History of Bangalore

         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.

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.

Power shifts from Sultans to Marathas to British:

Pleased with the services of his trusted lieutenent Shahaji Bhonsale, (father of the great Maratha king Shivaji), Adil Shah gifted Bangalore to him. After 49 years of Maratha rule, the moghuls captured and passed it to the Wodeyars of Mysore for 3 lakh pagodas. In 1759, Bangalore came into the possession of Hyder Ali, father of Tippu Sultan. It was during these two heroes, Bangalore flourished with parks, gardens and palaces. When Tippu died, British restored Bangalore back to the Mysore rulers, the Wodeyars, but were not too sure of their entrpreuner abilities. So they ruled Bangalore directly. 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.