|Subdistrict||Madikeri, Somwarpet, Virajpet|
|Deputy Commissioner||Shri K.R. Niranjan|
• 134 /km2 (347 /sq mi)
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Area||4,102 km2 (1,584 sq mi)|
Kodagu (Kannada: ಕೊಡಗು) is a district of Karnataka State in southern India. It is also known by its anglicised name of Coorg. It occupies about 4,100 square kilometers (1,580 mi²) of land in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka. As of 2001, the population was 5,48,561, with some 13.74% of the population residing in the district's urban centers.
Kodagu's capital is Madikeri. The district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada District to the northwest, Hassan District to the north, Mysore District to the east, the Kannur District of Kerala to the southwest, and the Wayanad District of Kerala to the south.
Kodagu is on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. It is a hilly district with the lowest elevation in the district at 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea-level. The highest peak, Tadiandamol, rises to 1,750 metres (5,740 ft), with Pushpagiri, the second highest, at 1,715 metres (5,627 ft). The main river in Kodagu is the Kaveri (Cauvery). The Kaveri starts at Talakaveri, located on the eastern side of the Western Ghats, and with its tributaries, drains the greater part of Kodagu. In July and August, rainfall is intense, and there are often rain showers into November. Yearly rainfall may exceed 4,000 millimetres (160 in) in some areas. In dense jungle tracts, rainfall reaches 3,000 to 3,800 millimetres (120 to 150 in) and 1,500 to 2,500 millimetres (59 to 98 in) in the bamboo district to the west. Kodagu has an average temperature of 15 °C (59 °F), ranging from 11 to 28 °C (52 to 82 °F), with the highest temperatures occurring in April and May. The principal town, and district capital, is Madikeri, or Mercara, with a population of around 30,000. Other significant towns include Virajpet (Viraranjendrapet), Kushalnagar, and Somwarpet. The district is divided into the three administrative talukas (divisions) of Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet.
Currently two members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) are elected from Kodagu to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, one each from the Madikeri and Virajpet talukas. Kodagu is part of the Mysore, Lok Sabha, Parliamentary constituency.
Much of the district is under cultivation: characteristically and historically, paddy fields are found on the valley floors, with agroforestry in the surrounding hills. Ginger crops and meadows can also be found in the valley. The most common plantation crop is coffee, especially Coffea robusta variety. Kodagu is the first coffee production region in India. The Coffea arabica variety is also grown in some parts of southern and western Kodagu, the historical area of coffee production. The coffee agro-forestry systems of Kodagu are one of the most richest [agroforest] in the world with around 270 species of shaded trees inventoried (see publications of CAFNET project). But, the trend is now the replacement of the native shade trees by exotic trees (i.e Grevillea robusta). In those coffee agro-forests are also cultivated spices like black pepper, cardamon, vanilla. Coorg is also famous for its forest honey.
Kodagu is considered rich with wildlife and has three wildlife sanctuaries and one national park: Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagarahole or Rajiv Gandhi National Park.
The flora of the jungle includes Michelia champaca (Champak), Mesua (Ironwood), Diospyros (Ebony and other species), Toona ciliata (Indian mahogany), Chukrasia tabularis, Calophyllum angustifolium (Poon spar), Canarium strictum (Black Dammar), Artocarpus, Dipterocarpus, Garcinia, Euonymus, Cinnamomum, Myristica, Vaccinium, Myrtaceae, Melastomataceae, Rubus (three species) and a rose. In the undergrowth are found cardamom, Areca, plantains, canes, wild black pepper, tree and other ferns, and arums.
In the forest of the less thickly-wooded bamboo country in the west of Kodagu the most common trees are the Dalbergia latifolia (Black wood), Pterocarpus marsupium (Kino tree), Terminalia tomentosa (Matthi), Lagerstroemia parviflora (Benteak), Anogeissus latifolia (Dindul), Bassia latifolia, Butea monosperma, Nauclea parvifiora, and several species of acacia. Teak and sandalwood also grow in the eastern part of the district.
