The story how Bangalore came to be called by its present name has an interesting history. Once on a hunting expedition King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty lost his way in the jungle. Deep inside the jungle, lived an old woman who took pity on the hungry and tired hunter. The old woman was poor and had nothing else to offer but boiled beans. But the king was so pleased with her hospitality that he named the entire city as bele-benda-kalu-ooru, which in the local language Kannada means, the place of boiled beans. The historical evidence of the name “Bengalooru” can be found in a 9th century inscription found in a temple in the village of Begur. Today the name has been shortened and anglicised after the British influence and has come to be called Bangalore.
In the year 1120 AD, the Chola King, Veera Ballalla ruled the Deccan plateau or the South of India. On a hunting trip in the forest he lost his way. After a long search he met an old lady in the forest who offered him shelter for the night and served him baked beans for dinner. To show his gratitude to this lady for having saved his life, the King constructed a town and named it as Benda Kalooru which means Baked Beans. Later in 1537, a local chieftain, Kempe Gowda helped design this town and give it its modern shape.
The Gangas ruled Gangavadi from Kolar starting c. 350 and later shifted their capital to Talakadu.Their rule often extended over large parts of Tamilnadu.
Though this has been recorded by historian R. Narasimhachar in his “Epigraphia of Carnatica” (Vol. 10 supplementary), no efforts have been made to preserve it. The inscription stone found near Begur reveals, that the district was part of the Ganga kingdom ruled from Gangavadi until 1024 C.E and was known as ‘Benga-val-oru’, the City of Guards in old Kannada. In 1024 C.E, the Chola Empire captured the city. Today, little evidence can be seen of this period. A small village in south Bengalooru and one in Anantapur district bear the Chola name but the residents are of native stock. The later Gangas often fought alongside the Chalukyas, Rastrakutas and the Hoysalas. In 1117 C.E, the Hoysala king Veera Ballala II defeated the Cholas in the battle of Talakad which lead to the downfall of the Chola empire.
There is an inscription dated 1628 C.E in the Ranganatha Temple in Telugu. The English translation of which is “Be it well, When Rajadhi-Raja-Parameshwara Vira Pratapa Vira-Maha-Deva Maharaya seated in the Jewel throne was ruling the empire of the world: When of the Asannavakula, the Yelahanka Nadu Prabhu Kempanacharya-Gauni’s grandson Kempe Gowda’s son, Immadi Kempegaunayya was ruling a peaceful kingdom in righteousness with the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the eclipse of the rule of Yelahanka Nadu Prabhus took place at the dawn of the 17th century.”
Kempe Gowda marks the four corners of the city
Another historical figure instrumental in shaping the city of Bangalore is a feudal lord who called himself Kempe Gowda, and who served under the Vijayanagara Kings. Hunting seemed to be a favourite past time in those days. During one of his hunting bouts, Kempe Gowda was surprised to see a hare chase his dog. Either his dog was chicken hearted or the hare was lion hearted one does not know, but the episode surely made an impression on the feudal lord. He told himself this is a place surely for heroes and heroics, and he referred to Bangalore from then onwards as “gandu bhoomi” (heroic place). Kempe Gowda I, who was in charge of Yelahanka, built a mud fort in 1537. With the help of King Achutaraya, built the little towns of Balepet, Cottonpet, and Chickpet, all inside the fort. Today, these little areas serve as the major wholesale and commercial market places in the city. Kempegowda, the II built four watch towers to mark the boundary of Bangalore. A hundred years later, Vijaynagar empire fell, and in 1638, it was conquered by Mohammed Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur.
Bangalore‘s origins sprang from the gifting of a large piece of land from the Vijayanagar Emperor to Kempegowda. Kempegowda, a then chieftain, used the land revenue to develop a town. He thereafter encouraged foreign merchants and artists to make the new town their habitation. Once Kempegowda’s rule was over, Bangalore was ruled by a number of sovereigns and dynasties. The strong rule of monarchs such as Tipu Sultan and members of the Royal House Wodeyar enabled Bangalore to prosper well.
The roots of Bangalore‘s name has also drawn a lot of interest. The city was originally known as Benguluru. The earliest reference to the name Benguluru was discovered in a 9th century Ganga inscription. This inscription was found in Begur and Benguluru is referred to as a location in which a battle took place. Another alternative theory however is that the name Benguluru has a floral origin and is derived from the tree Benga. The locality that was referred to as Benguluru in the Ganga inscription was originally a hamlet and is close to the modern day district of Hebbal. Today however, the hamlet is known as Halebenguluru (or Old Bangalore). The progression of Benguluru’s name changing is thought to have stemmed from Kempegowda’s desire for Benguluru to have a more Anglicized sound. It was therefore changed to Bangalore and remained so until recent times, when the name Benguluru was re-initiated.]
