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Bangalore

Bangalore , officially Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore has an estimated metropolitan population of 65 lakh (6.5 million), making it India's third most populous city and fifth-largest metropolitan area.

Though historically attested at least since 900 CE, recorded history of the city starts from 1537, when Kempe Gowda I, widely regarded as the founder of modern Bangalore, built a mud fort and established it as a province of the Vijayanagara Empire. During the British Raj, Bangalore developed as a centre for colonial rule in South India. The establishment of the Bangalore Cantonment brought in large numbers of migrants from other parts of the country. Since independence in 1947, Bangalore grew to become the capital of Karnataka state. Today, as a large and growing metropolis in the developing world, Bangalore continues to struggle with problems such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and crime. Home to some of the most well-recognised colleges and research institutions in India, the city has the second-highest literacy rate among the metropolitan cities in the nation.

It is home to numerous public sector heavy industries, software companies, aerospace, telecommunications, machine tools, heavy equipment, and defence establishments. Bangalore is referred to as the Silicon Valley of India due to its pre-eminent position as the leading contributor to India's IT industry. Bangalore has developed into one of India's major economic hubs and was rated by CNN as the "Best place to do business" in the world.

History

After centuries of the rule of the Western Gangas, Bangalore was captured by the Cholas in 1024 which later passed on to the Chalukya-cholas in 1070. In 1116 the Hoysala Empire, overthrew the Cholas and extended its rule over Bangalore. Modern Bangalore was founded by a vassal of the Vijayanagara Empire, Kempe Gowda I, who built a mud fort and a Nandi Temple in the proximity of modern Bangalore in 1537. Kempe Gowda referred to the new town as his "gandu bhoomi" or "Land of Heroes".

Within the fort, the town was divided into smaller divisions called "pe-te-s". The town had two main streets: Chickkape-te- Street, which ran east-west, and Doddape-te- Street, which ran north-south. Their intersection formed the Doddape-te- Square the heart of Bangalore. Kempe Gowda's successor, Kempe Gowda II, built four famous towers that marked Bangalore's boundary.During the Vijayanagara rule, Bangalore was also referred to as "Devara-yanagara" and "Kalya-napura" ("Auspicious City"). After the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, Bangalore's rule changed hands several times. In 1638, a large Bijapur army led by Ranadulla Khan and accompanied by Shahji Bhonsle defeated Kempe Gowda III and Bangalore was given to Shahji as a jagir. In 1687, the Mughal general Kasim Khan defeated Ekoji, son of Shahji, and then sold Bangalore to Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar (16731704) of Mysore for 300,000 rupees. After the death of Krishnaraja Wodeyar II in 1759, Hyder Ali, Commander-in-Chief of the Mysore Army, proclaimed himself the de facto ruler of Mysore. The kingdom later passed to Hyder Ali's son Tippu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore. Bangalore was eventually incorporated into the British East Indian Empire after Tippu Sultan was defeated and killed in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799). The British returned administrative control of the Bangalore "pe-te-" to the Maharaja of Mysore, choosing only to retain the Cantonment under their jurisdiction. The 'Residency' of Mysore State was first established at Mysore in 1799 and later shifted to Bangalore in the year 1804. It was abolished in the year 1843 only to be revived in 1881 at Bangalore and finally to be closed down in 1947 with the departure of the British. The British, found it easier to recruit employees in the Madras Presidency and relocate them to cantonment area during this period. The Kingdom of Mysore relocated its capital from Mysore city to Bangalore in 1831. Two important developments during this period contributed to the rapid growth of the city: the introduction of telegraph connections and a rail connection to Madras in 1864.

In the 19th century, Bangalore essentially became a twin city, with the "pe-te-", whose residents were predominantly Kannadigas, and the "cantonment" created by the British, whose residents were predominantly Tamils. Bangalore was hit by a plague epidemic in 1898 that dramatically reduced its population. New extensions in Malleshwara and Basavanagudi were developed in the north and south of the pe-te-. Telephone lines were laid to help co-ordinate anti-plague operations, and a health officer was appointed to the city in 1898. In 1906, Bangalore became the first city in India to have electricity, powered by the hydroelectric plant situated in Shivanasamudra. Bangalore's reputation as the Garden City of India began in 1927 with the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. Several projects such as the construction of parks, public buildings and hospitals were instituted to beautify the city. After Indian independence in August 1947, Bangalore remained in the new Mysore State of which the Maharaja of Mysore was the Rajapramukh. Public sector employment and education provided opportunities for Kannadigas from the rest of the state to migrate to the city. Bangalore experienced rapid growth in the decades 194151 and 197181 , which saw the arrival of many immigrants from northern Karnataka. By 1961, Bangalore had become the sixth largest city in India, with a population of 1,207,000. In the decades that followed, Bangalore's manufacturing base continued to expand with the establishment of private companies such as Motor Industries Company (MICO; a subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH), which set up its manufacturing plant in the city. Bangalore experienced a boom in its real estate market in the 1980s and 1990s, spurred by capital investors from other parts of the country who converted Bangalore's large plots and colonial bungalows to multi-storied apartments. In 1985, Texas Instruments became the first multinational to set up base in Bangalore. Other Information Technology companies followed suit and by the end of the 20th century, Bangalore had firmly established itself as the Silicon Valley of India.