Kodagu is home to many communities with diverse ethnic origins, with Kodavas being the main ethnic group. Other communities are Bhase, Gowda, Beary Muslims (Byari), Malayali. There are also a number of tribes such as the Yeravas, Kurubas, Airies and Kudiyas, who are believed to be of tribal origin. Muslims from the Malabar coast, the Mappilas, have also been present as traders and entrepreneurs. There is a sizeable population of the Lingayaths and the majority of them are in the taluk of Somawarpet. There are also about 52 Lingayath Mutt's in the district which have taken up the social service like free education and boarding to those children from the vulnerable sections of the society.
The Kodava community numbers about one-fifth out of a total population of over 500,000, speaking the Kodava takk language. The Kodavas are traditionally ancestor worshipers with a martial tradition. In Kodagu, the Kodavas were owners of land, the caste of Pulayar (also known as Holeya), were the farm labourers who worked for them.
Most Kodavas are Hindus, but there are some Muslim Kodavas (called Kodava Mappillas, not to be confused with the more numerous Kerala Mappilas). Kodava Hindus are called Kodava Kshatriyas. They are non-vegetarians, but they do not eat beef. They are polytheists and believe in a number of deities. The chief deities are Bhagwathi (Parvati), Mahadeva (Shiva), Bhadrakali (a form of Parvati as Kali or Durga), Subramani and Aiyappa. Iggutappa, the most important local God, is an incarnation of Lord Subramani, the God of snakes, rain, harvest and rice.
Amma Kodavas live in the southern parts of Kodagu and follow some of the Brahmin customs. They were the progeny of intercaste marriages between Brahmins and Kodavas during the ancient times. They belong to 44 family names and 2 gothras. Unlike other Kodavas they are vegetarians, they abstain from alcohol, wear the sacred thread and study the Vedas. Otherwise they follow the Kodava habits and customs, dress like other Kodavas and speak Kodava Takk. They are also known as the Kaveri Brahmins.
The Yerava, also live in adjacent Kerala, where they are known as the Adiya, and are primarily Hindu farmers. Among other communities are the Heggades, cultivators from Malabar; the Ayiri, who constitute the artisan caste; the Medas, who are basket and mat-weavers and act as drummers at feasts; the Binepatta, originally wandering musicians from Malabar, now farmers; and the Kavadi, cultivators from Yedenalknad. All these groups speak the Kodava takk language and conform generally to Kodava customs and dress.
Other castes and tribes are the Thiyas (business people), from Kerala; the Vellala, who are Tamils; and the Marathi. Of the Muslims, the most numerous are the Mappilas, who emigrated from Kerala, the Beary community and the Shaikhs.
Kodagu is a rural region with most of the economy based on agriculture, plantations and forestry, as well as one of the more prosperous parts of Karnataka. This is due primarily to coffee production and other plantation crops.
Rice and other crops are cultivated in the valleys. Coffee plantations became characteristic of the district in the 20th century, situated on hillsides too steep for growing rice, and taking advantage of shade from existing forests. Today coffee is a major cash crop. In recent years tourism has also begun to play a role in the economy. Eco-tourism, such as walking- and trekking-tours, take advantage of plantation buildings converted into guest-houses. Coffee processing is also becoming a major economic contributor.
15 Aug 1947 province
26 Jan 1950 Part C state
1 Nov 1956 part of Mysore
1949 - 1950 C.T. Mudaliar 1950 - 1956 Kanwar Daya Singh Bedi (b. 1899)
Chief minister 17 Mar 1952 - 1956 Cheppudira Muthana Poonacha (b. 1910 - d. 1990) 
The Kodavas were the earliest agriculturists in Kodagu, living in that place for centuries. Nayakas and Palegaras like Chengalvas and Kongalvas ruled over them. Over centuries several Kailpodhu is celebrated on 3 September. Officially, the festival begins on the 18th day after the sun enters the Simha Raasi (the Western sign of Leo). Kail means weapon or armory and Pold means festival. The day signifies the completion of "nati" - meaning the transplantation of the rice (paddy) crop.
