Shedding its colonial names, Bangalore today became Bengaluru as the state government rechristened 11 cities across Karnataka on the state’s formation day – “Karnataka Rajyotsava”.
The new names have come into force after the state government issued a special gazette notification to effect the changes, giving them the distinct local flavour.
Now Bangalore will be called Bengaluru, Mangalore (Mangaluru), Mysore (Mysuru), Bellary (Ballari), Belgaum (Belagavi), Hubli (Hubballi), Tumkur (Tumakuru), Bijapur (Vijayapura), Chikmagalur (Chikkamagaluru), Gulbarga (Kalaburagi), Hospet (Hosapete) and Shimoga (Shivamogga).
In the ninth century, Bangalore was called Bengaval-uru (city of guards). In the 12th century, according to another legend, it became Benda-kaalu-ooru (town of boiled beans).
According to an apocryphal, 12th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II lost his way during a hunting expedition in a forest. A poor old woman offered boiled beans to the tired king, who with a sense of gratitude called the place “benda-kaalu-uru”.
Kempegowda, a feudatory ruler under the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire, was considered the founder of Bangalore. He chose Bendakaluru for his capital in early 16th century, which transformed into Bengaluru and in colonial times, and during British rule became Bangalore.
The city has in recent decades metamorphosed into the country’s IT capital, earning it the tag the Silicon Valley of India, as also the biotech capital.