Bangalore is believed to have been founded in 1537 by Kempe Gowda (1510 – 1570). During the time of the Puranas,this region was known as “Kalyanapuri” or “Kalyananagara”,the “City Auspicious”. The Mauryan Emperor,Chandragupta Maurya,renounced his throne to become a Jain Monk at Shravanabelagola,a Jain piligrimage center,southwest of Bangalore.
Bengaluru was first mentioned in records from the Ganga era as a small hamlet,the location of which coincides with modern Halebengaluru near Kodigehalli (not far from Hebbal). It is said that when Kempe Gowda built his new capital town in about 1537,he called it Bengaluru as his mother and wife belonged to the hamlet of Halé Bengaluru (Old Bangalore). The Government of Karnataka has recently renamed the city of Bangalore as Bengaluru. Just as with Chennai they hope Bangalore will soon be known the world over by its ancient name Bengaluru.
Another version suggests that the name Bangalore derives from Benda kalu,which means Boiled beans. It is said that a humble old lady served a 10th century ruler,King Veeraballa of Vijayanagara who lost his way in the forest. He liked the food so much he named the place Benda Kaluru,meaning “the city of boiled beans”,to commemorate his experience. After the arrival of the British,the city was given the anglicized name of “Bangalore“.
Vijayanagara and Kempe Gowda
Kempe Gowda I (1510 – 1570), Modern Bengalooru was founded by a feudatory of the Vijayanagara Empire, who built a mud fort in 1537. Kempe Gowda also referred to the new town as his “gandu bhoomi” or “Land of Heroes”. Within Bengalooru Fort, the town was divided into petes (IPA: [peɪteɪ]) or market. The town had two main streets: Chickkapete Street ran east-west and Doddapete Street ran north-south. Their intersection formed Doddapete square — the heart of then Bengalooru. Kempe Gowda’s successor, Kempe Gowda II, built temples, tanks including Kempapura and Karanjikere tanks and four watching towers that marked Bengalooru’s boundary.
The four watching towers built then in Bengalooru are still seen today.
* in Lal Bagh
* near Kempambudhi tank
* near Ulsoor Lake
* near Mekhri Circle
Sultanate of Bijapur
It was captured by the Maratha chief Shahaji Bhonsle, father of Shivaji, then working for the Adil Shahi sultans of Bijapur in 1638. During the siege of Bengalooru, Shivaji’s elder brother Shambaji was killed by Shahaji’s rivals, led by the Ghorpade of Mudhol, for which Shivaji was to later exact revenge.
After conquering the Sultanate of Bijapur, the Mughals under the commandership of Khasim Khan, then arrived in Bengalooru, which was then ruled by Shivaji’s brother Vyankoji Bhonsale as a jagir (fief) of Bijapur in 1686; Vyankoji retreated further south.
The Mughals in turn leased Bengalooru to the subsidiary Kingdom of Mysore’s ruler Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar in 1689. In 1759, the Wodeyar’s Commander-in-Chief Haider Ali made himself the de facto ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, including Bengalooru, but maintained the Wodeyars as a figurehead.
Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan
When Hyder Ali died, his son Tipu Sultan deposed the weak Wodeyar, proclaimed himself Sultan. Under Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali the state progressed economically and trade flourished with many foreign nations through the ports of Mangalore. The French under Napoleon had promised to drive the British from India. Tipu successfully stalled the British in the first, second and third Anglo-Mysore Wars. Tipu, however, was defeated and ultimately killed in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
Wodeyars and British East India
Lady Curzon hospital in the Bangalore Cantonment was established in 1864 and later named after the first wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon.
Upon the passing of Tipu Sultan, the Wodeyars returned to the throne of Mysore, and therefore Bengalooru, although only as figureheads. Bengalooru remained part of British East India until Indian independence in August, 1947.
The ‘Residency’ of Mysore State was first established at Mysore in 1799 and later shifted to Bengalooru in the year 1804. It was abolished in the year 1843 only to be revived in 1881 at Bengalooru and finally to be closed down in 1947 with the departure of the British. (http://rajbhavan.kar.nic.in/history/fromresi-rajbhavan.htm)
The British troops which were first stationed at Srirangapatna after the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799 were later shifted to the Civil and Military Station of Bengalooru in 1809.
The salubrious climate of Bengalooru attracted the ruling class and led to the establishment of the famous Military Cantonment, a city-state close to the old town of Bengalooru. The area became not only a military base for the British but also a settlement for a large number of Europeans, Anglo-Indians and missionaries.
