Bangalore, the IT hub of India, has always been a city full of commerce and activities. Situated in Karnataka State in south India, Bangalore was once an enormous jungle with lush greenery all around. Over Centuries, the city has transformed from a commercial town, British military base campto today’s high brimming metropolis. This article focuses on major events that Bangalore has undergone a lot of transformation and now is one of the megacities of the country.
According to the historians, Bangalore was founded by a local chief of Vijaynagar, Kempe Gowda in 1537. Like many other townships during that time, the forts were laid according to the cardinal axis, temple being the central cosmic axis. Similarly, Kempe Gowde built an enormous mud fort that had four gates signifying the axiality of the town. The main streets connecting the gates were called ‘petes’ or the markets where major commerce was conducted. Within the town, many temple and tanks were built during 1600s.
During medieval period, Bangalore was once ruled by Mughals for some period of time. But in 1690, Chikka Devarajor Wodeya, the fourteenth Maharaja of Mysore conquered the fort from Aurangzeb’s follower, Qasim Khan. Wodeya expanded the fortification of the city in terms of ensuring safety and security of the main town. In 1759, Haider Ali Khanwas handed over the city as he became the personal ‘jehangir’.
By the end of the century, Bangalore became the centre of struggle between conflicting forces. The threat from East India Company grew, and the series of war started from 1767 till 1799 between Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan against the British Empire. The famous Anglo-Mysore Wars came to an end in 1799 by killing of Tipu Sultan and Haider Ali resulting in dismantlement of Mysore for the benefits of East India Company.
In 1800, Bangalore became the manufacturing and trading centre for the whole region of Mysore. Due to its climatic condition, the agricultural products and the vegetables that grew in the region got high demands from the whole country. In 1807, British East India Company decided to setup its military base station at Bangalore. The cantonment area got established in the city for the military people, British civilians and administrative personnel.
As a typical colonial state, the ‘civil and military station’ or cantonment had spacious street layouts with bungalows and gardens. The Native settlement called as ‘blackpally’ inhibited by service providers from south India.During British period, industrialisation in the city was at peak. Due to close proximity from Mangalore, a port town, Bangalore was the centre of trade and commerce. Many new settlements in grid iron pattern emerged in the city.
Post-Independence, Bangalore was expanding in terms of residential development. In 1960, the city got a new sort of development in the field of education and telecommunication. The establishment of Bangalore University and Indian Telephone Industries lead to influx of migrants in huge numbers. Due to which overcrowding population, high traffic jams and formation of urban villages were seen in the city. Throughout 1980s, Bangalore was experiencing infrastructural development of high speed corridors, new townships and high rise buildings.
The city boomed in 1990s, due to the establishment of Information Technology enables service sector. The urban sprawl could be seen in the city and a new way of living can now be seen in the city. Mall culture was experienced first time in Bangalore. People now understood the whole new concept of live, work and play. The city was also termed as “Silicon Valley of India”, as it served as the nation’s leading exporter of IT services. To serve the high demand of work force and mobility, many IT corridors were constructed during this period of time.
Today, travelling in the city is self-explanatory that how and why it is called the city for the young entrepreneurs. Bangalore- or Bengaluru as it’s currently called in kannada language is among the top 14 leading global ecosystems that provides top most infrastructure to start-ups. Not only in terms of construction of tech parks or infrastructure but also providing high level educational system makes the city unique in its own self.
The excitement in the city can be seen through various experimental concepts that people come up in day to day basis. A lot of café’s , lounges and co-working culture has been started in this city only. People love to explore new ideas and are open to new thought process. Apart from the high class development in the city, government also supports and facilitates the concepts of digitisation and start-up culture. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had carved the plans for “Start-up India” and “Digital India” that indeed helped the tech industries to blossom in their own way.
Bengaluru, that was once a small settlement, is now transforming as a mega city that provide world class infrastructural amenities and best IT services throughout the world.
Aarushi Gupta is a practicing Architect and Urban Designer who is fascinated by Indian cities and their culture. Born and brought up in Delhi, she has experienced the transformation the city has undergone and how it is adapting the change. She loves to capture the small yet powerful transitions that solves the issues of common people. Writing about cities is one of her dreams that she’s going to fulfill through RTF.