Kodagu (also known by its former name Coorg) is an administrative district in the Karnataka state of India. Before 1956, it was an administratively separate Coorg State,
at which point it was merged into an enlarged Mysore State. It occupies an area of in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka. In 2001 its population was 548,561, 13.74% of which resided in the district's urban centre, making it the least populous of the 30 districts in Karnataka.The nearest railway stations are Mysore Junction, located around 95 km away and Thalassery and Kannur in Kerala, at a distance of 79 km. The nearest airports are Kannur International Airport in Kerala (59 km from Kodagu) and Mangalore International Airport (116 km from Kodagu).
Kodagu is located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats
. It has a geographical area of .
The district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada district to the northwest, Hassan district
to the north, Mysore district
to the east, Kasaragod
district of Kerala in west and Kannur district
to the southwest, and Wayanad district
of Kerala to the south. It is a hilly district, the lowest elevation of which is above sea-level. The highest peak, Tadiandamol
, rises to , with Pushpagiri, the second highest, at . The main river in Kodagu is the Kaveri
(Cauvery), which originates at Talakaveri
, located on the eastern side of the Western Ghats, and with its tributaries, drains the greater part of Kodagu.
The district is divided into the three administrative Tehsil
Two members of the legislative assembly are elected from Kodagu to the Karnataka
Legislative Assembly, one each from the Madikeri
. Appachu Ranjan
represents the Madikeri constituency while K. G. Bopaiah represents the Virajpet constituency; they are from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Kodagu, formerly part of the Kodagu-Dakshina Kannada (Mangalore) constituency, is now part of the Mysore Lok Sabha
parliamentary constituency. The current MP for this constituency is Pratap Simha
, from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Codava National Council and Kodava Rashtriya Samiti are campaigning for autonomy to Kodagu district.
The Kodava people
were the earliest inhabitants and agriculturists in Kodagu, having lived there for centuries. Being a warrior community as well, they carried arms during times of war and had their own chieftains. The Haleri dynasty, an offshoot of the Keladi Nayakas, ruled Kodagu between 1600 and 1834. Later the British ruled Kodagu from 1834, after the Coorg War
, until India's independence in 1947. A separate state (called Coorg State
) until then, in 1956 Kodagu was merged with the Mysore State (now Karnataka
Coorg in British India
In 1834, the East India Company annexed Kodagu into British India
, after deposing Chikka Virarajendra of the Kodagu kingdom, as 'Coorg'. The people accepted British rule peacefully. British rule led to the establishment of educational institutions, introduction of scientific coffee cultivation, better administration and improvement of the economy.
According to the 2011 census of India, Kodagu has a population of 554,519, roughly equal to the Solomon Islands
or the US state of Wyoming
This ranks it 539 out of 640 districts in India in terms of population. The district has a population density of . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 1.13%. Kodagu has a sex ratio of 1019 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 82.52%.
Kodava language is the spoken language native to Kodagu. Are Bhashe, a dialect of Kannada language, is native to Sulya in Dakshina Kannada. Both use Kannada script for literature.
[K S Rajyashree, Kodava speech community : An ethnolinguistic study] According to Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy (Karnataka's Kodava Literary Academy), apart from Kodavas, and their related groups, the Amma Kodavas, the Kodava Peggade (Kodagu Heggade) and the Kodava Maaple (Maaple), 18 other smaller-numbered ethnic groups speak Kodava Takk in and outside the district including the Iri ( Airi, or the carpenters and the village smiths), the Koyava, the Banna, the Kodagu Madivala (washermen), the Kodagu Hajama (barber, also called Nainda), the Kembatti Holeya (household servants and labourers) and the Meda (basket and mat weavers and drummers). Less frequent are Tulu speakers , Mogaveeras, Bunts, Goud Saraswat Brahmins.
Other Kodava speakers
Among other Kodava speaking communities are: the Heggades
, cultivators from Malabar; the Kodava Nair
, 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 settled in Yedenalknad (Virajpet). All these groups speak the Kodava language
and conform generally to Kodava customs and dress.
Kodagu Aarebashe Gowda people
The Arebhashe gowdas,
or Kodagu Gowdas
, and Tulu Gowdas, are an ethnic group of Dakshina Kannada
and Kodagu. They live in Sulya (in Dakshina Kannada) and in parts of Somwarpet, Kushalanagar, Bhagamandala and Madikeri. They speak a language known as Arebhashe a dialect of Kannada
. Guddemane Appaiah Gowda along with many other freedom fighters from different communities revolted against the British Empire
in an armed struggle which covered entire Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada. This was one of the earliest freedom movements against the British
[South Kanara, 1799–1860 By N. Shyam Bhatt]
( Amara Sulya Dhange
formally called the 'Coorg Rebellion' by the British) started in 1837.
[http://www.thehindu.com/2004/10/31/stories/2004103102280300.htm] [http://www.hindu.com/2005/05/19/stories/2005051901540300.htm] [http://www.deccanherald.com/content/316458/account-uprising.html] [http://www.deccanherald.com/content/316455/fate-insurgents.html]
Muslims and Christians
A huge minority of Muslims dot the Coorg district, especially the towns of Kushalanagar
. A sizeable of them are the
who shifted in the eighties from Bhatkal
in order to pursue coffee & arecanut plantations and textile business. The numerous mosque dotting the landscape is the testimony of Muslim presence in the district.
