Madikeri Dasara is the Dasara festival is celebrated in the city of Madikeri in the Indian State of Karnataka. It has a history of over a hundred years. Madikeri Dasara is a ten-day celebration, which is beautified by 4 Karagas and 10 Mantapas depicting killing of Asuras (demons) by Suras (God/Goddess). Preparation for Madikeri dasara starts before 3 months. Most of the money for this celebration is collected from the people of Kodagu. Each of these 10 Mantapa committee has 50 to 100 members. A Mantapa comprises idols of height 8 to 15 feet, which is set up at the front of a lighting board. The cost of building a Mantapa will be 3 to 5 Lakhs.
There are 4 Mariamma Temples in the town: Dandina Mariamma, Kanchi Kamakshamma, Kundurumotte Sri Chowti Mariamma and Kote Mariamma. Each of these Mariamma Temples has Karaga, which starts on the first day of Navaratri. These four Karagas represent the "Shakthi Devathas" of the town. All the Temples will be decorated by Lights and the whole Madikeri looks more beautiful on these 10 days. Karaga means carrying of vessel on the shaved head which is filled with rice, 9 types of grains (navadhanya) holi water and the vessel is decorated attractively. These karagas will be roaming in and around the city of Madikeri for 5 days of DASARA and these karagas will be devoted by the households of madikeri.
On the first day of Navarathri, the priests of these four Temples carry the tools required to build karaga on their head and make their way to a Place called Pampina Kere. The members of the Temple Committee also join this puja at Pampina Kere. A team of Volaga (a type of Band in Kodagu ) will also accompany these Karagas. Volaga gives the people an indication that the Karaga is coming and also it gives a rhythm for the Karaga Dance. The priest who takes up the Karaga is dressed with Yellow coloured Kacche. Also the Priest's head is shaved. He holds a Knife in one hand and a Wooden stick (called as Bettha in Kannada) on the other. These Priests start build Karaga by using Flowers like Jasmin, Kanakambara, Sevantige etc. After building the Karaga, there will be a pooja for these four Karagas. The Temple Priests take the Karaga on their head after this pooja and will go to many temples in Rathabeedi (street for chariots). At late night they will head towards their Temples. Karaga dance is very attractive to watch. The people of Madikeri offer puja for all the Karagas. Till Ayudha pooja (puja to the weapons, and household materilas) these Karagas visit almost every home of Madikeri and take pujas.
The origin and development of Madikeri Dasara celebration is closely linked with Bheem Singh, a Rajasthani, who came to Madikeri and settled down there.
Bheem Singh was the prime mover of the first Dasara mantapa procession. He made the first mantapa on tractor by making wooden pallets as mantapa. Bheem Singh’s forefathers h