Bangalore Palace, built in 1887, was home to the rulers of Mysore
In Cantonment, the names of many of its streets are derived from military nomenclature — Artillery Road, Brigade Road, Infantry Road and Cavalry Road. The South Parade (now known as Mahatma Gandhi Road, was to the south of the Parade Ground. The Plaza theatre was constructed in the year 1936 on the South Parade and was used by the soldiers for viewing Hollywood movies. The British representative maintained a residence within the cantonment area and his quarters was called the Residency and hence the name Residency Road. Around 1883, three developments were added to the cantonment — Richmond Town, Benson Town and Cleveland Town.
The Cantonment has retained it distinct atmosphere through the years with large populations of Anglo-Indians and Tamils from the British era.
The lack of water supplies within the city of Bengalooru was first tacked in 1873 by building a chain of tanks called Miller’s Tanks in the Cantonment area. Prior to this water was pumped from the Halsoor, Shoolay and Pudupacherry tanks which were insufficient for the Civil and Military Station. The city area drew water from a Karanjee system from Dharmambudhi and Sampangi tanks. The Great Famine of 1875-77 and the failure of the monsoons led to drying of all these water bodies. During this time water carriers Bihistis supplied water. In 1882 the Sankey Reservoir was constructed at the cost of 5.75 Lakhs by Richard Hieram Sankey and collected rain water from an area of 2.5 sq miles. The water was said to be unsavoury and impure. On June 23, 1896 water was pumped from the Chamarajendra Reservoir (Hessarghatta) which dammed the waters of the Arkavathi. This tank went dry for one year in 1925. It was built at the cost of Rs 20,78,641. On 15 March 1933, the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir was put into service. On 21 May 1961, the Integrated Water Supply Scheme was inaugurated. This system collected water from the Cauvery river near Halgur and pumped up at Thorekadanahalli, Voddaradoddi, Gantakanadoddi and Tatguni and stored in reservoirs at Mount Joy, Byrasandra and High Grounds.
Plague-Crisis of 1898
Bengalooru was hit by a plague epidemic in 1898. The epidemic took a huge toll and many temples were built during this time, dedicated to the goddess Mariamma. The crisis caused by this epidemic catalyzed the improvement and sanitation of Bengalooru and, in turn, improvements in sanitation and health facilities helped to modernize Bengalooru.
Karnataka High Court.
Telephone lines were laid to help coordinate anti-plague operations. Regulations for building new houses with proper sanitation facilities came into effect. A health officer was appointed in 1898, the city was divided into four wards for better coordination and the Victoria Hospital was inaugurated in 1900 by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy and Governor-General of British India.
Telephone lines were laid to help coordinate anti-plague operations. Regulations for building new houses with proper facilities of sanitation came into effect. A health officer was appointed in 1898 and the Victoria Hospital was inaugurated in 1900 by Lord Curzon,the then Viceroy. It is also believed that the advent of railways was a causal factor for the epidemic.
Bangalore High Court”>The plague of 1898 also led to the expansion of Bangalore. Basavanagudi (named after the Basaveshwara Temple or the Bull Temple in the Sunkenahalli village) and Malleshwaram (named after the Kadu Malleshwara Temple in the old Mallapura village) were created during this time. Kalasipalyam (near the old fort) and Gandhinagar were created between 1921-1931. Kumara Park came into existence in 1947 and Jayanagar in 1948.
Bangalore is a former cantonment and Civil and Military Station after 1881 and has roads named according to military conventions such as Artillery Road,Brigade Road,CMH Road,Infantry Road and Cavalry Road. The South Parade (presently Mahatma Gandhi Road) was to the south of the Parade Ground. The cantonment area was administered by a Resident and his quarters was called the Residency and hence the Residency Road. In around 1883,three extensions were added to the Municipal area of the Cantonment,namely,Richmond Town,followed by Benson Town and Cleveland Town.
Today the sprawling metropolitan region of Bangalore extends from Peenya Indutrial Area in the West to Indiranagar and Whitefield in the East. And from Yelahanka in the North to J.P. Nagar in the South
Bangalore was never planned to be the boomtown metropolis it is now. Rather,it was viewed traditionally as a place of retreat,also called a ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’. This lack of planning has led to its current infrastructure problems.
