Bangalore has grown way beyond the founder intended it to. Not many of them would take time to know the history of the place they live, beginning with the names of the places. Bangalore or Bengaluru is one of the most nicest of cities to live and work in India. Bangalore is a city made up of many villages, or towns which has grew over time to create the city that we know today. Some of the popular areas in Bangalore has names that are funny; there are places that were created to serve special purposes, and some places have a story to it. These areas mentioned below have a story behind the name, and this post is about the areas in Bangalore which did not take the name of a human person.
The Chola King, Rajendra Chola I created Kadugodi during his rule. Today it is a small town near the ITPL. This village had a lush forest around it. The Kannada word ‘kadu’ means forest, and ‘gudi’ means temple. Rajendra Chola built the ‘temple in the forest’ next to Dakshina Pinakini river. The river is dry today. To help the locals practice agriculture, the Cholas started irrigation projects in Kadugodi. Due to the elevation of kadugodi than rest of Bangalore it has a cooler climate throughout the year. This is a reason the British chose to live in a residential community close by. The British built a bridge over the river connecting both sides of the river, which was an impetus for further development.
‘Basava’ means bull, and ‘gudi’ means temple in Kannada. This place has a temple dedicated to the Nandi, the divine bull. The temple is one of the cultural landmarks of Bangalore. Basavanagudi was one the first towns created in Bangalore, was a major commercial hub of the 80s. It was a place where traders, mostly textile makers came to settle. The Bull temple is less than three kilometers from Lalbagh. Basavanagudi, in spite of all the infrastructure development has managed to keep its old charm. It is favorite places in Bangalore, and people would love to live here. Gandhi bazaar is the shopping destination for many locals.
Malleswaram is located in the North Western part of Bangalore, and was one of the first suburb planned and built along with Basavanagudi. Kempe Gowda built Maleswaram as a new residential locality after the plague hit Bangalore in 1898 due to poor sanitation condition. Venkoji, a Maratha king, the brother of Shivaji Maharaj of the Maratha empire, after conquering Bangalore decided to build a temple. The locals called this temple Kadu Malleswara. The new locality of Malleswaram takes it name from the temple. Today Malleswaram has lot of temples, old markets, educational institutions, residential communities. This place has four of the ten best restaurants serving local food in Bangalore.
Banashankari is the biggest locality in Bangalore and one of the oldest. This huge area is subdivided into six stages. Banashankari is named after the temple dedicated to Banashankari Amma built in 1915 which makes it one of the oldest temple in Bangalore. The quality of living is different in different stages, and blocks. It has many famous educational institutions, hospitals, temples, residential communities.
Kempe Gowda named Ulsoor after a fruit. The name Ulsoor is derived from a Halasuru which means ‘place of jackfruit’. After the emperors of the Vijayanagara empire gifted Bangalore to Kempe Gowda I, he built the lake in Halasuru in the 16th century which makes it the oldest lake in Bangalore. This place had a jackfruit orchard near the Ulsoor lake. The British who built a military station in Halasuru started calling it Ulsoor.
Ulsoor has old temples built more than 800 years ago, residential properties, the prices of which have hit the roof. Sri Guru Singh Sabha is the biggest Gurudwara in Bangalore, and is located at the banks of the Ulsoor lake. Painted white, it is the most striking feature of Ulsoor. One of the famous Kempe Gowda watch tower is located here marking the end of Bangalore. However, it is common knowledge that Bangalore has grown beyond it.
The Kannada words ‘Tengu’ meaning coconut, and ‘Keri’ meaning place form the word Kengeri. There was a fort in Kengeri which was a pit stop for not only Tipu Sultan while at war with the British, but also many traders who regularly traveled between Bangalore and Srirangapatna. During the history of Kengeri, it has changed hands between the Cholas to the emperors of Vijayanagar, to the Marathas, and then to the Kings of Mysore. It is one of the upcoming residential community of Bangalore with rising property prices. The Vrishabhavathi river which flows by Kengeri carries Bangalore’s sewage, and has polluted the river beyond treatment.
Matrathahalli got its name from an aircraft. The name translates to ‘village of the Marut.’ Marut became one of the main fighter bomber aircraft of the Indian Air Force in the 1960s. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited along with Kurt Tank, a Nazi aircraft designer who also designed many Luftwaffe aircraft, designed the Marut. A Marut aircraft allegedly crash landed in this village during a routine flight. The locals started calling the place Marathahalli, the village of the Marut. Marathahalli is one of the sought after residential and commercial area by the IT workforce of Bangalore. There are good network of roads connecting Marathahalli to Whitefield, Electronics City, the HAL.
One of my favorite areas of Bangalore, Koramangala does not have a record of the origin of its name; however the name Koramangala means ‘renewed for welfare’ in Kannada. It was a empty piece of land infested by mosquitoes few decades ago. When Kempe Gowda built Bangalore he did not featured it in his map. This upscale neighborhood is a startup hub of Bangalore; with nice residential localities, restaurants, office spaces, shopping malls, it has become a destination for the young. People come here to start up or to work in one. In spite of all this, there is a report of high crime rate, and bad civic infrastructure.
Do you know of any other areas named after non-humans? Comment below.