The festival signifies the day when men should prepare to guard their crop from wild boars and other animals, since during the preceding months, in which the family were engaged in the fields, all weapons were normally deposited in the "Kanni Kombare", or the prayer room. Hence on the day of Kailpoldu, the weapons are taken out of the Pooja room, cleaned and decorated with flowers. They are then kept in the "Nellakki Nadubadec", the central hall of the house and the place of community worship. Each member of the family has a bath, after which they worship the weapons, afterwards feasting and drinking follow. The eldest member of the family hands a gun to the senior member of the family, signifying the commencement of the festivities. The whole family assembles in the "Mand" (open ground), where physical contests and sports, including marksmanship, are conducted. In the past the hunting and cooking of wild game was part of the celebration, but today shooting skills are tested by firing at a coconut tied onto the branch of a tall tree.
Traditional rural sports, like grabbing a coconut from the hands of a group of 8-10 people (thenge porata), throwing a stone the size of a cricket ball at a coconut from a distance of 10-15 paces (thenge eed), lifting a stone ball of 30–40 cm lying at one's feet and throwing it backwards over the shoulders, etc., are now conducted in community groups called Gowda Samajas & Kodava Samajas in towns and cities.
At a predetermined time, when the sun enters Tula Rasi (Tula sankramana), a fountain from a small tank fills the larger holy tank at Talakaveri. Thousands of people gather to dip in this holy water. The water is collected in bottles and reaches every home throughout Kodagu. This holy water is called Theertha, and is preserved in all Kodava homes. A spoonful of this water is fed to the dying, in the belief that they will attain moksha (spiritual emancipation) and gain entry to heaven.
On this day, married women wearing new silk saris perform puja to a vegetable, symbolizing the goddess Kaveri. The vegetable is usually a cucumber or a coconut, wrapped in a piece of red silk cloth and decorated with flowers and jewels (mainly 'Pathak' (Kodava Mangalasuthra)). This is called the Kanni Puje. Kanni refers to the goddess Parvati, who incarnated as Kaveri. Three sets of betel leaves and areca nut are kept in front of the goddess with bunches of glass bangles. All the members of the family pray to the goddess by throwing rice and prostrating themselves before the image. The elder members of the family ceremonially bless the younger. Then an older married woman draws water from the well and starts cooking. The menu of the day is dosa and vegetable curry (usually pumpkin curry (kumbala kari)) and payasa (sweet dish). Nothing but vegetarian food is cooked on this day, and this is the only festival among the Kodavas where only vegetarian food is had and served.
Puttari means “new rice” and is the rice harvest festival (also called huttari in the adjacent Kannada-speaking country). This takes place in late November or early December. Celebrations and preparations for this festival start a week in advance.
On the day of Puttari, the whole family assembles in their ain mane (the common family house), which is decorated with flowers and green mango and banana leaves. Specific foods are prepared: thambuttu, puttari, kari and poli poli. Then the eldest member of the family hands a sickle to the head of the family and one of the women leads a procession to the paddy fields with a lit lamp in her hands. The path leading to the field is decorated. A gunshot is fired to mark the beginning of the harvest, with chanting of "Poli Poli Deva" (prosperity) by all present. Then the symbolic harvesting of the crop begins. The rice is cut and stacked and tied in odd numbers and is carried home to be offered to the gods. The younger generation then lite firecrackers and revel, symbolizing prosperity. Groups of youngsters visit neighboring houses and show off their dancing skills and are given monetary gifts. A week later, this money is pooled and the entire village celebrates a communal dinner. All family members gather for this meal. Dinner normally consists of meat dishes, such as pork, and fish curry. Alcoholic beverages are also served at such feasts.
Nagarahole: a national park and wildlife resort.
Bhagamandala: situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Kaveri and the Kanika. A third river, the Sujyothi, is said to join from underground.
Dargah Sharief of Yemmemadu: Dargah Sharief, the Holy Tomb, of Yemmemadu is one of the most sacred shrines for Muslims in Kodagu district. (35 km from Madikeri; Madikeri-Bettageri-Napoklu-Hale Taluku-Yemmemadu)
Mandal patti: 28 km from Madikeri. On the way to Abbey Falls, before 3 km from Abbey Falls take right, from there 25 km.
Road: There is a good set of road connections to the east and west.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are Mysuru and Hassan.
Air: The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport which is around 180 km away.
Kodagu, also called Coorg, is a district in Karnataka State.
