Must Visit

Madikeri Fort

3.5 / 5 56 votes


Time Required: 1-2 hrs


10:00 AM - 5:30 PM (closed on Monday)

Entry Fee:

No entry fee

Madikeri Fort, Madikeri Overview

The Madikeri Fort is a famous historical landmark that is located in Coorg in Karnataka in the southern part of India. Situated in the centre of the town of Madikeri, the majestic fort continues to stand in all its glory till date. It offers tourists with insights and information about the bygone era and indeed bears testimony to the history of Coorg and all that the town witnessed. The elevated structures of the fort also provide panoramic views of the town, which is undoubtedly breathtaking and beautiful. It cannot be argued that the Madikeri Fort is the most famous and most loved tourist attraction in Coorg, which is precisely why tourists enjoy visiting the attraction time and again. 

This ancient fort was first constructed in the latter half of the seventeenth century by Muddu Raja, who was the king at that time, on the occasion of declaring Madikeri as the new capital of Coorg. The possession of this fort passed through various hands after it was captured by Tipu Sultan. Consequently, there occurred significant changes in the structure and design of the fort as well, the most major ones being made by the British. Presently, the Madikeri Fort houses the office of Madikeri's Deputy Commissioner, as well as other objects of interest to the visitors. These include life-sized elephants at the entrance, a museum, important artefacts and portraits.

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The then king of Coorg, Muddu Raja, constructed the Madikeri Fort in the second half of the 17th century when Madikeri was declared as the new capital of Coorg. He also built a palace inside the main structure, and the fort had been constructed as a mud structure. Tipu Sultan then captured the fort, ordered that the entire structure be rebuilt in granite, and named the site as Jaffarabad.

In 1790, Dodda Vira Rajendra took control of the Madikeri Fort. Linga Rajendra Wodeyar II again renovated the edifice during the years 1812 and 1814. Finally, it went into the hands of the British, who suggested some changes to the primary structure. The majestic fort initially housed a temple of Virabhadra, which was removed to make space for the construction of an Anglican Church. This church was known as the St. Marks Church and was built in the year 1855 in the Gothic style of architecture, complete with stained glass windows.

The Madikeri Fort is an excellent example of spectacular architectural designs and styles of construction. Two replicas of elephants, life-size and in stone, can be found in the north-east corner of the fort complex, as soon as one enters the fort. The structure of the palace inside the fort is a massive and spacious one. It is 110 feet in length and comprises of two storeys in all. In 1933, the British added a giant clock tower in the fort while they were making changes to the structure. A porch to safely park the commissioner's car was also built. A sculpture of a tortoise, with the initials of King Vijayarajendra, etched on it can also be found at the Madikeri Fort.

The magnanimous fort has a small square mandapa in it, which has been built out of stone and which has been adorned further by its beautiful surroundings. It is believed that this mandapa was the favourite spot for relaxation of the kings who previously resided in the fort. Since the mandapa stands on the high-level ground, it provides magnanimous views of the surrounding areas to the west and usually appeals to all visitors. The mighty fort is believed to possess a few secret passageways and paths as well, and this adds to the mystery which intrigues visitors.

Several attractions catch the attention of the people who visit the Madikeri Fort. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the fort is the Church-turned-museum, which is located within the compound. Known as the St. Marks church, it was raised by the officers of the East India Company, and the Government of Madras funded the building. After the country attained independence, the church was shut down, and the Government of Madras took control of it in 1971. It was later on converted into a museum.

Today, the fort houses the Madikeri Fort Museum, which is looked after by the Karnataka State Archaeological Department. The museum comprises of several items that have historical connections, in particular with the British era, such as the portrait of Kodagu's eminent personality, Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa. It also preserves ancient artefacts and antique items that are connected to the fort.

Apart from the Madikeri Fort Museum, the Madikeri Fort houses other places of interest, such as the District Prison, the Kote Maha Ganapathi Temple and the Mahatma Gandhi Public Library. The Kote Maha Ganapathi temple is considered to be the most ancient part of the fort and is the most visited one too.

Since the Madikeri Fort is located in the centre of the town of Madikeri, it can easily be reached by any means of public transport from almost anywhere in the entire town.

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