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Post independence, Bangalore evolved into a manufacturing hub for heavy industries such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Indian Space Research Organization. More recently, Bangalore has been an important contributor to the growth of information technology in India.
Set in the Deccan Plateau, with an average elevation of 900 m above sea level, Bangalore has pleasant weather, with highs ranging from around 24°C in winter to 35°C during summer, despite being between the tropical latitudes of 12° 39' N and 13° N...
Bangalore is believed to have been founded in 1537 by Kempe Gowda (c. 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, south west of Bangalore. After the arrival of the British, the city was given the anglicised name 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 Kempegowda I built his new capital town in about 1537, he called it Bengaluru as his mother and wife belonged to the hamlet of Halebengaluru.
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 the event.
The reign of Bangalore changed hands several times. It was ruled by the Adil Shahi sultans of Bijapur until 1638, when it was captured by the Maratha ruler Shahji Bhonsle. After 50 years of Maratha rule Bangalore was conquered by the Mughals in 1686. The city was leased to the Mysore ruler Chikkadevaraya by the Mughals around 1689 and Chikkadevaraya expanded the Bangalore fort to the south and built the Venkataramana temple in this fort area. This new fort in granite was strengthened by Haider Ali who secured Bangalore as a jahgir in 1759. The British under Lord Cornwallis conquered the place in 1799 after defeating Tipu Sultan.
Bangalore was hit by a plague epidemic in 1898. The epidemic took a large toll and many of the temples were built during this time. Many of these temples are called 'Maramma ' temples after the plague deity. It is believed that this epidemic helped in the development of Bangalore and improvements in sanitation and health facilities helped in modernizing Bangalore. A plague officer was appointed and the city was divided into four wards.
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.
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.
The former Cantonment, named as Civil and Military Station after 1881 had roads named according to military conventions. Thus, there was Artillery Rd., Brigade Rd., Infantry Rd., Cavalry Rd., etc. 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.
Culture and education
Over 51% of Bangalore's population consists of expatriates from other parts of India as well as foreign nationals, a trend that existed even in colonial Bangalore. This is evident in the Tamil inscriptions on the memorial set up near Brigade Road by the then British rulers for the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in various wars.
Bangalore is home to the Indian Institute of Science, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM, Bangalore), the National Law School of India University, the Indian Institute of Information Technology - Bangalore,the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences . Bangalore also plays host to a large number of Engineering and Medical science institutions. Some important engineering colleges include Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering (RVCE), U.V.C.E, P.E.S Institute of Technology,M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology and B.M.S College of Engineering. Important medical colleges are Bangalore Medical College and K.I.M.S .
Economic development and urban life
One of the important factors that made Bangalore what it is now is the fact that the Union Government invested heavily in public sector industries in Bangalore, partially due to the fact that it is far away from India's erstwhile enemies Pakistan and China. This led to the concentration of technical and scientific manpower in Bangalore, and is a factor in leading the "IT revolution" in Bangalore.Bangalore with its beautiful gardens and new glass buildings was reported to be one of the 12 "Capitals of Style" in the world along with Paris , Los Angeles and London by NewsWeek.
Long before Bangalore was ever called the Silicon Valley of India, the city made its name as headquarters to some of the largest national heavy industries of India. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) headquarters was based in Bangalore, and was for the most part dedicated to R&D activities for indigenous fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Today, HAL develops and maintains an impressive fleet of fighter aircraft and trainers for the Indian Airforce including Sukhoi 30 Flankers and Jaguars.
The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) is also headquartered in Bangalore and is dedicated to the development of aerospace technologies. NAL has a staff strength of over 1,300 employees and often works in conjunction with HAL.
In June 1972, the Government of India set up the Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS). India's premier space research organization, the ISRO was created under the DOS and headquartered in Bangalore. The main objective of ISRO includes development of satellites and launch vehicles . Aryabhatta, India's first satellite, was developed and successfully launched by ISRO. Since then, the organization has successfully launched numerous other satellites such as Bhaskara, Rohini, APPLE and the INSAT series, and successfully deployed PSLVs and GSLVs. ISRO also heads India's ambitious moon program.
Bangalore is also a major manufacturing base and houses such public sector manufacturing giants as BHEL , BEL and ITI .
Bangalore is called the "Silicon Valley of India" due to the large number of computer and technology companies, as well as the related infrastructure, located there. Many multinational corporations, especially computer hardware and software giants, have operations in Bangalore. Electronics City, located in the southern outskirts of Bangalore, is an industrial park spread over 330 acres (1.3 km²). Whitefield , located in the northeastern outskirts of the city is another technology hot spot. The government has plans to develop a Information technology corridor linking Whitefield and Electronics City. Bangalore houses more than a hundred industries, including IT industry leaders such as Sun, Macromedia, Intel, Yahoo!, IBM, Dell, Oracle, HP, SAP, Motorola,TCS, Satyam, Trilogy , Infosys, Siemens, ITI , i-GATE, Honeywell, and Wipro. Bangalore is also the home to the GM Tech Center .