Coorg is known for its hospitability of people and beautiful scenery. This is one of the best destinations for nature lover in India. Tourists get fascinated by colourful scenery, wooded slopes, undulating landscape and quaint villages of coorg. There are endless mountain ranges which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
near by railway station is Mysore, from there its approx 100 km
A big attraction for tourists and filmdom alike is the Abbey Falls, 8 km from Madikeri. Even during the summer there is plenty of water in these falls. The roar of the falls can be heard from the main road, from where a path goes through lovely coffee and cardamom plantations right up to them. The chirping of innumerable birds which are easier heard then seen, fill the air with sweet music. Do remember to take your binoculars and camera when you go there.
Nagarahole - Wild Life Santuary
Nagarhole is a kannada word meaning "snake river" - which flows through the park. The park and animal life is part of the country's first "bio-sphere reserve". The Forest Department conducts tours along well-defined routes for tourists, in the early mornings and evenings. One can surely see the bison, elephant, spotted deer, sambhar, barking deer, wild boar, mongoose, peakcock, jungle fowl and many other birds and animals. Lucky ones get the chance of seeing Panther or Tiger.
Honnamana Kere is a holy and tourist place located in Daddamalthe near Sulimalthe village 6 km away from Somwarpet town. The lake (See picture) is surrounded by beautiful landscape including Coffee estates and Cliffs. Special pooja is offered to the Goddess Honnamma on the Gowri festival every year. Thousands of devotees come to this sacred place on this day and offers pooja to the Goddess Honnamma followed by climbing the cliff. 'Bagina' which consists of sacred belongings of the Goddess is left in the lake. A new temple was built several years back with the aim to improve the place and offer better facilities to the devotees, this was possible by the financial assistance of the people living in the surrounding villages.
Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctury
Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctury is 30 km from Somwarpet towards Kukke Subramanya. The Wildlife Sanctury is a apt for trekkers who want to experience the wilderness of Western Ghat. Home for different kinds of wild species like elephants, deers, wild cats etc.
Mallalli Falls is situated around 25 km from Somwarpet. The exact location of Mallali falls is in Bettadahalli Gram Panchayat in Somwarpet taluk. It is an eye feasting sight of river Kumaradhara gushing through the valley and falling into a gorge, with lush green mountains around.
Madikeri is the capital of the koadgu also known as Coorg. This place is known as the “Scotland of India”. Millions of tourists come to this place to visit coffee plantations, lush green forests, misty hills and some breath taking views of other areas. Madikeri is also known for it;s amazing climate. Madikeri also has a world record in the production of cardamom crop.
This 19th century fort, in the centre of Madikeri, houses a ganesha temple, a chapel, district prison and a small museum. The fort offers a beautiful view of Madikeri.
This fort is one of the most beautiful places to visit during the trip to Coorg. Initially this fort was built by mud and later on mud was replaced by the concrete stone, by the great king Tipu Sultan.
According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here. But what's unforgettable about Raja's seat is the spectacular sunset that one can enjoy from here. A sophisticated musical fountain is also located here. Best timings for viewing the sunset and the musical fountains are from 17:30 to 19:30 Hrs.
Bagamandala - Temple and river confluence
At a distance of 39 kms from Madikeri, 8 kms before reaching TalaKaveri, Bhagamandala is on the banks of the confluence of three rivers, Cauvery, Kannike and the sub terranian Sujyoti, popularly known as "Triveni Sangama". The famous Sri Bhagandeswara temple is located on the bank of the river over here. Pilgrims visiting Bhagamandala bathe (or sprinkle water on your head) in the Triveni Sangama, confluence of rivers and worship at the temple complex.
Mandalpatti- View point
At a distance of about 35 kms from Madekeri town, Mandalpatti viewpoint provides break taking view of the nearby hills. The route from Madikeri is a great ride through coffee plantains. The view point is about 1600 meters above sea-level . If you are looking for some adventure, you can go downhill from the view point on the opposite directions which leads to a small yet beautiful water fall. Please use all safety measures as this water fall is secluded and is almost inaccessible due to its distance from the view point.Avoid trekking down alone or in small groups
Talakaveri / Talacauvery
River Kaveri which is one of the 7 sacred rivers of Sapta Sindhus of the Hindu scriptures, originated at a place is called Talakaveri (head of Cauvery) in the Brahmagiri hills, at about 4,500 ft above sea level. This place is marked by a tirtha kundike or Brahma kundike (small spring/pond) from where the river emerges as a small perennial spring, but flows underground again to emerge a short distance away. It is about 48 km from Madikeri.
