Built in the 17th century by Muddu Raja using mud, Madikeri Fort was rebuilt by Tipu Sultan in granite. Two life-size elephants made of mortar, catch the eye of the visitor on entering the Fort.
Stone formation of a tortoise, which bears the initials of King Vijayarajendra, can be seen in the palace. In the south-east corner of the palace, popularly known as St. Mark's Church, this Anglican Church has been built in gothic style. Later it was converted into a museum. This museum preserves several historical artefacts and antique items related to the fort and the surrounding areas. The other buildings inside the fort include the Mahatma Gandhi Public Library, the Kote Maha Ganapathi temple and the district prison. The Kote Maha Ganapathi temple is considered to be the oldest part of the fort and the most visited one by the tourists. The secret explorable passageways add to the mystery of the fort. This temple also forms one of the major temples list competing for Madikeri Dasara festival.
The British renovated the structure twice and in 1933, a clock tower and a portico to park the commissioner's car were added. A panoramic view of the entire city is provided by the fort.