History of Coorg

Find Out Now, interesting facts you didn’t know about the HISTORY OF COORG?

How did Coorg (Kodagu) come into existence? Get to know about its history and origin of Kodavas

Coorg is situated at the base of the western ghats in south India. There are beautiful mountains and dense forests around the best place, as well as many streams flowing through it. The region receives torrential rains during the monsoon season, up to 300 inches in a year.

This supports a variety of wild animals, birds, and reptiles in the dense forest. It is mainly agricultural land, with paddy and cadmium being the most common crops.

Coorg is called as the piece of heaven descended from the heavenly kingdom. Everyone knows that this magnificent place is well known for its evergreen forests, strips, and coffee plantations, but it also has a rich history.

The origin of this tribe is not clearly known. There are more than 11 theories floating around which talk about foreign roots and the ancestry of Kodavas.

According to one such story, the Coorgis are descendants of the Greeks. In the course of Alexander’s invasion in India, a part of his army travelled to south India and was unable to return due to the difficult terrain.

So, they settled in what is now known as Coorg and mingled with the locals adopting their culture, food and tradition. Another story surmises possible Arab descent band on the kuppia or the long, black coat worn by the kodavas which is like the Arabic garment kuffia.

Kuffia is a long, back coat that also has a embroidered waist – belt worn by Kodavus, known as Kuppia. It resembles the ‘kuffia’ worn by the Arabs and the Kurds which shows the Arabic origin of the Kodava people.

Kodavas were the first farmers in Kodagu, living there for centuries. Like Chengalvas and Kongalvas, they were ruled by Nayakas and Palegaras in the past.The Kodavas are divided into four sub-groups: the “Kodagu Raja”, the “Kodagu Kota”, the “Kodagu Puttika” and the “Naduvatthi”.

Nowadays these are found in different parts of Kodagu. Following a contrasting lifestyle from their neighbours this tribe have a very handsome community with all that liberation and robustness. The kodavas are a league of their own.

The Kodava people are also known for their hospitality and bravery. The Coorg regiment has garnered the highest number of honors in the history of the Indian Army.

General Cariappa who was the first chief commander of the Indian Army born in Kodagu(Coorg). Till date Coorgis are the only people in India allowed to carry firearms.

Furthermore, Coorg is home to Mahseer – large freshwater fish as well kingfishers, squirrels, langurs, and elephants. It also offers different adventure sports like river rafting, canoeing, rock and mountain climbing,and rappelling or rope climbing down hills.

An Historical overview about the fusion of tradition and Culture of Coorg

Kodagu has been inhabited by a number of south Indian dynasties over the centuries. Here you can find detailed information about the development of Coorg.

The Coorg region was ruled for centuries by several South Indian dynasties, including the Kadambas, Gangas, Chalukyas, Cholas, Rastrakutas, Hoyasalas and the Vijayanagara Kingdom.

During the 9th and 10th centuries, the region’s history was recorded.  In the first centuries of the Common Era, Kodagu was ruled by the Chera dynasty.

During this time, a war broke out between the Cheras and their neighbors to the north, namely Cholas. This resulted in a treaty called “Thiru Jenthamizhchirai”, also known as Sivaganga Treaty, which delineated boundaries of both sides.

As per this treaty, Kalaburgi became part of Chola territory and Kodagu came to be ruled by the Cholas.In the early 16th century, Kodagu came under control of Vijayanagar Empire.

In the 11th century, the Cholas toppled the Ganga power and the Changalvas became tributaries of the Cholas. In Kodagu, Changalvas and Kongalvas were feudal lords who had a joint dynasty.

Raja Raja Chola ruled in Tanjavur. It was the time when the Changalvas continued to rule under Chola suzerainty.

In the 12 century, Local chieftains in the Chola kingdom rebelled against the Chola kings. Including the Alupas of Tulunad and the Changalvas of Kodagu.

But, it was the Hoysalas, who were in Belur, in Hassan district. They drove the Cholas from the Kannada area of Mysore and surrounding areas.

After becoming independent, the Chengalvas rejected the Hoyasala rule. Pemma Veerappa was the first king to carve the word “Kodagaru ” (Kodavas) on the stone asanas. He called the region Kodagu.

Bettarasa, the general of Hoysala King Ballala II, laid siege to Palpare Fort in 1174 AD. He then fought two battles against Changalva King Pemma Veerappa.

Pemma Veerappa defeated the Hoysalas in the first battle of the Palser war. But in the second, Bettarasa defeated the Coorgs and made them his subordinates.

When the Cholas were expelled from Mysore by the Hoysalas in the 12th century. Changalvas fought for independence. But they were subdued and became vassals of the Hoysala kings.

Vijayanagara ruled them after the Hoysalas fell in the 14th century. During this period, Nanja Raja founded the new Changalva. It was the capital of Nanjarajapatna at the beginning of the 16th century.

Raja George was deposed from power on 11 April 1834 by Colonel Fraser. And on 7th May the state was annexed to the East India Company’s territory as Coorg.

Having been deported to Vellore in 1852. The raja obtained permission to visit England with his favorite daughter, Gauramma. He wished to give a European education to her.

On the 30th of June, she was baptized. Queen Victoria is one of her patrons. After her baptism, she married a British officer. In 1863, Vira Raja passed away and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery.

The Coorg rebellion of 1837 is thought to be a rising of the Gaudas.

It was due to resentment over having to pay taxes in cash instead of kind. A man named Virappa pretended to have escaped the massacre of 1820 to assert his claim to be a raja. However, the people remained loyal to the British, and the attempt failed.

The Commissioner was responsible for managing it. He is subordinate to the Governor-General of India. And through the resident of Mysore, who was also the official chief commissioner of Coorg.