There is a shrine near the kundike and a big tank in front of it where devotees baths before offering prayers. There are 2 temples, a Shiva temple and with a rare and ancient Shiva Linga, and another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a holy Ashwantha tree where, according to legend, the Trimurtis - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh gave darshan to sage Agastya.
Legends also has it that every year on Tulasankramana day (approximately on 17 October) Goddess Parvati appears in the Kundike as the sacred teerthodbhava. This occasion is marked by the sudden unsurge of water in the kundike and is considered very auspicious
From Talakaveri, steps lead up to the nearby Brahmagri peak, where the 7 great sages called the Sapta Maharishis had performed a special yagna. From the peak, as well as on the drive to Talakaveri, tourists can enjoy a good view of the misty blue Brahmagiri hills. On a clear and sunny day you can view the glittering of the mangalore sea just before sunset.
Dubare - Elephant Camp
This is mainly an elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department, at the edge of Dubare forest, on the bank of river Kaveri, on the Kushalnagar - Siddapur road. The largest land animal is captured here with the help of tamed elephants and local tribals - the Kurbas - and is held captive for upto 6 months in large teak wood cages.
The tamed elephants attend to various jobs during the day and in the evenings they come down to the river to bathe and to be scrubbed clean by their mahouts. Afterwards the mahout obliges eager tourists for free elephant rides within the camp. In the evenings, all the elephants are offered a special treat of ladoos made of ragi and jaggery, each no smaller than a cannon ball!
To get to the camp you will need to cross the small still water lagoon over motor boat or still water rafting or by a small trek over a rocky pathway (no trekking in rainy seasons). Ideally you can raft across the river to reach the camp and trek back over the river over the rock pathway.
You could also do white water rafting at this place. The rafting distance is about 7 km and path is a great combination of rocks and water. A must do if you are looking for some adventure
There is a sacred spot called Iruppu in south Kodagu on the Brahmagiri range of hills. River Lakshmana-tirtha flows nearby. Legend says that Rama and Lakshmana, warrior Gods, passed this way while searching for Rama's concert, Sita. Rama asked Lakshmana to fetch some drinking water for him. Lakshmana shot an arrow into the Brahmagiri hills and brought into being river Lakshmanatirtha. Also the river is said to be blesed with powers of cleansing one's soul, it is an important pilgrim point for many devotees and a temple dedicated to Lord Ram is a few km below.
The river descends perpendicularly into a great cataract known as the Iruppu Falls. This place is believed to possess the power to cleanse one's sins and is visited by thousands of devotees from far and near on Shivaratri day. There is temple dedicated to Sri Ram, surrounded by paddy fields, from where it is a climb up to the falls through natural forest. This place can be visited from Gonikopal on the way to Nagerhole National Park by taking a detour after Srimangala, situated in the Kutta Road.
Nagarhole National Park:
Nagarhole, in kannada means Snake River, but there are not too many snakes at this place. This park was created by former king for their hunting adventure. Nagarhole provides best natural habitat for different wildlife animals like tigers, elephant, panthers and many more. Mostly found animals here are wild dogs, gaur, langur and deer.
The best things to do in Coorg is outdoor sports. Fondly called The Scotland of India, it's a lush, green blanket covering ranges of hills, and valleys, great for mountain biking and trekking.
Of course, if you could also come here for some time to cool off, or as a break from the usual tourist hot spots. Coorg has various options for adventure lovers. Some of the attractions are White water rafting, Trekking, Rockclimbing, Mountain Hiking, Dirt track racing etc.
Trekking: Coorg is one of the best choices for the trekkers to full fill their desire for trekking. Tourists can travel around the coorg, enjoying the amazing natural beauty in the monsoon season. Coorg also known as Kodagu, was originally known as Kodaimalenadu. 
Coorgi food is an elaborate mix of Indian pepper, curry leaves, and, simply putting it, a lot of other magical ingredients. With a tendency to be a little too hot for the foreign tourist, it does have a great potential to compete with Andhra cuisine. Since the people of Coorg have a warrior background, their food is a little different from the mainly vegetarian cuisine of the rest of India with an abundance of pork, chicken and meat in it. Many dishes reflect a melding of meat, particularly meat and pork. Stews are common, and rice is the main staple diet.
