(Last Updated on : 13/05/2015)
Virajpet is the place and the second town of Kodagu District
. This town is also spelled as Virajapete and is located in the main town of the Virajpet taluka in the southern part of the Kodagu District of Karnataka.
The name Virajpet is an abbreviation of Virarajendrapete after the former ruler of Kodagu, Virarajendra, and this latter form is still sometimes used.
Virajpet is a small town of importance for the local coffee and spice crops. Nearby towns are Gonikoppal, Ammathi and Ponnampet. Virajpet is around 30 km away from Madikeri
, the district headquarters and is about 250 km from Bengaluru and 165 km from Mangalore. The only way to reach Virajpet is by road. The history of the destination is rich as it was ruled by various South Indian dynasties. The Ganga Dynasty
, the Kadambas Dynasty, the Chalukyas Dynasty, the Cholas Dynasty, the Hoysalas Dynasty, the Rastrakutas Dynasty and the Vijaynagar Rayas Dynasty also ruled the region. After the end of the ruling period, the region was segmented into three major towns namely, Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet.
Virajpet is considered as the main town of Virajpet Taluka. Virajpet is located at a distance of 30 km from the district headquarters Madikeri that shares its geographical borders with the major towns of the district - Ammathi, Gonikoppal and Ponnampet.
Virajpet has a number of tourist locations. Some of the tourist destinations in Virajpet are Ayyappa temple halfway up and the Shiva temple at the top of the Malethirike hill, a semi spherical hill at Kakotuparambu which is about 8 km from Virajpet, St. Anne's church which is about 220 years old and has been built in Gothic architecture style. The tower of the church has two massive bells of the ancient times and are in use till date, the clock tower (pictured), Tadiandamol (the highest mountain in Kodagu) and the Igguthappa (local deity) temple, both in Kakkabe about 15 km from Virajpet.
The town is famous for its huge plantations of local coffee and spice crops. Virajpet is the largest honey producer in Asia. Ayyappa Temple and Shiva Temple on the top of Malethirike Hill, a semi-spherical hill at Kakotuparambu, are the prominent attractions that attract thousands of devotees.
Madikeri Dasara is a prominent festival in Virajpet. This is celebrated in the month of October. The celebration of Madikeri Dasara lasts for ten days along with cultural programmes depicting the victory of Goddess of power over the asuras. A huge procession constituting singers, traditional dancers and music along with beautifully decorated ten tabloos is carried out. Virajpet can be visited in any season as the destination experiences pleasant climatic conditions throughout the year.