Madikeri (maDikEri) (ಮಡಿಕೇರಿ) is now the head quarters of koDagu district in South Karnataka. It was called Mercara by the British rulers. This was once the capital of an independent kingdom. Situated at a distance of 121 kilometers towards west of Mysore at a height 0f 1189 meters, Madikeri is the nucleus of a unique ethnic culture with its own language and literature.

Madikeri was built in 1681, by muddurAja a king of the hAlEri dynasty. The word maDikEri is derived from ‘muddurAja kEri’. (The habitat of mudduraaja) The earthen fort built during this period was demolished and replaced by a strong hexagonal fort of granite by Tipu Sultan. It was renamed as Jaffarabad by him. This was further renovated by the British rulers and Lingarajendra Odeyar. It contains a palace built by Lingaraaja-2 and an Anglican church built in Gothic style, (1855 A.D.) The palace built in European style contains a number of colour paintings. There are two life size masonry elephants In the north-east corner at the entrance.

The OnkArEShvara temple built by Lingaraajeendra in an architectural style which is a combination of Hindu and Islamic elements is an important land mark in Madikeri. A huge central dome surrounded by four smaller ones standing on separate minarets is very attractive. Each dome is topped by a metallic kaLasha. There is a small pond at the center.

Madikeri houses two tombs of architectural importance. These brick and mortar structures entombing VIrarAjEndra oDeya and lingarAjEndra oDeya have beautiful bronze carvings on their windows.


Further Readings and Links:

1. (A structure near the Omkareshvara Temple )

2. (Temple another view)


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