And the very famous Coorg coffee to wash it all down.
Homestays from Mahindra Homestays:
If you are visiting Coorg in wet weather seasons, beware of leeches especially while walking through wet grass and in bathrooms/toilets
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COORG (an anglicized corruption of Kodagu, said to be derived from the Kanarese Kudu, " steep," "hilly"), a province of India, administered by a commissioner, subordinate to the governorgeneral through the resident of Mysore, who is officially also chief commissioner of Coorg. It lies in the south of the peninsula, on the plateau of the Western Ghats, sloping inland towards Mysore. It is an attractive field of coffee cultivation, though the greater part is still under forest, but the prosperity of the industry has declined since 1891. The administrative headquarters are at Mercara (pop. 6732). Coorg is the smallest province in India, its area being only 1582 sq. m. Of this amount about 1000 sq. m. consist of ghat, reserved and other forests. Coorg was constituted a province not on account of its size, but on account of its isolation. It lies at the top of the Western Ghats, and is cut off by them from easy communication with the British districts of South Kanara and Malabar, which form its western and southern boundaries, while on its other sides it is surrounded by the native state of Mysore. It is a mountainous district, presenting throughout a series of wooded hills and deep valleys; the lowest elevations are 3000 ft. above sea-level. The loftiest peak, Tacfiandamol, has an altitude of 57 2 9 ft.; Pushpagiri, another peak, is 5626 ft. high. The principal river is the Cauvery, which rises on the eastern side of the Western Ghats, and with its tributaries drains the greater part of Coorg. Besides these there are several large streams that take their rise in Coorg. In the rainy season, which lasts during the continuance of the southwest monsoon, or from June to the end of September, the rivers flow with violence and great rapidity. In July and August the rainfall is excessive, and the month of November is often showery. The yearly rainfall may exceed 160 in.; in the dense jungle tract it reaches from 120 to 150; in the bamboo district in the west from 60 to loo in. The climate, though humid, is on the whole healthy; it is believed to have been rendered hotter and drier by the clearing of forest land. Coorg has an average temperature of about 60° F., the extremes being 52° and 82°. The hottest season is in April and May. In the direction of Mysore the whole country is thickly wooded; but to the westward the forests are more open. The flora of the jungle includes Michelia (Chumpak), Mesua (Ironwood), Diospyros (Ebony and other species), Cedrela toona (White cedar), Chickrassia tubularis (Red cedar), Calophyllum angustifolium (Poon spar), Canarium strictum (Black Dammar tree), Artocarpus, Dipterocarpus, Garcinia, Euonymus, Cinnamomum iners, Myristica, Vaccinium, Myrtaceae, Melastomaceae, Rubus (three species), and a rose. In the undergrowth are found cardamom, areca, plantain, canes, wild pepper, tree and other ferns, and arums. In the forest of the less thickly-wooded bamboo country in the west of Coorg the trees most common are the Dalbergia latifolia (Black wood), Pterocarpus marsupium. (Kino tree), Terminalia coriacea (Mutti), Lagerstromia parviflora (Benteak), Conocarpus latifolius (Dindul), Bassia latifolia, Butea frondosa, Nauclea parviflora, and several acacias, with which, in the eastern part of the district, teak and sandalwood occur. Among the fauna may be mentioned the elephant, tiger, tigercat, cheetah or hunting leopard, wild dog, elk, bison, wild boar, several species of deer, hares, monkeys, the buceros and various other birds, the cobra di capello, and a few alligators. The most interesting antiquities of Coorg are the earth redoubts or wartrenches (kadangas),which are from 15 to 25 ft. high, and provided with a ditch 10 ft. deep by 8 or io ft. wide. Their linear extent is reckoned at between 50o and 600 m. They are mentioned in inscriptions of the 9th and 10th centuries. The exports of Coorg are mainly rice, coffee and cardamoms; and the only important manufacture is a kind of coarse blanket. Fruits of many descriptions, especially oranges, are produced in abundance, and are of excellent quality.
