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History of Bangalore

Bangalore or Bengaluru, as it is known today, was founded by Kempe Gowda, who built a mud fort at the site in 1537. It has developed over the years into an industrial and technological hub in India.

The region of modern day Bangalore was part of several successive South Indian kingdoms. Between the fourth and the tenth centuries, the Bangalore region was ruled by the Western Ganga Dynasty of Karnataka, the first dynasty to set up effective control over the region. According to Edgar Thurston there were twenty eight kings who ruled Gangavadi from the start of the Christian era till its conquest by the Cholas. These kings belonged to two distinct dynasties: the earlier line of the Solar race which had a succession of seven kings of the Ratti or Reddi tribe, and the later line of the Ganga race. The Western Gangas ruled the region initially as a sovereign power (350 - 550), and later as feudatories of the Chalukyas of Badami, followed by the Rashtrakutas till the tenth century. The Begur Nageshwara Temple was commissioned around 860, during the reign of the Western Ganga King Ereganga Nitimarga I and extended by his successor Nitimarga II. Around 1004, during the reign of Rajendra Chola I, the Cholas defeated the Western Gangas, and captured Bangalore. During this period, the Bangalore region witnessed the migration of many groups - warriors, administrators, traders, artisans, pastorals, cultivators, and religious personnel from Tamil Nadu and other Kannada speaking regions. The Chokkanathaswamy temple at Domlur, the Aigandapura complex near Hesaraghatta, Mukthi Natheshwara Temple at Binnamangala, Choleshwara Temple at Begur, Someshwara Temple at Madiwala, date from the Chola era.

In 1117, the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana defeated the Cholas in the Battle of Talakad in south Karnataka, and extended its rule over the region. Vishnuvardhana expelled the Cholas from all parts of Mysore state. By the end of the 13th century, Bangalore became a source of contention between two warring cousins, the Hoysala ruler Veera Ballala III of Halebidu and Ramanatha, who administered from the Hoysala held territory in Tamil Nadu. Veera Ballala III had appointed a civic head at Hudi (now within Bangalore Municipal Corporation limits), thus promoting the village to the status of a town. After Veera Ballala III's death in 1343, the next empire to rule the region was the Vijayanagara Empire, which itself saw the rise of four dynasties, the Sangamas (1336 - 1485), the Saluvas (1485 - 1491), the Tuluvas (1491 - 1565), and the Aravidu (1565 - 1646). During the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire, Achyuta Deva Raya of the Tuluva Dynasty raised the Shivasamudra Dam across the Arkavati river at Hesaraghatta, whose reservoir is the present city's supply of regular piped water.

Modern Bangalore had its beginning in 1537 by a vassal of the Vijayanagara Empire, Kempe Gowda I, who aligned with the Vijayanagara empire to campaign against Gangaraja who he defeated and expelled to Kanchi, and who built a mud-brick fort for the people at the site that would become the central part of modern Bangalore. Kempe Gowda was restricted by rules placed by Achuta Deva Raya who feared the potential power of KempeGowda and did not allow for a formidalbe stone fort. Kempe Gowda referred to the new town as his "gandubhumi" or "Land of Heroes". Within the fort, the town was divided into smaller divisions-each called a "pete". The town had two main streets-Chikkapete Street, which ran east-west, and Doddapete Street, which ran north-south. Their intersection formed the Doddapete Square-the heart of Bangalore. Kempe Gowda I's successor, Kempe Gowda II, built four towers that marked Bangalore's boundary. During the Vijayanagara rule, many saints and poets referred to Bangalore as "Devarayanagara" and "Kalyanapura" or "Kalyanapuri" ("Auspicious City").

After the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565 in the Battle of Talikota, Bangalore's rule changed hands several times. Kempe Gowda declared independence, then in 1638, a large Adil Shahi Bijapur army led by Ranadulla Khan and accompanied by his second in command Shahji Bhonsle defeated Kempe Gowda III and Bangalore was given to Shahji as a jagir (feudal estate). In 1687, the Mughal general Kasim Khan, under orders from Aurangzeb, defeated Ekoji I, son of Shahji, and sold Bangalore to Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar (1673-1704), the then ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore for three lakh rupees. After the death of Krishnaraja Wodeyar II in 1759, Hyder Ali, Commander-in-Chief of the Mysore Army, proclaimed himself the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. Hyder Ali is credited with building the Delhi and Mysore gates at the northern and southern ends of the city in 1760. The kingdom later passed to Hyder Ali's son Tipu Sultan. Hyder and Tipu contributed towards the beautification of the city by building Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens in 1760. Under them, Bangalore developed into a commercial and military centre of strategic importance.

