views updated May 18 2018


BANGALORE The capital of Karnataka, Bangalore, once the capital of the princely state of Mysore, had a population of 4.2 million in 2001. The city was founded in the early sixteenth century by Kempe Gowda, a military officer (amaranayaka) of the kingdom of Vijayanagar. It thus owed its origin to the pattern of urbanization under military feudalism as it combined the functions of a cavalry garrison, an administrative headquarters, and a marketplace. After the demise of the Vijayanagar kingdom, Bangalore became the capital of the Wadiyar dynasty of Mysore, and then of the military commanders Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, who usurped the Wadiyar throne. After Tipu Sultan's defeat and death in the Third Mysore War in 1799, the victorious British reinstated the maharajas of Mysore as puppets. In the twentieth century, these maharajas devoted much attention to the growth of industry in their state and to the development of Bangalore. The great Indian industrialist Jamseti N. Tata (1839–1904) endowed the Indian Institute of Science, which started its work in Bangalore in 1907. (Tata did not live to see its inauguration.) Initially, Tata had thought of the institute as a center of research and development for Indian industry, but since that industry could not progress much under British colonial rule, the Institute of Science concentrated on fundamental research. The Nobel laureate C. V. Raman (1888–1970) worked there.

Located about 2,300 feet (700 m) above sea level in a rather dry region, Bangalore became known for its "rustproof" climate, which was attractive to many industries. Hindustan Aircraft Limited was established there just before World War II and contributed a great deal to the British war effort. After India achieved independence, the government of India selected Bangalore as the site for Hindustan Machine Tools. In the private sector, a joint venture (MICO) of the German company Bosch and the nizam of Hyderabad started manufacturing automobile parts, particularly spark plugs. In addition to supporting these various engineering industries, Bangalore also retained its reputation as a center of production of excellent silk. With the rise of information technology, Bangalore became the metropolis of software production in India, home to firms such as Wipro and Infosys. Foreign companies established their own data processing centers there for such activities as bookkeeping, reservation of airline tickets, and "outsourcing" of every kind. Some firms also built centers of research and development in Bangalore, which houses a growing community of highly trained specialists.

Bangalore is the Indian city with the highest population growth rate; its population may well reach 7 million by 2011. Thus far it has retained its spacious urban structure and wonderful parks, such as the Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

Dietmar Rothermund


Fromhold-Eisebith, Martina. "Bangalore: A Network Model for Innovation-Oriented Regional Development in NICs?" In Making Connections: Technological Learning and Regional Economic Change, edited by E. J. Malecki and P. Oinas. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 1999.


views updated Jun 08 2018

Bangalore (Bangalur) Capital of Karnataka state, s central India. Established in 1537 by the Mysore dynasty, Britian retained the city as a military headquarters until 1947. Bangalore is the sixth largest city in India, and an important industrial and communications centre. Main products include aircraft and machine tools. Pop. (2001) 4,292,223.