You are a government and you want to provide a new place for people that have already filled the city to the brim. You may create a new neighborhood and then tell some people to move there.
However, those people get a new place and a new home to call their own, but they do not know what to call the place. You cannot call it NG65DS or something like that because they are neither living on Mars nor Antarctica (I’m sure they have numbered the places like that there).
Bangalore has grown way beyond how the founder intended it to, and a lot of people that came here to live. Because of the habit of the authorities of naming places, almost all the suburbs and new areas have a name.
So that when you call a friend, you do not have to be sad about not knowing the name of your neighborhood. Not many of them would take time to know the history of the place they live, and to begin with, the names of the neighborhoods.
Bangalore or Bengaluru is among the nicest of the cities to live and work in India. It is a city made up of many villages, or towns which grew over time and merged to become the city of Bangalore.
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 about it. If you are struggling to find the history behind the name of your area, fret not.
These areas have a name that has non-human names.
Kadugodi – Temple in the forest
The Chola King, Rajendra Chola I created Kadugodi during his rule of Bangalore. 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 River Dakshina Pinakini. However, the river is dry today.
To help the locals practice agriculture, Rajendra Chola 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. They even built a bridge over the river connecting both sides of the river, which was an impetus for further development of Whitefield.
Basavanagudi – Temple dedicated to Nandi bull
This place is named after a groundnut devouring giant. ‘Basava’ means bull, and ‘gudi’ means temple in Kannada. This place has a temple dedicated to the Nandi, the divine bull.
Read the story of how the villagers appeased a groundnut eating giant bull by offering their produce of groundnuts annually.
The temple is one of the cultural landmarks of Bangalore. Basavanagudi was one the first towns created in Bangalore and it 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, despite all the infrastructure development, it has managed to keep its old charm. It is favorite places of most people in Bangalore. Gandhi bazaar is the shopping destination for many locals and is close to the bull temple.
Malleshwaram – Temple dedicated to Malleswara
Malleshwaram is located in the North Western part of Bangalore, and it was one of the first suburb planned and built along with Basavanagudi. Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore built Malleshwaram as a new residential locality.
After the plague hit Bangalore in 1898 due to poor sanitation condition, people moved there and it was further developed. So which temple did they name Malleshwaram after?
Venkoji, a Maratha king, the brother of King Shivaji 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 – Temple dedicated to Goddess Banashankari
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 Goddess Banashankari built in 1915 which makes it one of the oldest temple in Bangalore.
The quality of living is different in different blocks. It has many famous educational institutions, hospitals, temples, residential communities.
Ulsoor – Named after a fruit
Kempe Gowda named Ulsoor after a fruit. The name Ulsoor takes its name from Halasuru which means ‘place of jack fruit’. No jack fruits are not related to durians. I am a South Indian and jack fruit is my kind of fruit.
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 jack fruit orchard near the Ulsoor lake.
The British who built a military station in Halasuru started calling it Ulsoor and the name stuck. 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 Kempe Gowda watch towers is located here marking the end of Bangalore. By now you know that Bangalore has grown beyond it.
Kengeri – Place of coconuts
Today you know Kengeri because of the train station on the way to Mysore. It takes its name from two Kannada words ‘Tengu’, meaning coconut and ‘Keri’ meaning place. Tengu Keri became Kengeri.
There are lots you can do with a coconut. 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. Thanks development!
Marathahalli – Named after Marut aircraft
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.
Koramangala – A place of welfare
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 an empty piece of land infested by mosquitoes few decades ago.
When Kempe Gowda developed Bangalore, he did not feature it in his map. Today, this upscale neighbourhood is a start-up hub of Bangalore, with nice residential localities, restaurants, office spaces and shopping malls.
It has become a destination for the young. People come here to start-up or to work in one. Despite this, there is a report of high crime rate, and bad civic infrastructure. Boo!
These are some of the areas that has non-human names. Do you know of any other areas named after non-humans? Let me know.
Featured image source: Quartz