Coorg or Kodagu as it is officially known is one of the tiniest district in the southern part of Karnataka covering an area of 4,104 Sq Km.
Coorg was a state, before its merger with Karnataka in the year 1956, with an elected chief minister and The Legislative Assembly. At present it is a part of Mangalore Lok Sabha Parliament Constituencyand three MLAs [One each from Mercara, Virajpet and Somwarpet] are elected from Coorg to Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Coorg consists of three taluks or administrative units viz Madikeri or Mercara, the District Head Quarters, Virajpet and Somvarpet. Coorg borders Mysore district to its east, Dakshina Kannada district on the west, Hassan district in the north and the sate of Kerala to the south.
The largest river here, River Cauvery, which the local people worship, rises on the eastern side of the Western Ghats. Its tributaries drain the greater part of Coorg. Besides these there are several large streams that take their rise in Coorg.
Coorg is the largest producer of Coffee in India. Pepper, Cardamom and oranges are grown extensively in this part. Coorg is one of the major places that get heavy rainfall in India. The yearly rainfall may exceed 160”. In the dense jungle tract it reaches from 120” to 150”; in. the bamboo district in the west from 60” to 100”. Coorg, which is blessed with thick forest shelters Sandal wood, Rose wood and numerous variety of trees.
The loftiest peak, Tadiandamol, has an altitude of 5729 ft.; Pushpagiri, another peak, is 5626 ft. high. Coorg has an average temperature of about 60 F; the extremes being 52 and 82. Coorg holds a Guinness record for the largest family sports tournament in the world. Every year the kodava families play each other for the Family Cup and over 300 family teams participate in it. Some of the teams even include women players, who have the choice to play either for their husband or their father’ team. All the participants aging from 6 to 60 are related by blood. Climatically, Coorg can be divided into three seasons,
Climatically, Coorg can be divided into three seasons:
- Winter Season : December To February
- Summer Season : March To May
- Rainy Season : June To November
History of origin:Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means 'dense forest on steep hill'. Coorg, dubbed as the Scotland of India, lies on the Western Ghats.
There are many versions behind the origin of the name Kodagu. According to the Puranas, Kodava is the redifned name of Krodhadesa, meaning 'Land of Anger', said to have been inhabited by the Kodava tribe.
While for some, it is believed to hve been named after the River Cauveri, where 'kod' means 'give' and 'ava' means 'mother' - which means Cauvery is the 'mother to the people'. Few believe the name originated from the Kannada kudu which means 'dense forest' on a steep hill. It is said that the history of Coorg dates back to as early as 888 AD.
The kingdom was ruled by many dynasties, starting with Gangas of Talakad, Kadambas, Cholas, Kongalvas, Changalvas, Hoysalas and Nayakas. Information on its early history has come primarily from the various inscriptions on stone and copper plates of 9th - 10th century.
The Haleri dynasty was the last noteworthy dynasty to rule the whole of Kodagu. It came into power around mid-16th century and was founded by a young price from Ikkeri. It was the first dynasty in the history of Kodagu, whch spanned 234 years and ruled the entire region.
Among the major towns, Madikeri is the district capital. It is also called as the 'Scotland of India' and ' The Kashmir of Karnataka'. It is blend with romantic early morning mist, lofty mountains, the picturesque scene, and eye catching waterfalls. It is one of the best place to relax and attracts lakhs of people from all over across the seasonl.