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Bengaluru (Bangalore) – The Garden City of India

‘Namma Bengaluru’ (Our Bangalore), as the residents of this burgeoning city proudly proclaim, is situated in southern India and is the capital of the state of Karnataka. Historically known as the Garden City for its many beautiful gardens, today, Bangalore is the main hub for India’s IT sector and thus called the Silicon Valley of India. It is located on the southern part of the Deccan Plateau and is home to many well-recognized colleges and research institutions in India. Numerous public sector heavy industries, software companies, aerospace, telecommunications, and defense organizations are also located in the city.

Bengaluru’s known and documented history is over 1000 years old. The earliest reference to the name "Bengaluru" was found in a ninth century Western Ganga Dynasty stone inscription. In this inscription "Bengaluru" is referred to as a place in which a battle was fought in 890 AD. It states that the place was part of the Ganga Kingdom until 1004 AD and was known as "Bengaval-uru", the "City of Guards" in Halegannada (Old Kannada).

There is another popular legend about the origins of Bangalore (Anglicized version of Bengaluru). It is believed that the 11th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II, while on a hunting expedition, lost his way in the forest. Tired and hungry, he came across a poor old woman who served him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place "Benda-kaal-uru" (meaning "town of boiled beans"), which eventually evolved into "Bengalūru".

After the fall of the Western Ganga dynasty, Bangalore was captured by the Cholas in 1024 AD, and was which later passed on to the Chalukya-Cholas in 1070 AD. In 1116 AD, the Hoysala Empire, overthrew the Cholas and extended its rule over Bangalore. Modern Bangalore was founded by a vassal of the Vijayanagara Empire, Kempe Gowda I. He built a mud-brick fort and a Nandi Temple in the proximity of modern Bangalore in 1537 AD. Kempe Gowda's successor, Kempe Gowda II, built four famous towers that marked Bangalore's boundary. Myth says that the city would befall great calamity if it extended beyond these four towers. During the Vijayanagara rule, Bangalore was also referred to as "Devarāyanagara" and "Kalyānapura" (Auspicious City). After the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, Bangalore's rule changed hands several times. In 1638 AD, a large Bijapur army led by Ranadulla Khan and accompanied by Shahaji Bhonsle defeated Kempe Gowda III and Bangalore was given to Shahaji as a Jagir. In 1687, the Mughal general Kasim Khan defeated Ekoji I/Venkoji, son of Shahaji, and then sold Bangalore to Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar (1673–1704) of Mysore for Rs. 300,000 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 Mysore. The kingdom later passed to Hyder Ali's son Tippu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore.

Bangalore fort was captured by the British armies under Lord Cornwallis in March 1791 and became the center for British resistance against Tippu Sultan. After Tippu Sultan was defeated and killed in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799), the British returned administrative control of Bangalore to the Maharaja of Mysore, choosing only to retain the Cantonment under their jurisdiction. The Kingdom of Mysore relocated its capital from Mysore city to Bangalore in 1831. In 1906, Bangalore became the first city in India to have electricity, powered by the hydroelectric plant situated in Shivanasamudra. 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 beautify the city. After Indian independence in August 1947, Bangalore remained in the new Mysore State of which the Maharaja of Mysore was the Rajapramukh.

Bangalore is a highly cosmopolitan city today. It is the third most populous city in India. Kannada is widely spoken along with other languages like Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani and English. While Udupi and Karnataka cuisine like idli, dosa, vada, bisibele bhath, uppittu, ragi troti are traditionally popluar, other types of cuisines are also gaining popularity. Dasara, a traditional celebration of the old Kingdom of Mysore, is the state festival and is celebrated with great vigor. Cricket is the most popular sport in Bangalore. A significant number of national cricketers have come from Bangalore, including former Indian cricket team captains Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble. The city is host to a number of prestigious educational institutions like Indian Institute of Science (IISC), National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), National Institute of Design (NID), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), the Indian Statistical Institute and International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B). The city is also home to the premier mental health institution in India National Institute of Mental Healthand Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).

There are many tourist attractions in the city of Bengaluru. Some of the important ones are Vidhana Soudha, Vishveshwaraya Industrial & Technological museum, Lal Bagh, Cubbon park, Bangalore Palace, Nandi temple. Bannerghatta National Park situated 22 km south of Bangalore and Nandi Hills are also major tourist attractions.

Bangalore has blossomed into a major economic and cultural hub and is the second fastest growing major metropolis in India.

Bengaluru (Bangalore) – The Garden City of India