Coorg-The evolution of Scotland of India after Independence    

After India gained independence, Karnataka State was formed on linguistic basis; Kodagu was included in the southern region which comprised several districts known as South Kanara district.

In 1956, after merging most of the southern districts of Mysore State, Kodagu became part of Mysore State. The erstwhile Mysore state was divided between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on 1 November 1956 and Kodagu became part of Karnataka.

Kodagu is a region in South India which includes the districts Coorg, Hassan, Mandya and Tumkur. This state later became the modern state of Karnataka. As a consequence, Kodagu is now the proper name of the district.

Hence, Kodagu was divided into three districts : Madikeri (Mercera), somwarpet, and Virajpet.

The Coffee Capital of India with a brief history

The coffee plantation in Coorg has a long and glorious history. The coffee estate was first established by the British in 1801. The British East India Company planted coffee on the estate for the first time.

Coorg’s coffee has become a valuable commodity all over the world. It has become an integral part of the culture of Coorg, and is an important part of the livelihood of many people in the region.

It is exported to countries including the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia. Coorg’s coffee has a unique flavour which is due to the “Coffea Arabica” a variety of plant that grows in this region.

The beans are roasted dark then ground and roasted for a second time. It is said that Coorg’s coffee is best enjoyed with milk or cream and sugar in equal proportions.

The Indian Institute of Coffee Science claims these two processes produce “the world’s finest and most expensive coffee for the true connoisseur.

Lorali Gold Coffee Maura Tomkins, international coffee buyer for Starbucks and founder of Lorali Coffee Company, says that she tried out Coorg’s beans in 2005 and found that they were second to none.

The coffee grown in the region of Coorg is renowned for its taste and it is a popular beverage among the locals.

A new study reveals that there are various types of coffees that are found in the region of Coorg with extraordinary taste and texture. But the most popular ones are Robusta and Arabica.

Experience the beauty of life with the joyful festivals Coorg

Coorgians are known for their unique culture and colourful festivals. There are three major festivals celebrated in Coorg namely Kailpodhu, Kaveri Sankramana and Puttari.

Kailpodhu- It is the most famous festival of Coorg and it is celebrated on Navaratri. Kailpodhu means the day of Goddess Kailasamma.

This festival follows a special Vedic calendar which is different from the typical Hindu calendar, in that the dates of festivals change every year according to this traditional vedic calendar.

The date falls on Falguna Shukla Paksha tithi in Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) and Govinda Paksha (bright fortnight). The day is considered auspicious for beginning new ventures. The festival begins with the sunrise on the first day when people start aarti and prayers at their homes.

 It is believed that Goddess Kailasamma, who is the presiding deity of Coorg, comes to earth on this special day to bless her devotees and grant them wishes.

Kaveri Sankramana – One of the major festivals of the Coorgs is Kaveri Sankramana. It is a festival associated with the river Kaveri, which flows out of Talakaveri to flow through the district.

The town of Devikulam, about two kilometres from Talakaveri, is known for its temples and festivals. The festivities in Kaveri Sankramana are held from the last Saturday in Chaitra to the first Tuesday in Ashadh.

During this period a grand procession carrying a life-size image of Goddess Kaveri is taken out on every Monday night. As many as 45 million people visit the temple during this period.

Kaveri Sankramana is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of the Goddess Kaveri who has been considered as the goddess of renewal, life and water.

The festival is observed on Kaveri Amavasya (or Kaveri Purnima) which is on or around January 14 each year. It lasts for 10 days in all. People here strongly believe that the Goddess never stays in one place for too long and thus needs to be worshipped constantly. Coorg is also one of the best places to visit in Madikeri today for vacations with family and friends.

Puthari – It is Coorg’s traditional harvest festival. The word Puthari means new rice. It is either take place in November or early December.

The week of the festival, Coorgis prepares a grand meal that includes appams, puttu and kootu. The rice is boiled in large pots that are then decorated with flowers and leaves.

After the rice has been steamed, it is served to all those who have helped with the preparation. Keralites make Puthari special by adding a sweet dish called “kadala paaya”.

Experience thousand tastes in the cuisines of Coorg

The land of Coorg is renowned for its beautiful green landscape, unique culture, and delicious food. Here are some of the traditional foods from Coorg’s Cuisine.

Kadambuttu- It is a Steamed Rice Dumplings and one of the most loved dishes of coorg. The steamed rice dumpling is known as kadambuttu among the locals.

Kadambuttu is a popular and traditional dumpling from the Kannada region in India. Kadamba means both coconut and rice, hence the name kadambuttu which literally means rice and coconut dumpling.

The main ingredient for this dish is white glutinous rice flour balls that are steamed or cooked with little ghee (clarified butter) or oil before being wrapped up with grated coconut. It is a very famous dish amongst the locals as well as travellers.

Pandi Curry- The emblematic dish Of Coorg cuisine in High-Altitude, Low-Maintenance “Diet” Heating a pot of water, adding a handful of lentils, and cooking it for about 20 minutes on the stovetop makes this an easy meal to prepare with minimal effort but great flavor.

This fascinating dish is well served with Akki Otti, which is the staple breakfast in the region of Coorg.

To delight your palate you can also try these amazing dishes from the table of kodavas cuisines: Paputtu, Noolputtu, Baimbale Curry, Kummu Curry, Maange Curry and much more.

Relish the taste of these exquisite cuisines of Coorg and take a bite of the limitless delicious food served in Madikeri-Coorg and experience the place to its fullest.


Despite contemporary richness, Coorg is magnificent because of its rich history and the culture. There is a lot to love about Coorg. It’s a beautiful place with friendly people and a natural beauty that could only be explained by those living here and visiting here.