Madikeri is a hill station town in Karnataka state, India. Also known as Mercara, it is the headquarters of Kodagu Also called Coorg district. It is a popular tourist destination.The main language of Madikeri is Kodava Takk, Kannada, Byari. Also Are Bhashe/Gowda Kannada (language spoken by Gowdas of Coorg) features prominently here. Before British rule, Kodagu was an independent country and stretched till Mangalore. Most of the Gowdas were staying near Amara Sullia and Bhagamandala.
Madikeri was formerly known as Muddu raja keri. Muddurajakeri which means Mudduraja's town, was named after the prominent Haleri king, Mudduraja who ruled Kodagu from 1633-1687. 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.
The mean daily minimum temperature is lowest in January at about 5.2 °C.;°C on 20 February 1936. Maximum temperature in sum is°C to 27 °C>Ground Water Information Booklet, Ministry of Water Resources, 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2011. With the onset of the south-west monsoon, the temperature decreases in June and the weather becomes chilly.The lowest temperature recorded is -4C.
In Madikeri the main festivals celebrated are Kailpodhu, Kaveri Sankramana, Puttari and Dasara. Karaga festival also starts during the time of Navaratri.
Madikeri lies on the Karnataka State Highway 88 that runs from Mysore to Mangalore. It is 120 km from Mysore and 136 km from Mangalore. From Bangalore, 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. From Bangalore, Madikeri is at a distance of 252 km. Nearby towns are Hassan (115 km) in Karnataka state and Kannur,Thalassery and kanhangad in Kerala state (each around 114 km away).
Madikeri does not have a railway station. Nearest railheads are Hassan, Kasaragod,Kanhangad, Kannur and Thalassery (each of which are almost equidistant 115 km away). Mysore and Mangalore are good alternatives to reach Madikeri from within Karnataka.
Places to see:
- Raja Seat: This is a small square 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 Jaffarabad. In 1790, Doddavira Rajendra took control of the fort. The British who added to the fort in 1834. The palace was renovated by Lingarajendra Wodeyar II in 1812-1814. 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.
- Omkareshwara Temple: Located at the heart of the Town,Omkareshwara temple was built by king Lingarajendra in 1820. The temple has both Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture, built around a central pool. It is said Lingarajendra 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".