century. After their fall, the local chieftains like Karnambahu (Palegars) started ruling their areas directly. They were defeated by Haleri Dynasty founder Veeraraju, (Nephew of Ikkeri Sadashiva Nayaka who were descendants of Talakadu Ganga Dynasty), and his father in-law Bomma Gowda, the Seeme Gowda of Haleri kings. In the year 1700AD Ikkeri Somashekara Nayaka gifted Puttur and Amara Sullia Magnes of Tulunadu to Haleri Kings. Descendants of Veeraraju who are known as "Haleri Dynasty" ruled Kodagu from 1600-1834 AD. Haleri king Mudduraja built the Fort in Madikeri and made it[2]as their capital. Mudduraja, the third Haleri king started leveling the land around Madikeri and built a fort in the year 1681. Madikeri Fortwhich was original built of mud and was replaced by Tipu Sultan. Kodagu became the part of British India after 1834 AD.[3]


As of 2001 India census,[4] Madikeri had a population of 47,257. Males constitute 57.2% of the population and females 42.8%. Madikeri had an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 57.2: male literacy was 83%, and female literacy 79%. 11% of the population was under 6 years of age. This town is situated at an elevation of over 4000 ft above sea level.

The main language of Madikeri is Kodava Takk, Kannada, Arebhashe (A form of kannada) spoken by Gowdas those who migrated from South Canara or Dakshina Kannada and settled in Kodagu, features prominently here.Gowdas were originally from Igoor Maha Samsthana (Present Districts of Shimoga, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Part of Kodagu whose Roots are traced to Ganga Dynasty of Talakadu.

Geography and climate[edit]

Madikeri features a tropical highland climate as it has an elevation of 1170 metres  (3838 feet). Madikeri is located at 12°25′N 75°44′E / 12.42°N 75.73°E / 12.42; 75.73.[5][6] Madikeri lies in the Western Ghats and is a popular hill station. The nearest cities are Mangalore to the west, and Mysore to the east.

The mean daily minimum temperature is lowest in January at about 11 °C.Maximum temperature in summer is around 24 °C to 27 °C.[7] With the onset of the south-west monsoon, the temperature decreases in June and the weather becomes chilly.The lowest temperature recorded is 4.5 °C.

Climate data for Madikeri
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 29.9
Average high °C (°F) 24.5
Average low °C (°F) 13.3
Record low °C (°F) 4.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.6
[citation needed]

Famous personalities[edit]

Veeraraju, the founder of Haleri Dynasty and Nephew of Ikkeri King Sadashiva Nayaka (Descendants of Talakadu Ganga Dynasty.)Bomma Gowda, Seeme Gowda of Haleri and father in law of Veera Raju, Guddemane Appayya Gowda,leader of 1837 Amara Sullia uprising against British,Dambekoddi Chinnappa,Forest Minister, Dambekodi Madappa, MLA, Dr.Basthi K.Nanjundeshwara, Freedom figher and doctor (Dr.Nanjundeshwara street named after him), Jeevijaya, Forest Minister, 2 time MLA,K.G. Bopaiah, 2 time MLA and Speaker - Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Puttur Anantharaja Gowda, Author "IN PURSUIT OF OUR ROOTS". Field Marshal K M Cariappa, General Thimmaiah, Politician M C Naniah, Badminton Star Aswini Ponnappa, Cricket Star Robin Uttappa, Hockey Star Vinay, Len Aiyappa, Politician Gundu Rao, Tennis Star Rohan Bopanna, MTV VJ Nikil Chinnappa, Student Activist Thouseef Madikeri, Politician Bopaiah, Model Zulfi Syed, Nidhi Subbaiah, Daisy Bonacha are from Madikeri.


