The Real Story of How Bangalore Became Silicon Valley
The Real Story of How Bangalore Became Silicon Valley | Credit: BengaluruPost WEbsite

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The Real Story of How Bangalore Became Silicon Valley

Feb 20, 2018

Very rarely do we get enchanted by a city, with inquisitiveness spurting to know the history of the establishment that led to its mammoth growth which still continues at an unstoppable breakneck speed. Bangalore’s salubrious climate, broad green belt, smart administrative moves, technology experts acknowledging IT boom, etc makes Bangalore the melting pot of different cultures and communities.

Let's get on with the enchanting history of Bengaluru

Historians have bookmarked key transformative periods consequent to the evolutionary phases - the native town (1537-1809); colonial period (1809-1947); science & industry phase (1947-1980s); and the hi-tech phase (mid-1980s-present), cites urban planner Radha Chanchani.

The oldest and the most important part of the city was laid by Kempe Gowda, a feudatory of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1537, moulding it into a miniature South Indian town with ‘pete‘ areas - Chikpete, Doddapete, Sultanpete, so on. By 1807, Britishers arrived and leased eastern part of the city from the Mysore Maharaja and set military buildings like cantonment near Halasuru Lake (now Ulsoor), Parade Ground, Brigade Road, the Indian Army’s oldest engineering group Madras Sappers, and soon designed civil structures too. The framework extended to northern and southern parts- Malleswaram and Basavanagudi, with a broad belt of open land in between, harbouring the green carpet and extending from Cubbon Park through the race course, golf course, Palace grounds and Lalbagh.

Do we call it Bangalore or Bengaluru?

Bengaluru underwent few name alterations from Benda Kala Uru (the city of the cooked pulses), Vengaluru (village of Vengala/Venkata) and Bengavaluru (town of bodyguards) but the essence and entity of the city never changed. Bangalore transitioned to Bengaluru in 2014, but the mere namesake change has not changed the heart of the city.

Bangalore's pub culture: Where did it brew?

Influence of British inhabitants gave the city an English- European makeover with the budding clubs and pubs like United Services Club (the Bangalore Club), the Century club and Bowring Institute.

Building up the Silicon Valley of India

Post India's independence, the population steadily increased and administrative landscape took shape. Vidhana Soudha, the landmark legislative assembly building, rose in the city’s heart in 1956.The industrial journey initially began with thrust on PSUs like Bharat Electronics Ltd and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. The next decade saw the boom of many industries shifting base from other parts of India. The need for manpower attracted workers from neighbouring states -Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. The city's fixation towards Engineers has not changed even today. From a largely PSU-oriented city to becoming a private-sector technology city has paved the way to the third major boom with IT in the late 1980s. Within no time the smart city was christened as the Silicon Valley of India. At present, it nestles a large number of companies and the growth of startups has just begun.

Today as we stand on a time divide, identifying the vestiges of the beautiful bygone era, we also need to think of the future. With a bustling population of 12.34 million, the temperature not as mild as before, glaring traffic woes and poor road condition, there are problems brewing today. With a concerned heart every city dweller asks – is the fall of Bangalore inevitable?