There’s more to Madikeri than the coffee plantations! Head to the hill town to witness the grand Dussehra, or as the locals call it – Dasara festival. Celebrated with great fervour across Coorg, Madikeri’s Dasara is one of the festivals that tops the celebrations. The festival has a history of over 100 years and is celebrated for 10 days, starting off on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya with Kargas from 10 Mariamma Temples. Kundurumotte Sri Chowti Mariamma, Kote Mahaganapathy temple, Kanchi Kamakshi, Kote Mariamma, ete Sri Rama Mandira and Dandina Mariammaare are some of the participating temples of the town.
Throughout the 9 days of Navratri, the Karaga holders travel across the town performing balancing acts with the idols. The 9th night commemorates the last part of Dasara celebrations where the procession of 10 Mantapas from 10 temples take place. The beautifully decorated temple cars or tableau along with the orchestra congregate at the center of the town late at night to display an amazing light and sound show, cultural performance and creativity at its best. The cultural programs and activities are organised by the Kodagu Cultural Committee, and there’s a tight competition among the committee members to showcase the best tableau and win a prize of status at the end of day.
Each tableau is unique in its own way. The idols represent historical and mythological figures, which are a result of 100 dedicated minds put to work while designing the idols. After the splendous show comes to an end on the 9th night, all the 10 mandaps start proceeding towards the Banni Mantap. And this brings down the curtains to the 10 day of fun and frolic during dasara in Madikeri.
Never knew about this side of Madikeri? Well, that’s the beauty of a town as seen from a local’s lens. Madikeri is a hub of all things beautiful, be it sight seeing, relaxing in coffee estates, shopping for spices and local artefacts, or even celebrating festivals. So get in the shoe of a local with homestays in Madikeri and learn about not just Dasara but many more hidden secrets of the town.