Raja's Seat park and viewpoint

By road[edit]

Madikeri lies on the Karnataka State Highway 88 that runs from Mangaluru to Mysuru. It is 120 km from Mysore and 136 km from Mangaluru. From Bengaluru, the state capital of Karnataka, one can take the State Highway 17 (Bangalore - Mysore Highway) and take a deviation just after the town of Srirangapatna to join State Highway 88 towards Madikeri. It can be approached from Mangaluru via Puttur, Sullia passing through Sampaje Ghat. From Bangalore, Madikeri is at a distance of 252 km. Nearby towns are Hassan (115 km), Sullia at a distance of 52 km in Karnataka state and Kasaragod, Kannur, Thalassery, Kanhangad and Uppala in Kerala state (each around 114 km away).

By rail[edit]

Madikeri does not have a railway station. The nearest railheads are Hassan, Kasaragod, Kanhangad, Kannur and Thalassery (each of which are almost equidistant at 115 km away). Mysore at 120 km and Mangalore at 136 km away are good alternatives to reach Madikeri from within Karnataka.

By air[edit]

Mangalore International Airport at Mangalore (137 km) is the nearest International airport and offers flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Gulf countries.[8]

Places to see[edit]

Palace now used as DC office
  • Raja Seat: This is a small square viewing spot like a mantapa in brick and mortar of four pillars bridged by arches, enhanced by beautiful surroundings. This spot was a favourite place of recreation for the Rajas and hence was permanently associated with them. It is built on a high level ground with a commanding view of the cliffs and valleys to the west.
  • Madikeri Fort: This fort was first built by Mudduraja in the last quarter of the 17th century. He also built a palace inside the fort. It was eventually rebuilt in granite by Tipu Sultan who named the site as Zafarabad. In 1790, Doddavira Rajendra took control of the fort. The British added to the fort in 1834. The palace was renovated by Linga Rajendra II between 1812 and 1814. In the north-east corner at the entrance are two life size masonry elephants, and a church is present in the south-east corner. There is a famous Lord Ganesha temple known as "Kote ganapathi" just at the main entrance of the fort.
  • Omkareshwar Temple: Located at the heart of the Town, Omkareshwara temple was built by king Linga Rajendra II in 1820. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture, built around a central pool. It is said Linga Rajendra killed an honest and pious Brahmin to fulfill his political ambitions. That Brahmin became a "Brahmarakshasa" and started troubling the king. In order to purify himself for the killing of a Brahmin, he was advised to construct a temple to Lord Shiva. He brought a Shivalinga from Kashi, and the temple was built and named "Omkareshwara".
  • St. Mark's Church: This dis-used church is located within the Mercara Fort, Coorg, India and was raised in 1859, by the officers and men of the East India Company and funded by the Government of Madras,[9] under the Church of England in India, Diocese of Madras.[10] The Church was closed after Indian independence, and taken over by the Government of Karnataka in 1971.[11] The building now houses the Madikeri Fort Museum, managed by the Karnataka State Archaeological Department.[12]
  • Abbey Falls is a waterfall situated 6km from Madikeri town


  1. ^ Coorg History
  2. ^ Puttur Anantharaja Gowda (2015). "IN PURSUIT OF OUR ROOTS". 
  3. ^ Jerry Dupont, The Common Law Abroad, Wm. S. Hein Publishing, 2001, ISBN 0-8377-3125-9, from p 592
  4. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  5. ^ Madikeri,
  6. ^ Maps, Weather, Videos, and Airports for Madikeri, India
  7. ^ Ground Water Information Booklet, Ministry of Water Resources, 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Airports Authority of India". Airports Authority of India. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Penny, Frank (1922). The Church in Madras : being the History of the Ecclesiastical and Missionary Action of the East India Company in the Presidency of Madras From 1835 to 1861: Volume III (PDF). London: John Murray. p. 98. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Chuches Vested in The Crown: Diocese of Madras". Lords Sitting of 31 May 1927. 67 (5): cc650-1. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Museums in Karnataka". Government of Karnataka: Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage. 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Madur (13 October 2014). "Madikeri Fort, Coorg". Karnataka. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 

External links[edit]