Virajpet (Virajapete), situated in the Kodagu district of Karnataka is a small town known for its spices and coffee. With a famous annual festival, numerous places of worship and umpteen number of things to do, it makes for a great weekend break.
Historical Significance of Virajpet
Virajpet is the abbreviated name of Virarajendrepet. It was named after its founder Dodda Virarajendra founded it in 1792. It served as the headquarters of the Yedenalknad taluk. It was founded to commemorate his meeting with General Robert Abercromby on his ally against the ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. The historically rich town had been ruled by various kings of the dynasties of South India including the Kadambas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas, Rastrakutas, Gangas, Cholas and Vijaynagar Rayas. Once the reign ended, the region was divided into Virajapete, Madikeri and Somwarpet.
Things to Do at Virajpete
Visiting temples to buying spices, there are many things to indulge in while you are here.
Visit various places of worship
Virajapete has significant places of worship that are not confined to temples alone. To begin with, you can head to the Shiva Temple right on top of the peak of Malethirike hill and the Ayyappa Temple which is halfway through. After this, you can diverge to admire the gothic architecture of the 220-year old St. Anne’s Church or visit the Rahmaniya Mosque.
The shops within the tourist hub of Virajapete are awash with aromatic spices, fresh coffee beans and delicious natural honey. Make sure you buy a jar or two.
Visit nearby places
Visit the small towns of Ponnampet, Gonikoppal and Ammathi if you want to explore around or spend a few hours by the Clock Tower of 1914 erected to commemorate the Delhi Durbar of King George V, the Tadiandamol Mountain or the Igguthappa Temple of Kakkabe. This region is barely 15 kilometres away from Virajapete.
Attend a festival
If you get the chance to visit Virajapete in October, you must attend the Mercara Dasara festival or Madikeri festival. It lasts for ten days with a string of cultural programs celebrating the victory of the Goddess of Power over asuras.
A trip to Virajapete is incomplete without checking out the relatively lesser known falls of Chelavara. It serves as a good opportunity for a quick and easy hike. Take a 2-kilometre detour to Choma Kund Hill.
How to Reach Virajpete
The nearest airport to the place is Mangaluru International Airport which is about 171 kilometres away and Kempegowda International Airport which is 278 kilometres away.
If you opt to travel by train, then you can board them at Mangalore Railway Station or Mysore Railway Station. The next option would be Bangalore Railway Station.
To enjoy the drive to Virajapete by road, take the 30-kilometre long Madikeri route, the 165-kilometre long Mangalore route or the 250-kilometre long Bangalore route.
Come explore Virajpete, buy some spices and make merry at the annual festival.