Tombs of Biddanda Bopu and Biddanda Somayya at Gaddige

The funerary complex of the Lingayat Rajahs of Kodagu located at the hilltop north of Madikeri town also houses the final resting place of two famous generals of the land, Biddanda Bopu and his son, Biddanda Somayya, who served Dodda Vira Rajendra and Chikka Vira Rajendra, respectively, and were given the honour of being buried within the same complex. The earlier memorial to Biddanda Bopu was built by Dodda Vira Rajendra, with a personal dedication. The second, dedicated to Biddanda Somayya was built by his son, with the permission of the Chief Commissioner of Coorg. The samadhis are located within a small enclosure, very plain in design, surmounted with statues of Nandi facing outwards towards the larger complex of graves of the Lingayat rulers.

Biddanda Bopu’s tomb at Gaddige

Inscription on the stone embedded to the western side of the first samadhi within the enclosure of the Rajas’ tombs:

Maharaja Virarajendra-vadeyar’s (seal of Virarajendra-vadeyar) servant Biddandara Bopu of Bavali village in Kadiyatu-nadu joined service at the palace on the 5th of dark fortnight of the month of Magha in the year Kilaka and from that day onwards till the year Prabhava, for 19 years, he served the king in hunting elephants, in hunting tigers, in hunting wild beasts, in the war against Tipu Sultan, and such other palace duties according to the orders, day and night without caring for his own life courageously with full valour considering mainly his duty to the master. That sirkarekar Bopu passed away after the Kali year 4909, in the year Prabhava, on the 7 th day of the bright fortnight of Margasira, Sunday at 32 ½ ghalige. The applause of the king about the valour, service and devotion of that sirkarekar who served faithfully with body mind and soul, was written on stone and, for the knowledge of all, was erected in front of his tomb. — Veer Rajinder. (Signature of the king is in English)

Tombs of Biddanda Bopu and Somayya

Inscription on the stone embedded to the western side of the second samadhi with the enclosure of the Rajas’ tombs:

Biddanda Somayya, syrkarekar under Chikkavirarajendra wodeyar, Ex-Rajah of Coorg, son of Biddanda Bopu, syrkarekar under Doddavirarajendra wodeyar, Rajah of Coorg born in the year Roudri, AD 1800, died at 6 A.M. on Saturday, 16th August 1879. Tomb erected within the precincts of the Rajahs’ tombs, with the permission of the Chief Commissioner of Coorg. –  Erected by his dear son B.S.Ponnappa.