Bangalore, also called the Silicon Valley of India for its growing repute as a software centre is India's 5th largest city today. With its exponential industrial and commercial growth, the capital city of Karnataka has surged from a tranquil Garden city to one of country's fastest growing cities. The city's real charm lies in the way it has blended its rich cultural heritage and traditions with its present modernistic status.
The name Bangalore is allegedly derived from the word Bengaluru which is a corrupt form of the word benda kalu (cooked beans). Tradition associates a Hoysala King, Vira Ballala with the origin of this name and recounts how this king lost during one of his hunting expeditions sought for the much needed food from an old lady. This woman offered a humble dish of boiled beans. However, the founding of modern Bangalore is attributed to Kempe godwa, a magadi chieftain (1513-1569) in the early 16th century. He founded Bangalore in 1537, building a mud fort and marking the extent of the city by four watchtowers. Two centuries later it was tended and fortified by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, though now only a place and Lalbagh gardens are the only remains from that period. The British moved their base from Srirangapatnam to Bangalore in 1831 and for the next 50 years the town developed as a spacious cantonment settlement with colonial style residency buildings. In the 1960's the government of India located key defence and telecommunication units here earning it the sobriquet of India's science and technology centre.
Today Bangalore is a city of striking contrasts with its few remaining colonial building and high rise new chrome structures on the man arterial roads. It offers a vibrant cultural heritage, historic monuments, traditional art and craft, exclusive silk and handicraft stores, exotic cuisine along with golf courses, bustling shopping malls, country clubs, cafes, numerous pubs, night clubs, science and technology parks, amusement parks, resorts and health spas.
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