Biotechnology is a growing field in the city. Bangalore accounts for at least 97 of the approximately 240 biotechnology companies in India. Interest in Bangalore as a base for biotechology companies stems from Karnataka's comprehensive biotechnology policy, described by the Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology . In 2003-2004, Karnataka attracted the maximum venture capital funding for biotechnology in the country - $8 million. Biocon , headquartered in Bangalore, is the nation's leading biotechnology company and ranks 16th in the world in revenues.
Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) which is initiated by Biotechnology vision group,ICICI,Biocon which is located in ITPL is trying to shape revolutionary scientists in the field.
The city is known as the "Garden City of India", and there are many public parks, including the Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park .
Bangalore has an active night culture and is home to over 200 clubs and bars. Popular nightspots in Bangalore include Pecos, The Club Inferno, Insomnia, Spinn, iBar, Urban Edge, Club X, Styx (a pub for hard rock fans), Purple Haze, Legends Of Rock, TGIF, fBar (a fashion themed club) and Opium.
Apart from urban and night life Bangalore is home to a number of elite clubs, like the Bangalore Golf Club, the Karnataka State Cricket Club (which boasts several of members of the Indian cricket team) and the Bangalore Club which is so exclusive it has a 25 year waiting list and counts among its previous members Winston Churchill and the Maharajah of Mysore. The Bangalore Club is much like a miniature city with supermarkets, recreational facilities, libraries and auditoriums, not to mention a number of bars.
Initially a Grade B city in India, Bangalore was not built to accommodate the massive influx of skilled and unskilled workers from other parts of Karnataka and India. The fastest growing city in Asia now has to struggle with a constantly and rapidly increasing population of technocrats and blue collar workers.
The city's roads were not designed to accommodate the massive traffic that now prevails in Bangalore. As the city expands and absorbs other towns into it, the necessity for proper planning and road infrastructure to commute through the city increases.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited owned and operated the airport that was subsequently used for commercial civil aviation by the Government of Karnataka. Most airports are controlled by the Airports Authority of India . This led to a prolonged three way tussle between the HAL, the Government of Karnataka and the Indian Air Force.
Eventually a full scale international airport was planned at Devanahalli , 30 kilometers from Bangalore. The project, initially conceived in 1991, was repeatedly delayed due to red tape and bickering between the private companies involved and the Central and State Governments. Clearance for the construction of the $288 million airport was eventually granted in June 2004. The major stakeholders of this project include Siemens-Zurich Airport-L&T consortium, Airports Authority of India and Karnataka State Investment and Industrial Development Corporation. Construction work on the airport began in March 2005.
Bangalore's infrastructural woes have led to protests by students and IT workers in the city. In July 2004 Wipro's Azim Premji threatened to pull out of the city unless there was a drastic improvement in infrastructure over the next few years.
The local administration has attempted to overcome some of the shortcomings in the road systems by imposing one-way traffic systems and attempting to build a flyover system in the city. These initiatives have met with limited success. A flyover near the Domlur sector has been delayed twice, for about five months each time. The flyover near the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology on Bannerghatta Road has also been delayed. Some of the flyovers and one-ways have mitigated the traffic situation moderately, but the volume of traffic continues to grow.
In 2005 the Central and State Governments allocated sizeable funding from their annual budgets towards the improvement of Bangalore's infrastructure. The new international airport and the planned metro rail system were specifically mentioned as projects to be funded. The State Government also announced plans to improve the city's roadways and introduce new traffic management plans. The effects of these new initiatives remain to be seen.
According to the Census of India 2001 results, 345,200 people or 8% of the population live in slums in Bangalore. The sex ratio of the slum population was 948 females/1000 males, as compared to the overall sex ratio of Bangalore of 915 females/1000 males.
Slum Jagathu is a Bangalore based magazine for and by slum dwellers.
- List of cities in India
- Thirty largest cities in the world
- List of cities in the world
- List of cities known as Silicon Valleys
- Link to Karnataka
- Bangalore Local Information Open Directory
- Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF)
- The Bangalore Cyber Police
- Links to various departments
- Bangalore: Silicon Valley or Coolie Valley?
- Times of India article on the rise of "Don't Get Bangalored"
- Da Bangalore Torpedo: A satirical online magazine from Bangalore
- My Own Private Bangalore: A photo essay by Krishnanand Kamat
- Travel in Karnataka: A few places around Bangalore
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