There are 4 Mariamma Temples in the Madikeri town: Dandina Mariamma, Kanchi Kamakshi, 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. Madikeri Dasara which has a history of more than 120 years is as popular as Mysore Dasara.
The Madikeri Dasara has been noted for as unique celebration and in resent years it has been attracting more than one lakh people on the final day. The Madikeri Dasara, which had four mantapas 40 year ago, now has 10 Mantapas in the procession and on the last day of Dasara, Vijayad Dashami, all the Mantapas will be taken out in a procession from each temple committee and will it assembled in Gandhi Maidan. As years pass by, people want innovation in the style of celebrating Madikeri Dasara.
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, Madikeri. The members of the Temple Committee also join this puja at Pampina Kere,Madikeri. 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 head towards their Temples. Karaga dance is very nice to watch. The people of Madikeri give puja for all the Karagas. Till Aayudha Pooja, these Karagas visit almost every home of Madikeri and take pooja.