N.E. face of the Fort, Madhukayray
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of the fort at Mercara in Karnataka by an unknown artist between 1816 and 1817. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'View of the N. East face of the Fort at Madukayray.'
Mercara or Madikeri is situated in southern Karnataka (formerly Mysore) on a rocky outcrop surrounded by hills in the Western Ghats at an elevation of 3,800 feet (1,160 metres). The fort was originally a mud structure built by the Lingayat Rajas who ruled over the area from 1600 onwards and established their capital here. Roughly hexagon in shape, the fort is set behind a ditch with a sloping bank to the north face. In the 1770s and 1780s the fort was attacked by the Rajas of Mysore Haidar Ali (c. 1722-1782) and Tipu Sultan (1753-1799) and in 1791 it was overwhelmed by Vira Raja of Coorg (Kodagu). The British excluded Tipu from the area by the treaty of Seringapatam (1792) and Vira Raja was restored to power. Later the subjects of Vira Raja complained of their ill treatment and sought British protection which was secured by the unopposed annexation of Coorg in 1834.