A small number of Mangalorean Catholics are also found in Coorg. They are mostly descended from those Konkani Catholics who fled the roundup and, later, captivity by Tippu Sultan. These immigrants were welcomed by Raja Veerarajendra (himself a former captive of Tippu Sultan, having escaped six years of captivity in 1788) who realising their usefulness and expertise as agriculturists, gave them lands and tax breaks and built a church for them.
[ Sarasvati's Children: A History of the Mangalorean Christians, Alan Machado Prabhu, I.J.A. Publications, 1999, p. 229]
Kodagu is rated as one of the top hill station destinations in India. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Kodagu include Talakaveri, Bhagamandala, Nisargadhama, Abbey Falls
, Nagarahole National Park,
Talakaveri is the place where the River Kaveri originates.
[http://des.kar.nic.in/sites/ANNUAL%20RAINFALL%202014.pdf] The temple on the riverbanks here is dedicated to Lord Brahma, and is one of only two temples dedicated to Brahma in India and Southeast Asia. Bhagamandala is situated at the Sangama (confluence) of two rivers, the Kaveri and the Kannika. A third river, the Sujyothi, is said to join from underground, and hence this spot is called the Triveni Sangama. Iruppu Falls is a sacred Kodagu Hindu spot in South Kodagu in the Brahmagiri hill range. The Lakshmana Tirtha River, with the waterfalls, flows nearby and has a Rameshwara temple on its banks. It is said that this sacred river was created when Laxmana, prince of Ayodhya and younger brother of Lord Rama, shot an arrow into nearby hill, the Brahmagiri hill. Chelavara falls and Thadiandamol peak are also in South Kodagu. Nagarahole is a national park and wildlife resort.
Madikeri is the capital of the district and Raja's Seat park is popular with tourists.
[http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/19/Madikeri.html] Kootu Poley dam is also popular among tourists. Omkareshwara Temple is a beautiful temple built in the Indo-Sarcenic style in Coorg. A legend is associated with the temple, built by Lingarajendra II in 1820 CE. The king put to death a pious Brahmin who dared to protest against his misdeeds. The spirit of the dead man began to plague the king day and night. On the advice of wise men, the king built this temple and installed a Shivalinga procured from Kashi, North India. St. Mark's Church is located within the Madikeri Fort and was raised in 1859, by the officers and men of the East India Company. The building was funded by the Government of Madras, and placed under the Church of England in India, Diocese of Madras. The Church was closed after Indian independence, and taken over by the Government of Karnataka in 1971. The building now houses the Madikeri Fort Museum, managed by the Karnataka State Archaeological Department.
Dubare is mainly an elephant-capturing and training camp of the Forest Department at the edge of Dubare forest; on the bank of the river Kaveri along the Kushalanagara – Siddapura road.
Nisargadhama is a man-made island and picnic spot near Kushalanagara, formed by the river Kaveri. The Tibetan Buddhist Golden Temple is at Bylakuppe near Kushalnagara (Mysore district), in the Tibetan refugee settlement.
Abbey Falls is a scenic waterfall 5 km from Madikeri. Mallalli falls is 25 km from Somawarapet, downhill of the Pushpagiri hills.
[http://www.newskarnataka.com/nature/abbey-falls-a-tourists-delight] Mandalapatti is 28 km from Madikeri. On the way to Abbey Falls, before 3 km from Abbey Falls take right, from there 25 km. Kote Betta temple, Kote Abbey falls are also in North Kodagu. Abbi waterfall and other are best during monsoon season, typically some days after it starts raining in June up to the end of rainy season, while there is more water gushing in the streams and rivers.
Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa, first Indian C-in-C, Indian High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand
General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya, head of Indian Army, chairman of Korean Repatriation Committee, head of UN Peacekeeping force
C. B. Muthamma, first woman Indian Foreign Service officer
M. P. Ganesh, Indian hockey captain, player and coach
K. G. Bopaiah, 18th Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly
Prema Cariappa, first woman Mayor of Bangalore, Rajya Sabha MP
Prema, Indian Actress.
Robin Uthappa, Indian Cricketer.
Rohan Bopanna, Indian tennis player.
Ashwini Ponnappa, Indian badminton player.
Rashmika Mandanna, South-Indian Actor
Belliappa, C. P. Tale of a Tiger's Tail & Others Yarns from Coorg. English.
Belliappa, C. P. Victoria Gowramma. English.
Bopanna, P. T. Kodagu: Mungaru Maleya Vismayada Nadu/ Discover Coorg. Kannada/ English.
Bopanna, P. T. Coorg State: Udaya-Pathana / Coorg State. Kannada/ English.
Ganapathy, B. D. Kodagu mattu Kodavaru. Kannada. 1962.
Ganapathy, B. D. Nanga Kodava. Kodava. 1973.
Murphy, Devrala. On a Shoestring to Coorg.
N Prabhakaran. Kutaku kurippukal (Coorg Notes). Kannur: Kairali Books.