Economy

Bangalore's Rs. 260,260 crore (USD 60.5 billion) economy (200203 Net District Income) makes it a major economic centre in India. Indeed, Bangalore is India's fourth largest and fastest growing market. Bangalore's per capita income of Rs. 49,000 (US$ 1,160) is the highest for any Indian city. The city is the third-largest hub for high net worth individuals (HNWI / HNIs), after Mumbai and Delhi. Bangalore is home to over 10,000 individual dollar millionaires and around 60,000 super-rich people who have an investable surplus of Rs. 4.5 crore (US$ 1.15 million) and Rs. 50 lakh (US$ 127,360) respectively. As of 2001, Bangalore's share of Rs. 1660 crore (US$ 3.7 billion) in Foreign Direct Investment was the third highest for an Indian city. In the 1940s industrial visionaries such as Sir Mirza Ismail and Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya played an important role in the development of Bangalore's strong manufacturing and industrial base.

Bangalore is headquarters to several public manufacturing heavy industries such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT). In June 1972 the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was established under the Department of Space and headquartered in the city.

Bangalore is called the "Silicon Valley of India" because of the large number of Information Technology companies located in the city which contributed 33% of India's Rs. 144,214 crore (US$ 32 billion) IT exports in 2006-07. Bangalore's IT industry is divided into three main "clusters" Software Technology Parks of India, Bangalore (STPI); International Technology Park Bangalore (ITPB), formerly International Technology Park Ltd. (ITPL); and Electronics City. UB City, the headquarters of the United Breweries Group, is a high-end commercial zone. Infosys and Wipro, India's second and third largest software companies are headquartered in Bangalore as are many of the global SEI-CMM Level 5 Companies. The growth of Information Technology has presented the city with unique challenges. Ideological clashes sometimes occur between the city's IT moguls, who demand an improvement in the city's infrastructure and the state government, whose electoral base is primarily the people in rural Karnataka. Bangalore is ahub for biotechnology related industry in India and in the year 2005, around 47% of the 265 biotechnology companies in India were located here; including Biocon, India's largest biotechnology company.

Additionally, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is being developed in the outskirts of the city. The Rs. 750 crore (US$ 191.04 million) SEZ, developed by the Karle Group is projected by some to employ an estimated 20,000 people in Nagawara.

Transport

Bangalore's HAL Airport (IATA code: BLR) is India's fourth busiest and functions as both domestic and international airport and is well connected to several destinations in the world. Unlike most airports in the country which are controlled by the Airports Authority of India, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited owns and operates this airport, and also uses it to test and develop fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. With the liberalisation of India's economic policies, many domestic carriers such as SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Go Air have started servicing the city, which has led to congestion problems at this airport. This situation is expected to be eased when the new Bengaluru International Airport, which is being constructed in Devanahalli in the outskirts of Bangalore, becomes operational. Currently targeted to be inaugurated on 30th March 2008 this airport will have two runways and is being built to handle 11 million passengers per year. Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines have their headquarters in Bangalore.

An rapid transit system called the Bangalore Metro is being developed and is expected to be operational by 2011. Once completed, this will encompass a 33 km (20.5 mi) elevated and underground rail network, with 32 stations in Phase I and more being added in Phase II. Bangalore is well connected to the rest of the country through the Indian Railways. The Rajdhani Express connects Bangalore to New Delhi, the capital of India. The city is also connected to Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, as well as other major cities in Karnataka.

An rapid transit system called the Bangalore Metro is being developed and is expected to be operational by 2011. Once completed, this will encompass a 33 km (20.5 mi) elevated and underground rail network, with 32 stations in Phase I and more being added in Phase II. Bangalore is well connected to the rest of the country through the Indian Railways. The Rajdhani Express connects Bangalore to New Delhi, the capital of India. The city is also connected to Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, as well as other major cities in Karnataka. Three-wheeled, black and yellow auto-rickshaws, referred to as autos, are a popular form of transport. They are metered and can accommodate up to three passengers. Taxi service within Bangalore is provided by several operators commonly referred to as Citi taxis which can take in up to four passengers and are usually metered and more expensive than auto-rickshaws.

Buses operated by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) are the only means of public transport, available in the city. While commuters can buy tickets on boarding these buses, BMTC also provides an option of a bus pass to frequent users. BMTC also runs air-conditioned red-coloured Volvo buses on major routes


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