Several speculations have been made about how the name “Bangalore” came about. Based on information from the Gazetteer of India, Karnataka State, Bangalore District section, the name “Bangalore” is an anglicised version of “Bengalooru,” a word in the local Kannada language that was given to a town. The story goes that this word was derived from the phrase “bende kaalu ooru,” which translates into “the town of boiled beans.” It is said that King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty lost his way in the jungle while on a hunting expedition. Tired and hungry, he encountered a poor, old woman who offered him the only food she had – some boiled beans. Grateful to her, the king named the place “bende kaalu ooru.” However, historical evidence shows that “Bengalooru” was recorded much before King Ballala’s time in a 9th century temple inscription in the village of Begur. “Bengalooru” still exists today within the city limits in Kodigehalli area and is called “Halebengalooru” or “Old Bangalore.”
In 1638, Bangalore was conquered by Bijapur Sultan and ruled for next 50 years. Later it was captured by Mughals who held it for 3 years. In 1687, the Mughal Sultan of Sira province sold Bangalore to king Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar of Mysore for 3 lac pagodas, who built a second fort to the south of that built by Kempegowda I. In 1759, Hyder Ali received Bangalore as a jagir from Krishna raja Wodeyar II. He fortified the southern fort and made Bangalore an army town. When Tipu Sultan died in the 4th Mysore war in 1799, the British gave the kingdom, including Bangalore back to Krishna raja Wodeyar III. The British Resident stayed in Bangalore. In 1831, alleging misrule by Krishna raja Wodeyar III, the British took over the administration of the Mysore Kingdom. Under the British influence, Bangalore bloomed with modern facilities like the railways, telegraphs, postal and police departments. In 1881, the British returned the city to the Wodeyars. Diwans like Mirza Ismail, and sir Vishweshwarayya were the pioneers to help Bangalore attain its modern outlook. With the direct rule of the British Commissioners based in Bangalore, it became the State Administrative HQ. The destiny of Bangalore thus took a historic turn, making it eventually a major city of India and one of the fastest growing in the world. After independence, Bangalore‘s choice as a state capital was only logical. Mysore had too many associations with the royal family to be the capital of a new state with an elected Chief Minister and a nominated Governor. Finally, for an enlarged Karnataka, Bangalore was more central and better linked with the major cities of the country. Today, Bangalore is booming, and a look at some of its nicknames says why: “India’s Silicon Valley,” “Fashion Capital of India,” “The Pub City of India,” and on. Home to well over 6 million people, and a base for 10,000 industries, Bangalore is India’s fifth largest city and the fastest growing city in Asia.
||Bengalooru is captured by the Marathas
||Bengalooru is part of the Mughal Empire
||Haider Ali stages a coup and Bengalooru, along with the Kingdom of Mysore comes under his rule
||Haider Ali designs plans for Lal Bagh, importing plants from Delhi, Lahore and Multan
||Tipu Sultan, son of Haider Ali, ascends to the throne after the death of his father
||Bengalooru is consolidated into the British East India Empire after the defeat and death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
||The Attara Kacheri, or the Karnataka High Court is constructed under the order of Sir Mark Cubbon, commissioner of Mysore.
||The bubonic plague cripples Bengalooru.
||Bengalooru becomes the first city in India to have electricity.
||India gains independence. Mysore State is incorporated into the union.
||Mysore State is renamed Karnataka
Important Historical Dates
· BC (-) Stone Age implements, Roman coins & burial grounds unearthed.
· 850 AD ‘Bengalooru’ appears on Mauryan empire milestone
· 1015 Chola Empire takes over City
· C.1120 Veera Ballala II calls it ‘Benda Kalooru’ or ‘Town of Boiled Beans’ (after a poor woman feeds him beans in the forest)
· 1537 Kempe Gowda I designs City as it exists today. (KG II builds the 4 towers)
· 1638 Shahaji Bhonsle (Shivaji’s father) captures City for Adil Shah who gifts it to him
· 1640 Shivaji marries Bangalore girl
· 1687 Aurangzeb’s army captures City
· 1690 Sells it to the Wodeyars for 3 lakhs!
· 1759 Wodeyar gifts it to Hyder Ali who builds Lal Bagh
· 1791 Cornwallis defeats Tipu but returns City to him
· 1799 Tipu dies. City returned to Wodeyar
· 1800 Bangalore GPO opened
· 1809 Cantonment established
· 1812 St. Mark’s Cathedral built
· 1831 British take-over administration
· 1853 Sunday declared weekly holiday
· 1859 1st train steams out of City
· 1864 Sankey builds Cubbon Park
· 1867 Attara Kacheri built
· 1887 Bangalore Palace built
· 1898 The great plague. (Another plague-the 1st telephone rings)
· 1903 1st motorcar pollutes city
· 1905 India’s 1st electric bulb lit in Bangalore City Market
· 1909 Indian Institute of Science built
· 1940 1st flight Bangalore/Bombay
· 1948 Deccan Herald launched
· 1954 Vidhana Soudha built