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date: 15 October 2019

Bangalorelocked

  • Walter Smith

Extract

Capital city of Karnataka State in southern India. Hero stones of the late 9th century ad discovered at Begur, 11 km east of Bangalore, bear inscriptions mentioning a ‘Battle of Bangalore’, and Roman coins found in the vicinity indicate that the area had some importance as a trading centre. In 1537 a city was established by Kempe Gowda, a vassal of the Vijayanagara dynasty. Nothing remains of his mud-brick fort, but temples attributed to him include the Gavi Gangadhareshvara, a rock-cut shrine preceded by a masonry hall, and the Basavan Temple, a structural shrine of two unelaborated forehalls and a superstructure in Vijayanagora style.

Bangalore’s strategic location and the temperate climate created by its high elevation made the city attractive to subsequent ruling powers. In 1637 it was conquered by the Bijapur Sultanate and given as a fief to the Maratha chief Shahji Bhonsle. In 1685 it fell to the Mughal dynasty. The rajas of Mysore, who subsequently became its governors, built a new mud-brick fort south of the old one in the late 17th century. In ...

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