History of Chikkamagaluru
Chickmagalur district was called Kadur district till 1947. It is situated roughly in the south-western part of Karnataka state. A large area of this district is ‘malnad’, i.e., a largely forested hilly region of heavy rainfall. The district takes its name from the headquarters town of Chikkamagaluru which literally means younger daughter’s town – Chikka+Magala+Ooru-(in Kannada). It is said to have been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, the legendary chief of Sakrepatna. Another part of the town bestowed on the elder daughter is known as Hiremagalur. But some old inscriptions reveals that these two places were known as Kiriya-muguli and Piriya-muguli. Situated in a fertile valley south of the Baba-Budan hill range is the headquarters town of the district. A centre of education, trade and commerce. The town enjoys a salubrious climate and has venerated monuments of all religions- Kodandarama temple a synthesis of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture, Jamia Mosque and the new St.Jpseph’s Cathedral with an attractive shell shaped portico. Hiremagalur which is now part of Chickmgalaur town has an Ishwara temple with a 1.22 metre high curious rotund figure of Jademuni. The temple also has a Yoopastambha supposed to be installed by King Janamejaya during his serpent sacrifice. There is also a Parashurama temple and a Kali shrine.Administrative structure:- The Deputy Commissioner is the functional head of the District. There are various officials both at the district and at the taluk levels to assist him. They include Assistant Commissioners, Tahsildars, Deputy tashildars,Seristhedar, Revenue Inspector, Village Accountants, etc.
Location of Chikkamagluru District
The district is situated between 12° 54´ 42´´ and 13° 53´ 53´´ north latitude and between 75° 04´ 46´´ and 76° 21´ 50´´ east longitude. Its greatest length from east to west is about 138.4 kilometers and from north to south 88.5 kilometers. General boundaries are East – Tumakuru district ,South – Hassan district, West – Western Ghats which separates it from Dakhina Kannada (South Kanara), North – East : Chitradurga district, North – Shivamogga district.
Chikkamagaluru district has all this and more. Every little village or town has some story behind it and some jatra or festival is on throughout the year … it could be one of the fifty festivities celebrated during the year at Sri Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Dhakshinamnaya Mahasamsthanam Sri Sharada Peetha at Sringeri or Sri Renuka Jayanthi or Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Mahotsava at Rambha Puri Matha at Balehonnur. The Dassera Mahotsava of Mailaralingeswami of Birur where one can see the Dollu Kunitha and Veeragase, the thrilling and heroic folk dance of the area, the Urs at Baba-Budan Giri, the Girija Kalyana Mahotsava of Kalaseswaraswamy at Kalasa or the Veerabhadra Devara Rathotsava of Koppa. Or any of the annual festivals of local temples held in many of the villages and towns. Suggi habba or harvest festival is celebrated with great rejoicing in the rural parts and provides the rare opportunity of witnessing Kolata, Salu Kunitha, Suttu Kunitha, the Raja Kunitha and Fire walking too.
35 Kms north-east from Chikkamagaluru, is famous for the 17th century Lakshmikantha temple and the 13th century Siddeshwara temple.
44 Kms north-east of Chikkamagaluru town, has a cave associated with Nirvanaswami. The cave has an Ishwara Linga and is visited by scores of pilgrims.
Cradle of Coffee
It was at Baba-Budan Giri that the first ever coffee in the country was grown way back in 1670 A.D. Enterprising Europeans pioneered large scale coffee plantations in the district more than 150 years back and to this day the sylvan slopes are studded with coffee plantations. A walk among the coffee plants, especially during the flowering season ( March-April) when the air is full of the heady fragrance of coffee blossoms, is an experience to cherish. As a major coffee producer district also has coffee curing works where the raw coffee is dried, shelled, winnowed, graded and packed to be marketed. The district also houses the Central Coffee Research Institution formerly known as the Coffee Experimental Station started in 1925 under the stewardship of late Dr. Leslie C. Coleman. Now spread over an area of 119.86 hectares the institute conducts research to improve the quality of coffee.