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I felt like I belong there
I am heading to Madikeri
History of Madikeri
The anglicised name of Madikeri, the headquarters of Kodagu (Coorg) district was Mercara. The name originates from the term ‘Muddu Raja Keri’, which means the town of Muddu Raja, an erstwhile ruler of the region. The Hoysalas, Pandyas, Cholas, and Kadambas have all ruled over Coorg at some time in history. However, during the war with Tippu, the locals chose to side with the British and remained under British rule until Indian Independence.
People and Culture of Madikeri
The Coorgis consider themselves the children of the River Cauvery and worship her. Their language is an amalgamation of Tulu, Kannada, Tamil, and Malayalam. The traditional dress of the locals is unique and is worn on festivals and special occasions such as weddings. The Coorgis consider themselves a martial race and most families have at least one member serving in the country’s armed forces. ‘Kail Podhu’, ‘Kaveri Sankramana’, ‘Puttari’, and ‘Dasara’ are some of their festivals.
Things to Do in Madikeri
Situated at an altitude of 3,838 feet, Madikeri has a pleasant climate all year round. Winters can get chilly with temperatures dropping down to the single digits. This makes it a popular tourist destination all year round with throngs not being unusual at the places to see in Madikeri. Raja’s Seat is one of the famous places in Madikeri. It is a garden with beautiful landscaping and fountains that offer a great view of the sunset. The 17th century Madikeri Fort was built by Mudduraja and houses a Ganesha Temple on its premises. Abbi Falls is one of the best places to visit in Madikeri.
Omkareshwara Temple, St. Mark’s Church, Bhagamandala, and Dubare Elephant Camp are some other Madikeri attractions that are easily accessible. There are also plenty of outdoor activities that figure among the list of things to do in Madikeri such as trekking, hiking, coffee plantation tours, and coracle rides.
Food and Shopping in Madikeri
The food options available to tourists on a Madikeri sightseeing trip are plentiful. From pure vegetarian fare to exotic and authentic non-vegetarian Coorgi cuisine, the choices are many. The famous ‘Pandi curry’ is a must for non-vegetarians while ‘Kuru curry’ and ‘Noolputtu’ are not to be missed by vegetarians on a trip to Madikeri.
Coffee powder or coffee beans are something that many visitors take home after sightseeing in Madikeri and nearby places. Honey, spices, and homemade chocolates are some of the other things you might want to shop for. These are available at most Madikeri tourist places.
Accommodation in Madikeri
The issue of how to reach Madikeri is not a very complex one. Travelling by road is the only option to get to Madikeri places to visit. The nearest airports are at Mysore (130 km) and Mangalore (140 km). The closest railway stations are at Hassan, Kasargod, Kannur, and Thalassery, which are almost equidistant from Madikeri at a 100-odd km. Many bus operators, private and government connect Madikeri to all these cities as well as Bangalore. Plenty of accommodation is available in hotels in Madikeri, which range from the super luxurious to budget. Guesthouses, home stays, resorts, eco-lodging, cottages, and villas are just some of the options available to visitors on a Madikeri tour.