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coorg

Coorg was a province of British India from 1834 to 1974. It was situated to the west of the state of Mysore and is currently a part of Indian state of Karnataka. Coorg’s correct form of the name is Kodagu, of which Coorg is an anglicized corruption. It is said to be derived from a Kanarese word kudu, meaning ‘steep’ or hilly’. This province was largely inhabited by the Kodava people who spoke Kodava language. They were renowned for their bravery and supplied a vast proportion of recruits to the British Indian army.

According to inscriptional evidence Coorg (as well as Bayaland or Wynaad) was included in the kingdom of the Gangas in the ninth and tenth centuries, whose capital was at Talakad on the Cauvery in the south-west of Mysore. They ruled over the Mysore country from the 2nd to 11th century. Under them were the Changalvas or kings of Changanad, who later called themselves kings of Nanjarayapatna or Nanjarajapatna. This place lies north of Kaveri in Coorg near the point where the river becomes the common boundary of Coorg and Mysore.

The Changalvas first appeared in connection with Panasoge or Hanasoge, south of the Kaveri in the Yedatore taluk in Mysore. Their territory included the Hunsur taluk in Mysore as well as the east of the north of Coorg. Their inscriptions have been found in both Yedavanad and Bettyatnad. They were originally Jains and their priests claimed exclusive authority over the Jain temples from Hanasoge to Take-Kaveri which perhaps indicated the limits of the kingdom east and west.

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