Thursday, July 03, 2008

Madikeri-the capital of Haleri Dynasty

Our journey into Coorg’s past continued as we went into estates and homestays, villages and towns. It is said that the history of Coorg was mainly deciphered through inscriptions . Several dynasties from the Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Nayaks have left their stamp here.

However it is the Haleri kings who have reigned over Coorg for about 250 years. A prince from Ikkeri founded the dynasty by defeating several chieftains and called himself Vira Raja and ruled from Haleri.Bitter battles have been fought by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and the British to conquer Coorg during their era.

We were in Madikeri when we heard this story..A Haleri king was on a hunting expedition when he suddenly saw his wild dogs chased by a hare in a small hillock. He decided to build a fort there as he felt that there was a powerful energy in the region which made a meek hare courageous . A mud wall garrison was built here and the hamlet, which became the capital was named after the king. The king was Mudduraja , the grandson of Vira raja and the place was called Muddu Raja Keri or Muddurakayray

The fort was eventually rebuilt in granite by Tippu Sultan who named the site as Jaffarabad. It was recaptured by the Haleri ruler Doddaveer Rajendra in the 18th century and it later fell into the hands of the British who renamed it as Mercara . Today the fort houses a palace, a temple, a chapel, a prison and a museum where you can see hero stones or virakkals among other things.

The sun was setting and a mist threatened to rob the sun of its last few moments of glory . We headed to Raja’s Seat to watch the tussle. This popular tourist spot which boasts of scenic views was the seat of the royalty to admire nature and also throw probably to throw their enemies down the hill.

Further away from the city is Cuddige or the Raja’s tombs, which are the samadhis of the kings Doddaveerarajendra and Lingarajendra. A solemn air hung around and it was deserted almost but for a few boys who were playing cricket. The tombs of the divans and army commanders were also placed here. The domes and the minarets at four corners mounted by carved bulls stand tall against the sky.

A visit to Madikeri is never complete without a visit to the.19th century Omkareshwar temple built by Lingarajendra II dedicated to Shiva. Built in the Indo Sarcenic style, it has elements of Gothic and Islamic architecture as well and it is said that there could have been a secret passage below that leads to the palace of the king.

It was dark when we drove back from Madikeri to Kakkabe where we were staying. Our shopping bags were full of honey and coffee, cardamom and pepper .The smell of the spices stayed with us until we reached Kakkabe for dinner .


Merisi said...

Fascinating images and history!
Thank you for taking the time and effort to bring these beautiful places closer to us. :-)

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

lovely pictures :). . .its quite wonderful to have such a vibrant culture isnt it? And as merisi said , its lovely to have u tell us about it all :D

Wendy said...

This looks like a magical destination and the views!

Indrani said...

Thanks Lakshmi for this wonderful virtual tour. BTW are you planning to bring out a book... I mean you have lot of info and pictures of this place. :)

Quakeboy said...

One night when i was bored I started browsing on mobile

went to google blog search and search for indian travel blog or something similar and I got yours.

Truly outstanding blog..
Coorg diary 2 pics could have been better... but your words were kicking and story... really cool..

Your pics of madikere, is trying to voodoo me to pack and start right now...

Anyways I am travelling first time tomorrow to Wayanad.. so I will start a similar blog like yours or in my personal already existing one !

Keep going... A great blog for professionals like me who dont find time to travel

indicaspecies said...

Such simple tombs! I like the architecture of the Omkareshwar Temple. Was there anything interesting in Kakkabe?

Jeevan said...

Clear pictures of the original state of the structures and very greenery views. About the race on holding the palace and fort are informative.

mayz said...

ohhhhh me wants to wants to go!!!
its like hardly 250ks from here but m not able to find anyone to go wid...tryin to convince all my frenz :)

Emperor Ropi said...

That dynasty ruled quite a long time then. Here there was only 2 ruling dynasty which ruled longer time. The Árpád dynasty and the Hapsburg Dynasty.

GMG said...

Hi Lakshmi! Another great post! It's amazing the contrast between the misty valley and the clear monuments!! Also loved to see the rest of the Coorg trail trip... An absolute wonder!!
Thanks for your comment on Blogtrotter, now on its last post on Santiago de Compostela! Wish you a wonderful weekend!

sukku said...

Simply breathtaking...keep em coming...and don't you ever stop...have a great weekend...

Mridula said...

Brings back fond memories of my own rip to Coorg. Thanks for sharing.

Sayani said...

simply wow!!!great shots and wonderful narration
refreshing and natural....

Priyank said...

Lakshmi, the narrative is nice. Having a palace, temple, chapel, prison and a museum together - probably the only place on earth ;)

Dee Dee said...

Beautiful images and fascinating to hear your descriptions...and lovely glimpses into the history of your people and country...Best wishes for you as you continue on your journey Lakshmi

ceedy said...

thanks again for sharing and wonderful work....

Alok said...

Awesome pics and the post !!! I am really waiting for my next trip to this wonderful place.

Have a good day :)

AJEYA RAO said...

I think i missed going to the tomb. Well may be next time. I love the evening at the temple, its simply so serene atmosphere there.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Reminds me of my trip.Madikeri is a wonderful place.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Awesome shots once again :)

I simply loved the cathedral!

Aaarti said...

Wow, who would have thot a hare would chase wild dogs... amazing~~~

cool pics too... esp the one with the steps leading to the main building[with girl in blue n white standing in front reading something] the place looks so magestic~~

SloganMurugan said...

Love all the information you pack into the post.

Compassion Unlimitted said...

The pics beautifully reinforce the words you have penned..we are enjoying..Long hols ,you are lucky !


Lakshmi said...

Merisi - Thanks for dropping by. Im glad you enjoy reading about Indian history

Vishnu - The name "fantasies of a lifetime" is nice..the cultures and the traditions make every community and its history interesting

Wendy-Magical is the apt word to describe Coorg

Indrani - Ah ! wish I had a publisher..would love to get into that

Quakeboy -Welcome to backpakker and thanks for your feedback..Im glad you liked the blog..hoping to see you again

Celine - Kakkabe is where the nalknad palace, the iguthappa temples and the chinnathappa and pangalammai temples are..

Jeevan - Thanks..glad you enjoyed them

Mayz-Oh ! You guys must go..let me know if u need help for the convincing

Ropi-India has had many different dynasties looking over different parts..would love to know more about the history of your country

Gill -Thanks ..Thats the best part of Coorg..that it has so many different things to offer ..hope you have a great week

Sukku -Thanks for the encouraging words..a great week to you

Mridula - Glad it brought back time you are down south, it would be great to meet

Sayani -Thanks ..Coorg is picturesque..

Priyank - Ah ! thats quite a Coorg I guess :)by the way all government offices are located here

DeeDee-Thanks..Your wishes are with me as I move on to the next trail

Ceedy -Thanks ..:)

Alok - Hope you get to go there soon

Ajeya - Do go there next time..its quite serene too

Lakshmi - Welcome to backpakker and Im glad it brought back memories..hope to see you soon again

Sameera -Thanks ..:)

aaarti - Thanks..all these lores add to the beauty of the place..thats my friend in blue and white posing

Gopal -Thanks..actually its quite a bit of hard work, but I love it :)

CU -Thanks..the long hols which took longer to post was just three days in April