Kodagu has been an independent or semi-independent kingdom through much of its known history. Its boundaries varied, often taking in some of the surrounding countries, especially toward the east. The modern district of Kodagu was incorporated into the state of Karnataka (then named Mysore) in 1956.

Kodagu, the land of enchanting natural beauty and heroes of unprecedented courage, the land of coffee and spices, dotted with fair-skinned men and women attired in colorful dress, brings to our memory a unique culture. But what is generally not known is the existence of inscriptions found in Kodagu which throw interesting light on the history of this tiny district. About 100 inscriptions both on copper plates and stones have been found in this district. When Lewis Rice, an Englishman became the Director of Archaeology, he was invited by foreign coffee planters of Coorg to visit their area and discover inscriptions and they provided the required help for this work. Thus Rice laid firm foundations for the study of inscriptions in Kodagu.

In 1876, when a Journal titled "Indian Antiquary" was inaugurated, Lewis Rice published an article on the Mercara copper plate inscription. Subsequently, he published a book titled "Mysore and Coorg from inscriptions". Now all these inscriptions are put together under the title "Epigraphia Carnatica", volume I (1972).