In 1901 the population was 180,607, showing an increase of 4.4% in the decade. Of the various tribes inhabiting Coorg, the Coorgs proper, or Kodagas, and the Yeravas, or Eravas, both special to the country, are the most numerous. The Kodagas (36,091) are a light-coloured race of unknown origin. They constitute a highland clan, free from the trammels of caste, and they have the manly bearing and independent spirit natural in men who have been from time immemorial the lords of the soil. Their religion consists of ancestorand demon-worship, with a certain admixture of Brahman cults. The men are by tradition warriors and hunters, and while they will plough the fields and reap the rice,theyleave all menial work to the women and servants. They speak Kodagu, a dialect of Hala Kannada or old Kanarese, midway between that and Malayalam. It has been asserted that the institution of polyandry was prevalent among them, according to which the brothers of a family had their wives in common. But if this institution ever existed it no longer does so. The Yeravas (14,586) are a race of an altogether inferior type, dark-skinned and thick-lipped, resembling the Australian aborigines who possibly, according to one theory, may have sprung from the same Dravidian stock (see Australia: Aborigines). Though now nominally free, they were, before the establishment of British rule, the hereditary praedial slaves of the Kodagas. Some of them live a primitive life in the jungle, but the majority earn a livelihood as coolies. They are demonworshippers, their favourite deity being Karingali (black Kali). Their language, a dialect of Malayalam, is peculiar to them. Among the other tribes or castes special to Coorg are the Heggades (1503 in 1901), cultivators from Malabar; the Ayiri (898), who constitute the artisan caste; the Medas (584), who are basketand mat-makers, and act as drummers at feasts; the Binepatta (98), originally wandering musicians from Malabar, now agriculturists; the Kavadi (49), cultivators from Yedenalknad; all these speak the Coorg language, wear the Coorg dress, and conform, more or less, to Coorg customs. Other tribes are not special to Coorg. Of these the Holeyas (27,000) are the most numerous. They are divided into four sections: Badagas from Mysore, Kembattis and Maringis from Malabar, Kukkas from S. Kanara. They were formerly the slaves of the Kodagas and now act as their menials. The Lingayats (8700) are rather a religious sect than a tribe. Of the Tulu (farmer) class the Gaudas (11,900), who live principally along the western boundary, are the most important; they speak Tulu and wear the Coorg dress. Other castes and tribes are the Tiyas (1500) and Nayars (1400), immigrants from Malayalam; the Vellala (1300), who are Tamils; the Mahrattas (2400) and Brahmans (Iioo). Of the Mussulmans the most numerous are the Moplahs (6700) and the Shaikhs (4400), both chiefly traders. Of native Christians there are upwards of 3000. The official language of Coorg, which is that spoken by 45% of the population, is Kanarese (Kannada), the Coorg language (Kodagu) coming next. The Coorg dress is very picturesque, its characteristics being a long coat (Kupasa), of dark-coloured cloth, reaching below the knees, folded across and confined at the waist by a red or blue girdle. The sleeves are cut off below the elbow, showing the arms of a white shirt. The head-dress is a red kerchief, or a peculiar large, flat turban, covering the back of the neck. The Coorg also carries a short knife, with an ivory or silver hilt, fastened with silver chains and stuck into the girdle. A large, broadbladed waist knife, akin to the kukri of the Gurkhas, worn at the back, point upwards, was formerly a formidable weapon in hand-to-hand fighting, but is now used only for exhibitions of strength and skill on festive occasions.
The early accounts of Coorg are purely legendary, and it was not till the 9th and 10th centuries that its history became the subject of authentic record. At this period, according to inscriptions, the country was ruled by the Gangas of Talakad, under whom the Changalvas, kings of Changa-nad, styled later kings of Nanjarayapatna or Nanjarajapatna, held the east and part of the north of Coorg, together with the Hunsur taluk in Mysore. After the overthrow, in the 11th century, of the Ganga power by the Cholas, the Changalvas became tributary to the latter. When the Cholas in their turn were driven from the Mysore country by the Hoysalas, in the 12th century, the Changalvas held out for independence; but after a severe struggle they were subdued and became vassals of the Hoysala kings. In the 14th century, after the fall of the Hoysala rule, they passed under the supremacy of the Vijayanagar empire. During this period, at the beginning of the 16th century, Nanja Raja founded the new Changalva capital Nanjarajapatna. In 158 9 Piriya Raja or Rudragana rebuilt Singapatna and renamed it Piriyapatna (Periapatam). The power of the Vijayanagar empire had, however, been broken in 1565 by the Mahommedans; in 1610 the Vijayanagar viceroy of Seringapatam was ousted by the raja of Mysore, who in 1644 captured Piriyapatna. Vira Raja, the last of the Changalva kings, fell in the defence of his capital, after putting to death his wives and children.
