Madikeri Fort, also known as Mercara Fort, is a historic landmark in Coorg, a hill station in Karnataka. It is one of the oldest forts in the state, dating back to the 17th century. It was built by Mudduraja, the king of Coorg, and later renovated by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, and the British. The fort has witnessed many battles and changes of power, and reflects the rich history and culture of Coorg. Today, the fort houses the office of the Deputy Commissioner, a museum, a church, a temple, and a prison. Visit during Coorg One day tour By cab
Location of Madikeri Fort
Madikeri Fort is located in Madikeri town, the headquarters of Coorg district. It is about 265 km from Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, and about 120 km from Mysore, another major city in the state. Coorg is well connected by road and rail to other parts of Karnataka and India. You can reach Coorg by taking a bus, train, or car from Bengaluru or Mysore.
From Coorg, you can hire a taxi or a two-wheeler to reach Madikeri Fort. The fort is situated on a hilltop in the center of the town, and is easily accessible by road. Alternatively, you can also take a local jeep or an auto-rickshaw that will take you to the fort.
Timing/Entry Fees Madikeri Fort
Madikeri Fort is open for visitors throughout the year, from 10 am to 5:30 pm. It is closed on Mondays. There is no entry fee for visiting the fort. However, you may have to pay a nominal fee for parking your vehicle near the fort.
How to Reach Madikeri Fort
There are two ways to reach Madikeri Fort: by road or by walking.
- By road: You can drive up to the fort, which is about 25 km from Coorg town. The road passes through scenic landscapes of hills, forests, and coffee estates. You can enjoy the drive and stop at some of the viewpoints along the way.
- By walking: You can also walk up to the fort from Madikeri town, which is about 2 km away. The walk is uphill and may take about 30 minutes to complete. The walk offers a glimpse of the local life and culture of Madikeri.
Things to Do/Must See Madikeri Fort
Madikeri Fort has a lot to offer for visitors of all ages and interests. Here are some of the things you can do and see at this amazing destination.
- Explore the fort: The fort is spread over an area of about 30 acres and has two entrances: one on the east and one on the west. The east entrance has two stone elephants that welcome you to the fort. The west entrance has a clock tower that was added by the British in 1933. The fort has two bastions: one on the north-east corner and one on the south-east corner. The fort also has a moat that surrounds it on all sides.
- Visit the museum: The museum is located inside the fort, in a building that was once a church built by the British in 1855. The museum displays various artifacts and weapons that belong to different periods of Coorg’s history. The museum also has a large portrait of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, who was born in Coorg and became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
- Visit the temple: The temple is located inside the fort, in a building that was once a palace built by Mudduraja in 1681. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, who is worshipped as Kote Maha Ganapathi here. The temple is one of the main attractions during Madikeri Dasara festival, when it is decorated with lights and flowers.
- Visit the prison: The prison is located inside the fort, in a building that was once a court built by Tipu Sultan in 1784. The prison was used to detain political prisoners and criminals during Tipu Sultan’s and British’s rule. The prison has several cells and dungeons that give you an idea of how life was for the prisoners.
Nearby Tourist Attractions Madikeri Fort
Madikeri Fort is not the only attraction in Coorg district. There are many other places to visit and explore in this region. Some of them are:
- Raja’s Seat: This is a scenic spot that offers panoramic views of the hills and valleys of Coorg. It was once a favorite place for the kings of Coorg to watch sunsets and enjoy nature’s beauty. It has a garden with flowers and fountains that add to its charm.
- Abbey Falls: This is a spectacular waterfall that is located about 8 km from Madikeri town. It is one of the most popular attractions in Coorg, attracting nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The waterfall plunges from a height of about 70 feet into a pool below. The water is cold and refreshing, and is ideal for swimming and playing.
- Omkareshwara Temple: This is a Hindu temple that is located about 1 km from Madikeri town. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Omkareshwara here. The temple was built by Lingarajendra II in 1820, and has a unique architecture that combines Islamic and Gothic styles. The temple also has a pond that has many fish in it.
Significance of Madikeri Fort
Madikeri Fort is not just a tourist spot, but also a place of historical and cultural significance. It is one of the oldest forts in Karnataka, dating back to the 17th century. It was built by Mudduraja, the king of Coorg, who also built a palace inside the fort. It was later renovated by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, who gave it the name of Jaffarabad. He also built a court and a prison inside the fort. The fort was then taken over by the British, who added a church and a clock tower to it. The fort has witnessed many battles and changes of power, and reflects the rich history and culture of Coorg.
Q: What is the best time to visit Madikeri Fort?
A: The best time to visit Madikeri Fort is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and dry. However, if you want to see the fort in its greenest form, you can also visit during monsoon, from June to September, when it is lush green and misty.
Q: What are the things to carry for the visit?
A: You should carry comfortable clothes and shoes, water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, jackets, torches, first aid kit, and camera for the visit.
Q: Is there any accommodation available near the fort?
A: There are no hotels or resorts near the fort. However, you can find many options for accommodation near Madikeri town. You can choose from luxury resorts, budget hotels, or homestays according to your preference and budget.
Q: Is there any food available near the fort?
A: There are no restaurants or cafes near the fort. However, you can find some small shops or stalls that sell tea, coffee, snacks, and fruits near the fort or along the road.
Madikeri Fort is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves history and culture. It offers a unique experience of visiting an ancient fort that has seen many rulers and wars. It also has a museum, a church, a temple, and a prison that showcase different aspects of Coorg’s heritage. It also has a scenic location that offers stunning views of the hills and valleys of Coorg. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Madikeri Fort today and enjoy a memorable vacation with your loved ones.