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The History of Bangalore: Uncovering the City's Fascinating Past
24 Jul, 2023
Bangalore is a city that has undergone tremendous growth and development over the years. The city's rich history is often overshadowed by its modern amenities and IT industry. However, understanding Bangalore's past is critical to appreciating its present and envisioning its future. We will delve deeper into the fascinating history of Bangalore, exploring its early days, the impact of British rule, the city's transformation into an industrial hub, and its current status as the IT hub of India.
Early History of Bangalore
The majestic sight of the Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple (Picture - Alamy)
The history of Bangalore dates ba ck to the 9th century, when it was part of the Ganga Dynasty. The city was initially called "Benda Kalooru," which means "boiled beans." According to legend, a Hoysala king was lost in the forest while hunting and came across an old woman who offered him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place "Benda Kalooru." Over time, the name was anglicised to "Bangalore."
The erstwhile centre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire (Picture - Alamy)
During the 14th century, the Vijayanagara Empire established its dominance over the region, and Bangalore became an important military outpost. The city's strategic location at the intersection of several trade routes made it a key centre of commerce and cultural exchange.
History of Mughal and British Rule in Bangalore
In the 16th century, Bangalore came under the rule of the Mughal Empire. However, the city's real transformation came during the British era. In 1809, the British took control of Bangalore and turned it into a major administrative centre. The British also built several landmarks in the city, such as the Bangalore Fort and the Victoria Hospital.
Victorian-style front facade of the Victoria Hospital (Picture - Alamy)
Under British rule, Bangalore witnessed significant changes in its political, social, and economic landscape. The British implemented several infrastructure projects that transformed the city, including the construction of roads, canals, and railways. They also introduced modern education and healthcare systems, which had a significant impact on the city's development.
The Historical Rise of Industries in Bangalore
In the early 20th century, Bangalore began to emerge as an industrial hub. The city's favourable climate and abundance of water made it ideal for industries such as textiles and food processing. In 1905, the first electric power station in Bangalore was established, which further boosted the city's industrial growth.
Afternoon at the Indian Institute of Management campus (Picture - iStock)
During this period, Bangalore also wit nessed significant growth in its educational and research sectors. Several prestigious institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Management, and the Indian Space Research Organisation, were established in the city.
Bangalore's urban cityscape dotted with vivid flora (Picture - Alamy)
After India gained independence in 1947, Bangalore continued to grow as a major industrial centre. The city saw significant growth in the manufacturing sector, especially in the areas of textiles, engineering, and defence. Many public sector undertakings, such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), were established in the city, making it a hub for the aerospace and defence industries.
The Rise of The “IT Hub”
In the 1980s, Bangalore began to witness a significant shift in its economic landscape with the arrival of the information technology (IT) industry. The city's favourable climate, availability of skilled labour, and supportive government policies made it an attractive destination for IT companies. In 1984, Texas Instruments became the first multinational corporation to set up an R&D centre in Bangalore. The arrival of IT companies marked a turning point in the history of Bangalore, and this city began to transform into the "Silicon Valley of India."
'Silicon Valley of India' evening landscape (Picture - Inc.)
The IT boom in Bangalore led to the growth of several IT parks and SEZs (Special Economic Zones) in and around the city. Many global IT giants, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, established offices in Bangalore. The city became a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting talent from all over the country and the world. Bangalore's IT industry not only created jobs but also led to the growth of other industries such as real estate, hospitality, and retail.
Hidden Gems Showcasing the History of Bangalore
Clouds settling above the grandeur of the Bangalore Palace (Picture - Alamy)
While Bangalore is known for its modern amenities, there are several hidden gems that showcase the city's rich history. One such gem is the Bangalore Palace, which was built in 1887 by the Wodeyar dynasty. The palace is a beautiful blend of Tudor and Scottish Gothic architecture and is open to the public for tours.
Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace in Indo-Islamic Style (Picture - Alamy)
Another hidden gem is Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, which was built in the 18th century. The palace is a beautiful example of Indo-Islamic architecture and houses a museum that displays artefacts related to Tipu Sultan's life and reign.
Deep Dive Into...
Tourists exploring the interiors of Bangalore's fort (Picture - Alamy)
The history of Bangalore is a fas cinating tale of transformation and growth. From its early days as a military outpost to its current status as a modern metropolis, Bangalore has come a long way. Its rich history is reflected in its architecture, culture, and people. Despite its rapid modernization, Bangalore has managed to retain its cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the city's historic landmarks, such as the Bangalore Fort and the Bangalore Palace, to get a glimpse of the city's past. Whether you are a history buff or just curious about the city's past, Bangalore has something to offer. So, the next time you visit Bangalore, take some time to explore its rich history and culture.