Coorg, however, was not absorbed in Mysore, which was hard pressed by other enemies, and a prince of the Ikkeri or Bednur family (perhaps related to the Changalvas) succeeded in bringing the whole country under his sway, his descendants continuing to be rajas of Coorg till 1834. The capital was removed in 1681 by Muddu Raja to Madikeri or Mercara. In 1770 a disputed succession led to the intervention of Hyder Ali of Mysore in favour of Linga Raja, who had fled to him for help, and whom he placed on the throne on his consenting to cede certain territories and to pay tribute. On Linga Raja's death in 1780 Hyder Ali interned his sons, who were minors, in a fort in Mysore, and, under pretence of acting as their guardian, installed a Brahman governor at Mercara with a Mussulman garrison. In 1782, however, the Coorgs rose in rebellion and drove out the Mahommedans. Two years later Tippoo Sultan reduced the country; but the Coorgs having again rebelled in 1785 he vowed their destruction. Having secured some 70,000 of them by treachery, he drove them to Seringapatam, where he had them circumcised by force. Coorg was partitioned among Mussulman proprietors, and held down by garrisons in four forts. In 1788, however, Vira Raja (or Vira Rajendra Wodeyar), with his wife and his brothers Linga Raja and Appaji, succeeded in escaping from his captivity, at Periapatam and, placing himself at the head of a Coorg rebellion, succeeded in driving the forces of Tippoo out of the country. The British, who were about to enter on the struggle with Tippoo, now made a treaty with Vira Raja; and during the war that followed the Coorgs proved invaluable allies. By the treaty of peace Coorg, though not adjacent to the East India Company's territories, was included in the cessions forced upon Tippoo. On the spot where he had first met the British commander, General Abercromby, the raja founded the city of Virarajendrapet.
Vira Raja, who, inconsequence of his mind becoming unhinged, was guilty towards the end of his reign of hideous atrocities, died in 1809 without male heirs, leaving his favourite daughter Devammaji as rani. His brother Linga Raja, however, after acting as regent for his niece, announced in 1811 his own assumption of the government. He died in 1820, and was succeeded by his son Vira Raja, a youth of twenty, and a monster of sensuality and cruelty. Among his victims were all the members of the families of his predecessors, including Devammaji. At last, in 1832, evidence of treasonable designs on the raja's part led to inquiries on the spot by the British resident at Mysore, as the result of which, and of the raja's refusal to amend his ways, a British force marched into Coorg in 1834. On the 11th of April the raja was deposed by Colonel Fraser, the political agent with the force, and on the 7th of May the state was formally annexed to the East India Company's territory. In 1852 the raja, who had been deported to Vellore, obtained leave to visit England with his favourite daughter Gauramma, to whom he wished to give a European education. On the 30th of June she was baptized, Queen Victoria being one of her sponsors; she afterwards married a British officer who, after her death in 1864, mysteriously disappeared together with their child. Vira Raja himself died in 1863, and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery.
The so-called Coorg rebellion of 1837 was really a rising of the Gaudas, due to the grievance felt in having to pay taxes in money instead of in kind. A man named Virappa, who pretended to have escaped from the massacre of 1820, tried to take advantage of this to assert his claim to be raja, but the Coorgs remained loyal to the British and the attempt failed. In 1861, after the Mutiny, the loyalty of the Coorgs was rewarded by their being exempted from the Disarmament Act.
See "The Coorgs and Yeravas," by T. H. Holland in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. lxx. part iii. No. 2 (1901); Rev. G. Richter, Castes and Tribes found in the Province of Coorg (Bangalore, 1887); Imperial Gazetteer of India (Oxford, 1908), vol. xi. s.v., where, besides an admirable account of the country and its inhabitants, the history of Coorg is dealt with in some detail.