Photo: Muralidharan Alagar
Karthigai dance at Someshwara temple, Ulsoor
Photo: Arul Jegadish
The pink-flowered tabebuia at Cubbon Park
If you think Bangalore is all about IT and BPOs, chrome and glass, pubs and bistros, malls and shopping, think again... For alongside the modern city is an older Bangalore, one of ancient temples and bustling markets, lakes and parks, palaces and forts, gracious bungalows and leafy avenues.
The city has been home to people for between 2000 and 3000 years - did you know you can still see megalithic monuments dating to this period in some places around Bangalore? Of course, the city as we know it was founded in 1537 by Kempegowda I, who built an oval mud fort in the area of the city near what is now City Market. The sagacious chief demonstrated a remarkable ability to think ahead of his times when he laid out a well-planned city within the fort. Areas within the city were carefully allotted to different commercial activities. For example, potters carried on their trade at one end of the settlement so that smoke from their kilns would not affect the other residents. Streets were well-laid out and ran north-south and east-west. And perhaps most important, numerous tanks were constructed so that there was ample provision for water for Bangalore's residents.
From then on, there was no looking back for the city, which grew in importance becoming a major centre for the silk industry and a commercial centre. Over the years, Bangalore passed through several hands. The Marathas, the Mughals, the Wodeyars, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, all of whom added their distinctive stamp to the city.
In 1809, attracted by its central location and its salubrious climate, the British set up a cantonment in Bangalore, adding another strand to the already diverse tapestry that the city had developed into.
Today, Bangalore is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, 'a city of the future', as Jawaharlal Nehru called it, but one with a uniquely diverse, rich and multicultural heritage.
Look through this website for more on Bangalore's heritage, how you can explore it, and how you can help INTACH preserve it.
Photo: Arul Jegadish
The lake at lalbagh
Photo: Shalini Sekhar
An old house on Museum Road