Today, the word Bangalore or Bengaluru embodies so much- right from the IT hub to the garden city to the educational hub to the cosmopolitan city that is the capital of the state Karnataka and a lot more that cannot be put into words. However, the journey to get here was neither a short one nor a simple one. Bengaluru has a rich cultural history to boast of. The timeline of Bengaluru is quite fascinating indeed. Here is a sneak peek into the essence of that vivid and fascinating history of a city which is unparalleled at numerous levels.
According to archaeology, Bengaluru dates back to 900 AD, when mentions of its name have been found at a Ganga stone inscription at a Parvathi Nageshwara Temple at Begur, a village not far from this city, with regards to a war fought here. The implication from this inscription is that it was then a part of the Ganga Kingdom and was known as ‘Benga-val-oru’ or ‘City of Guards’ in Kannada.
Later on, in 1120 AD, King Veera Ballala of the Hoysala Dynasty, who ruled the Deccan, is said to have chanced upon this city while lost during a hunting session. Upon being offered a bowl of boiled beans by an old lady, he called it ‘Bendha Kalu Ooru’ or ‘City of Boiled Beans’ in Kannada. As a sign of gratitude, he constructed a city here. The Cholas then captured this city but not much evidence of this period is found.
The present or modern Bengaluru was founded by Kempe Gowda, a feudal lord under the Vijayanagara Empire. Legend has it that he happened to see his dog being chased here by a small hare. This not only amused his but also impressed him, the hunting enthusiast that he was, conferring it with the title ‘Gandu Bhoomi’ (Heroic place). He fortified the city by erecting a mud fort around it in the year 1537. Kempe Gowda founded the towns of Cottonpet, Chickpet and Balepet.
Kempe Gowda II endowed the city with tanks and temples such as the Karanjikere tank and Kempapura tank. He built four watchtowers near Ulsoor Lake, Mekhri Circle, Kempambudhi tank and at Lal Bagh. These can be seen even till date.
Bengaluru then fell into the hands of the Mohammad Adil Shah, the then Sultan of Bijapur when the Vijayanagara Empire fell into their reign in 1638. The following sixty years saw the city under the control of the Sultans. The Mughals then took the reins of the city into their hands. These rein slipped out of their hands and into those of King Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar of Mysore in 1687, when it was sold to them by the Mughals.
Haider Ali, the commander-in-Chief of the Wodeyar dynasty declared himself as the de facto ruler of their kingdom, while keeping the Wodeyars as titular heads. He converted Bengaluru into an army town and rebuilt the fort with stone. Another fort was built in the city, to the south of that built by Kempe Gowda.
Haider ali’s son, Tipu Sultan, declared himself as the Sultan and saw that the state flourished in trade and economy. He protected his Empire from British conquest, ousting them in the three Anglo-Mysore wars. After the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 during the fourth Anglo-Mysore war, the British returned his empire to Krishna Raja Wodeyar III, only to take it back in 1831 on the pretext of misrule.
The British Rule saw the city of Bangalore develop into a modern western city. The credit for developing the city by building telegraph and postal system, railways, and bringing about scientific thinking should not be denied to the British. In 1881, Bangalore was returned to the Wodeyars but its contemporary development continued unflagged as the British Commissioners still remained in this city.
When India gained independence in 1947, the city of Bangalore was made the capital of the state Karnataka. Ever since, it has incessantly been making progress and developing, while still holding on to its roots that lies in its culture. Information technology is seen to flourish in this city ever since its introduction as it has suitable climate and resources and its population is globalized. It has developed in all aspects and emerged as one of the leading metropolitan cities of India, being known mainly for its garden cover, IT hub and the ‘Silicon Valley of India’.
In the year 2006, Bangalore was officially renamed to Bengalooru or Bengaluru. 2011 saw the inauguration the Bengaluru Metro or Namma Metro, another leap in its development. As of now, the city is developing incessantly at a rapid rate in all sectors. Yet, it is a very religious and open-minded city and its culture can be seen coloring the everyday lives of its citizens.