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Raja of Coorg (Kodagu)
Virarajendra was imprisoned (along with his younger brothers Lingaraja and Appaji) by Hyder Ali in 1780 and remained in captivity until his escape (with his wife and brothers) from Periapatam in December 1788. Thereafter followed years of internecine warfare between the Coorg and Mysore - with heavy losses and atrocities on both sides. The warfare was conducted in the densely jungled terrain of Coorg. A formal treaty was negotiated and signed between the Raja of Coorg and the East India Company in October 1790 promising military assistance between the signatories against Tipu and guaranteeing the independence of Coorg. Virarajendra provided direct support and assistance throughout the Third Anglo-Mysore War - aiding the Bombay Army in its two expeditions to Seringapatam. After the success of the 1792 campaign, Sir Robert Abercromby negotiated a settlement in 1793 that confirmed the independence of Coorg. Virarajendra reaffirmed his allegiance to the British.

Tipu was enraged at Virarajendra's support of the British and in 1795 unsuccessfully attempted (on two occasions) to have the Raja assassinated. In 1796 Virarajendra married for a second time.

During the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War Virarajendra and his forces provided invaluable assistance to the Bombay Army during its ascent from Cannanore to the Poodicherum Ghat and its movement through Coorg towards the western border of Mysore. At the foot of the pass his forces saved a large portion of the British train that had been seized by a body of Moplas. From the lookout post on the hilltop near Seedaseer (Siddeshwara) it was Virarajendra who identified the green tent of Tipu amongst the military encampment forming near Periaptam on 5 March 1799. This intelligence provided sufficient time for General Stuart to reinforce Lt. Col. Montresor's Brigade before Tipu attacked on the morning of 6 March. Virarajendra personally accompanied General Stuart with relief column of European forces from Seedapore - and witnessed firsthand the conduct and discipline of European troops in action. His account of the action indicates how deeply impressed he was by the experience.

After defeat of Tipu at Seedaseer Virarajendra and his supporters were requested not to accompany the Bombay Army towards to Seringapatam but rather to remain in Coorg and secure the rear. He provided 1,000 coolies, 3,000 bullocks, 5 elephants, 3,000 sheep, and 40,000 batties of rice for the army, as well as an additional 2,000 to convey ammunition to Seringapatam. A hospital was established at Virarajendrapet for the sick and wounded of the Bombay Army. More importantly, there was a danger of attack from a group of Nairs recruited by Tipu to invade Coorg as soon as the British forces had moved eastward, as well as the fact that the Coorgs were notoriously unmanageable as auxiliaries (cf. Maratha 'looties') - given to indiscriminate looting and retribution against the Mysorean populace.

After the fall of Seringapatam Virarajendra had high expectation of large tracts of Mysore being ceded to him as a reward for services rendered during the campaign. He had not asked for any financial remuneration at the time and was disappointed that he did not receive the districts of Periapatna, Bettadapur and Arkalgudu in the peace settlement. He complained bitterly at his treatment and eventually in 1804 he was rewarded with territory in the province of Canara, as well as an adjustment to the eastern boundary between Coorg and Mysore. This final settlement met with his satisfaction and left him in full possession of his territory.

An assassination attempt on his life in late 1807 was averted at the last minute - and result in the massacre of at least 300 of the conspirators. The following months were filled with suspicion, murder, intrigue and uncertainty - and there was a strong presumption of insanity in the behaviour of the Rajah in his final years.

Died: 9 June 1809,

Gazetteeer of Coorg. Compiled by Rev. G. Richter. First publ. 1870. [Reprint edition 1995] pp. 244-287.