Raja’s Of Coorg:
Raja’s Of Coorg:
The Rajas of coorg ruled the area for hundred years from about 1633 to 1834 A.D., first from the capital at Haleri and then from Mercara. There are a large number of records such as letters, correspondence and the account of contemporary foreign writers as also the work,’ Rajendranama’ a histoty of coorg compiled under the supervision of Virarajendra-vadeyr 1 in 1808 A.D., for enumerating the history of this period. But the epigraphical source is very scanty. For a period of two hundred years of their reign. There are not more than twenty five inscription in all. Still, these inscription supply some important data for writing the history of coorg under the Rajas.
The Rajas of coorg claim to belong to Chandravamsa or Lunar race, Bharadvaja-gotra, Asvalayana- sutra, and Rik- sakha and were the followers of Virasaiva religion. Instead of Rik-sakha, the earlier rcords such as Nos. 29,31,32,63, etc. mention Rikshabhanukadhyaya. The title they assumed were rajadhiraja, rajaparameswara, praudha-pratapa, apratima- vira- narapati and seated on the jeweled throne of the kodagu- samthana. In some of the later inscriptions, of lingarajendra- vadeyar 11 and Virarajendra-vadeyar 11 (Nos. 3,9,11 etc.), the following additional titles are also found; Kshiranagara- Madhya- paribhrajamana- manigana- khachita-charu-vaabhava-sameta sakala-digantarala- vidyottama- samana kirti- prakhyata, samasta- prasasta- rajadharmavadharana-Yudhi- shthira and maharaja.
As they began their rule over the kingdom of coorg from Haleri, they are known as Haleri kings and even the later kings, who had their seat at Marcara , describe themselves as seated on the illustrious, jeweled and beautiful throne in the ancient Kshiranagara i.e., Haleri. Their earlier inscriptions are generally dated in the Salivahana Saka, whereas in the laler inscriptions both the saka and the kaliyuga years are mostly mentioned side by side. The inscriptions from the time of Lingaraja 11 have another peculiarity viz., in addition to the particulars of data given in the usual manner, they even mention the precise number of the day of the kaliyuga. For example, Nos 9 and 11 inform us that the erection of the Omkaresvra temple was commenced on the 1796392nd kali day and completed on 1797421st day. Similary, No 8 mention 1794663rd Kali day as the commencement of the construction of the palace at Mercara and 1795433rd kali day of its completion.
The earliest record of the Rajas of coorg so far discovered is No.40 which is dated 13th February, 1730 A.D. Il is the record of a grant made for the services of the god Mnjunatha of kuduma by Haleri virappa- vadeyar. This virappa vadeyar must be Dodd- virappa, son of Mudduraja I, who ruled from 1687 to 1736 A.D. No title of the king are mentioned in the record. Thought he was rulling from mercara to which place his father Mudduraja had shifted his hedquarters in 1681 according to Rjendranama, he is addressed in the present inscriptions Haleri Virappa- vadeyar. The grant consisted of Heggadahalli aand Sirangala along with their twenty nine hamlets granted as sarvamanya. Kuduma appears to be the same as kanive, about a kilometer from Heggadahalli where there is an old Siva temple which is noted for its sanctity. No. 41 though not dated, belongs to the same date as that of the previous one and records that the trisula and dmaru carved below the inscription, are the symbols of the god Manjunatha of kuduma. The same figures are found carved below the inscription No.40.
Though No. 40 of 1730 A.D. is the earliest record of Dobba- Virappa, there is a reference in a later record, No 63, to a grant mare by him in 1728 A.D. It is a copper plate grant issued by Virarajendra-vadeyar1 renewing the grant of two villages previously made by Dodda- virappa-vadeyar his grant father’s elder brother to Abbimathe near Yediur. This is an important Virasaiva matha established and endowed by Dobba-virappa. The mathe Is situated in a picturesque valley with a small stream rushing down from a rocky eminence by its side.
There are two inscriptions at Madapura recording the death of Lingarajendra 1. No.31 is on the metallic flag fixed on the top of the finial of his Samadhi. This has a seal with the letter ‘vi’ at the centre and the kali years 4881, the year of Lingarajendra’s death, engraveed below it. No. 29 is on the front wall of the same Samadhi. Lingarajendra I died on 29th February, 1779 A.D. and in accordance with his son Virarajendra- vadeyar erected his tomb in Mahadevapura (now Madapura in Somavarapet Taluk), built a temple over it and consecrated Basavesvara on the Samadhi. He also built a matha of the Murig sect and endowed it with certain villages. No.29 furnishes the construction of the temple began on 10th November, 1780 A.D. and was completed on 23rd April, 1782 A.D.