Known as the 'garden city' of India, Bengaluru is the capital of Karnataka state and a techie's paradise as it boasts of a largest number of software companies in and around the city limits.
Bengaluru city spread over 741 sq. km has a population of 8.42 million making it the third most populous city in the country.
Whereas the city's extended metropolitan area has 8.52 million people, the fifth most populous urban agglomeration in India.
Gifted with a number of green spaces like parks and city forestry, Bengaluru is a sheer delight to nature lovers who can experience a fine blend of urban living with simple rural pleasures.
Located in southern India on the Deccan Plateau, at a height of over 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea level, Bengaluru is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year as temperature is just mild warm throughout the seasons.
Its elevation is the highest among the major large cities of India.
A succession of South Indian dynasties, the Western Gangas, theCholas and the Hoysalas, ruled the present region of Bengaluru which had very little settlements then.
However in 1537 CE, Kempe Gowda; - a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire - established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bengaluru.
In 1638, the Maratha's conquered Bengaluru, but they could rule this region for just 50 years. Soon the Mughals captured the city and sold it to the Mysore kingdom of the Wadiyar dynasty.
It was captured by the British after victory in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799). But after emerging victorious, the British returned the administrative control of the city to the Maharaja of Mysore.
The old city developed under the direct control of Mysore king and was made the capital of the princely state of Mysore which was one of the sovereign entities of the British Raj.
In 1809, the British shifted their cantonment to a place outsidethe old city and a town grew up around it which was governed directly by the British India.....Read More
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Following India's independence in 1947, Bengaluru became the capital of Mysore State, and remained capital when the new Indian state of Karnataka was formed in 1956.
The two urban settlements of Bengaluru - city and cantonment - which had developed as independent entities merged into a single urban centre in 1949. The existing Kannada name, Bengaluru, was declared the official name of the city in 2006 replacing its earlier Anglicised name Bangalore which has become world famous for outsourcing IT projects from the US and European markets.
Bengaluru is known as the "Silicon Valley of India" because of its numero uno status as the top exporter of software and IT-enabled services.
A host of modern educational and technical institutions are housed in Bengaluru which attracts large skilled migrants from rest of the country. Space agency ISRO, IT companies Infosys and Wipro, besides a number of global firms have set up their operations in Bengaluru to take full advantage of a diverse workforce offering skilled services across industrial domains.
With a most cosmopolitan outlook in South India, the garden city is the second fastest growing metropolis in the country.
Some of the top notch educational and research centres includingIndian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT), National Institute of Design (NID R & D Campus), National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) are present in the city offering programmes that are recognised worldwide.
A number of state-owned defence PSUs like Bharat Electronics, Hindustan Aeronautics and National Aerospace Laboratories have been into cutting-edge technologies to strengthen the Indian armed forces.
As a growing metropolitan city, Bengaluru faces a number of challenges like pollution, congested and narrow roads, logistical problems and other socio-economic issues related to its demographic mix.
Bengaluru is ranked fourth after Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata interms of GDP contribution at $83 billion.
On 11 December 2005, the Karnataka government accepted a proposal by Jnanpith Award winner U.R. Ananthamurthy to rename Bangalore (Anglicised name) to Bengaluru.
On 27 September 2006, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) passed a resolution to implement the proposed name change.
The state government accepted the proposal and it was decided to officially implement the name change from 1 November 2006. The original name of the city is Bengaluru
The earliest reference to "Bengalūru" was found in a ninth-century Western Ganga Dynasty stone inscription on a "vira gallu" (literally, "hero stone", a rock edict extolling the virtues of a warrior).
In this inscription found in Begur, "Bengalūrū" is referred to as a place in which a battle was fought in 890 CE.
It states that the place was part of the Ganga Kingdom until 1004 and was known as "Bengaval-uru", the "City of Guards" in Halegannada (Old Kannada).
A popular fable recounts that the 12th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II lost his way in the forest during hunting expedition.
Tired and hungry, he came across a poor old woman who served him boiled beans.
The grateful king named the place "benda-kaal-uru" (literally, "town of boiled beans") which eventually evolved into "Bengaluru".
According to some, Bengaluru population has already touched 10 million in March 2014 with 63-65% of the people comprising migrants from other parts of India.
For decades, the city is known for accommodating people with diverse cultures.
After the liberalisation and the mega explosion of IT companies, BPOs and KPOs, the city began to attract a large number of skilled people and currently 35% of 10 lakh IT professionals in India are employed in Bengaluru.
Bengaluru has been expanding its territory in order to cope with the large inflow of people and the demand for social infrastructure to service the needs of software professionals.
The garden city has an active night culture as it is home to over 800 clubs and bars catering to increasing patronage.
Also referred to as 'Pub Capital of India', the city has busy hangouts like Pecos, The Club Inferno, Kyra Theatre and TGIF.
The city has a number of elite clubs including the Bengaluru Golf Club, Bowring Institute, Century Club, Karnataka Golf Association, the Karnataka State Cricket Club and the Bengaluru Club.
With the explosion of software companies, Bengaluru has seen a rise in the number of western-style malls such as Phoenix MarketCity, Orion Mall, The Forum, Bengaluru Central and The Garuda.
These high-tech malls offer shopping with a comfortable ambience that find ready takers among the young and middle-class families in Bengaluru.
Another change has been the gradual decline of single-screen cinemas and the increase of multiplex theatres hosted by the malls.
The BPO and IT boom has led to the accumulation of disposable income among the younger generation. Eating out is another passion for Bangaloreans as young couples like to taste a variety of cuisines being offered by restaurants and food joints.