1633-1834 AD

the Ikkeri Arasu dynasty

Kodagu, however, was not absorbed into Mysore, which was hard-pressed by other enemies, and a prince of the Ikkri or Bednur family (perhaps related to the Changalvas) succeeded in bringing the whole country under his sway, his descendants continuing to be Rajas of Kodagu till 1834. The capital was removed in 1681 by Muddu Raja to Madikeri (Mercara). In 1770 a disputed succession led to the intervention of Hyder Ali of Mysore in favor of Linga Raja, who had fled to him for help, and whom he placed on the throne on his consenting to cede certain territories and to pay tribute. On Linga Raja's death in 1780 Hyder Ali interned his sons, who were minors, in a fort in Mysore, and, under pretense of acting as their guardian, installed a governor at Mercara with a Muslim garrison. In 1782, however, the Kodavas rose in rebellion and drove out the Mysore troops. Two years later Tipu Sultan reduced the country; but the Kodavas having again rebelled in 1785, vowed their destruction. Having secured some 10,000 of them, he drove them to Seringapatam, where he had them circumcised by force. Kodagu was partitioned among Muslim proprietors and held down by garrisons in four forts. In 1788, however, Vira Raja (or Vira Rajendra Wodeyar), with his wife and his brothers Linga Raja and Appaji, succeeded in escaping from his captivity, at Periapatam and, placing himself at the head of a Kodava rebellion, succeeded in driving the forces of Tipu out of the country. The British, who were about to enter on the struggle with Tipu, now made a treaty with Vira Raja; and during the war that followed the Kodavas proved invaluable allies. By the treaty of peace Kodagu, though not adjacent to the British East India Company!!!s territories, was included in the cessions forced upon Tipu. On the spot where he had first met the British commander, General Abercromby, the raja founded the city of Virarajendrapet (this is now usually called Virajpet).

Vira Raja, who, in consequence of his mind becoming unhinged, was guilty towards the end of his reign of hideous atrocities, died in 1809 without male heirs, leaving his favorite daughter Devammji as rani. His brother Linga Raja, however, after acting as regent for his niece, announced in 1811, his own assumption of the government. He died in 1820, and was succeeded by his son Vira Raja, a youth of twenty, and a monster of sensuality and cruelty. Among his victims were all the members of the families of his predecessors, including Devammji. At last, in 1832, evidence of treasonable designs on the raja!!!s part led to inquiries on the spot by the British resident at Mysore, as the result of which, and of the raja!!!s refusal to amend his ways, a British force marched into Kodagu in 1834.