Bangalore fort was captured by the British armies under Lord Cornwallis on 21 March 1791 during the Third Anglo-Mysore War and formed a centre for British resistance against Tipu Sultan. Following Tipu's death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799), the British returned administrative control of the Bangalore "pete" to the Maharaja of Mysore and was incorporated into the Princely State of Mysore, which existed as a nominally sovereign entity of the British Raj. The old city ("pete") developed in the dominions of the Maharaja of Mysore. The Residency of Mysore State was first established in Mysore City in 1799 and later shifted to Bangalore in 1804. It was abolished in 1843 only to be revived in 1881 at Bangalore and to be closed down permanently in 1947, with Indian independence. The British found Bangalore to be a pleasant and appropriate place to station their garrison and therefore moved their cantonment to Bangalore from Seringapatam in 1809 near Halsur, about four miles north-east of the City. A town grew up around the cantonment, by absorbing several villages in the area. The new centre had its own municipal and administrative apparatus, though technically it was a British enclave within the territory of the Wodeyar Kings of the Princely State of Mysore. Two important developments which contributed to the rapid growth of the city, include the introduction of telegraph connections to all major Indian cities in 1853, and a rail connection to Madras in 1864.

In the 19th century, Bangalore essentially became a twin city, with the "pete", whose residents were predominantly Kannadigas, and the "cantonment" created by the British, whose residents were predominantly Tamils. Throughout the 19th century, the Cantonment gradually expanded and acquired a distinct cultural and political salience as it was governed directly by the British and was known as the Civil and Military Station of Bangalore. While it remained in the princely territory of Mysore, Cantonment had a large military presence and a cosmopolitan civilian population that came from outside the princely state of Mysore, including Britons, Anglo-Indians, and migrant Tamil labourers and contractors. City, on the other hand, had a largely Kannada-speaking population.

Bangalore was hit by a plague epidemic in 1898 that claimed nearly 3,500 lives. The crisis caused by the outbreak catalysed the city's sanitation process. 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 and the city divided into four wards for better coordination. Victoria Hospital was inaugurated in 1900 by Lord Curzon, the then Governor-General of British India. New extensions in Malleswaram and Basavanagudi were developed in the north and south of the pete. In 1903, motor vehicles came to be introduced in Bangalore. In 1906, Bangalore became one of the first cities in India to have electricity from hydro power, powered by the hydroelectric plant situated in Shivanasamudra. The Indian Institute of Science was established in 1909, which subsequently played a major role in developing the city as a science research hub. In 1912, the Bangalore torpedo, a defensive explosive weapon widely used in World War I and World War II, was devised in Bangalore by British army officer Captain McClintock of the Madras Sappers and Miners.

Bangalore's reputation as the "Garden City of India" began in 1927 with the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. Several projects such as the construction of parks, public buildings and hospitals were instituted to improve the city. Bangalore played an important role during the Indian independence movement. Mahatma Gandhi visited the city in 1927 and 1934 and addressed public meetings here. In 1926, the labour unrest in Binny Mills due to demand by textile workers for payment of bonus resulted in lathi charging and police firing, resulting in the death of four workers, and several injuries. In July 1928, there were notable communal disturbances in Bangalore, when a Ganesh idol was removed from a school compound in the Sultanpet area of Bangalore. In 1940, the first flight between Bangalore and Bombay took off, which placed the city on India's urban map.

After India's independence in August 1947, Bangalore remained in the newly carved Mysore State of which the Maharaja of Mysore was the Rajapramukh (appointed governor). The "City Improvement Trust" was formed in 1945, and in 1949, the "City" and the "Cantonment" merged to form the Bangalore City Corporation. The Government of Karnataka later constituted the Bangalore Development Authority in 1976 to co-ordinate the activities of these two bodies. Public sector employment and education provided opportunities for Kannadigas from the rest of the state to migrate to the city. Bangalore experienced rapid growth in the decades 1941-51 and 1971-81, which saw the arrival of many immigrants from northern Karnataka. By 1961, Bangalore had become the sixth largest city in India, with a population of 1,207,000. In the decades that followed, Bangalore's manufacturing base continued to expand with the establishment of private companies such as MICO (Motor Industries Company), which set up its manufacturing plant in the city.

By the 1980s, it was clear that urbanization had spilled over the current boundaries, and in 1986, the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority, was established to co-ordinate the development of the entire region as a single unit. On 8 February 1981, a major fire broke out at Venus Circus in Bangalore, where more than 92 lives were lost, the majority of them being children. Bangalore experienced a growth in its real estate market in the 1980s and 1990s, spurred by capital investors from other parts of the country who converted Bangalore's large plots and colonial bungalows into multi-storied apartments. In 1985, Texas Instruments became the first multinational corporation to set up base in Bangalore. Other information technology companies followed suit and by the end of the 20th century, Bangalore had established itself as the Silicon Valley of India. During the 21st century, Bangalore has suffered terrorist attacks in 2008, 2010, and 2013.