Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of about 8.42 million and a metropolitan population of about 8.52 million, making it the third most populous city and fifth most populous urban agglomeration in India. Located in southern India on the Deccan Plateau, at a height of over 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level, Bengaluru is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year. Its elevation is the highest among the major large cities of India.
A succession of South Indian dynasties, the Western Gangas, the Cholas and the Hoysalas, ruled the present region of Bengaluru until in 1537 CE, Kempé Gowdā – a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire – established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bengaluru. In 1638, the Marāthās conquered and ruled Bengaluru for almost 50 years, after which the Mughals captured and sold the city to the Mysore Kingdom of the Wadiyar dynasty. It was captured by the British after victory in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799), who returned administrative control of the city to the Maharaja of Mysore. The old city developed in the dominions of the Maharaja of Mysore, and was made capital of the Princely State of Mysore, which existed as a nominally sovereign entity of the British Raj. In 1809, the British shifted their cantonment to Bengaluru, outside the old city, and a town grew up around it, which was governed as part of British India. Following India’s independence in 1947, Bengaluru became the capital of Mysore State, and remained capital when the new Indian state of Karnataka was formed in 1956. The two urban settlements of Bengaluru – city and cantonment – which had developed as independent entities merged into a single urban centre in 1949. The existing Kannada name, Bengalūru, was declared the official name of the city in 2006.
Bengaluru is known as the “Silicon Valley of India” because of its role as the nation’s leading information technology (IT) exporter. Indian technological organizations ISRO, Infosys and Wipro are headquartered in the city. A demographically diverse city, Bengaluru is the second-fastest growing major metropolis in India. It is home to many educational and research institutions in India, such as Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) (IIMB), National Institute of Design, Bangalore (NID R&D Campus), National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS). Numerous state-owned aerospace and defence organisations, such as Bharat Electronics, Hindustan Aeronautics and National Aerospace Laboratories are located. The city also houses the Kannada film industry. As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Bengaluru confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $83 billion, Bengaluru is ranked fourth in India by overall GDP contribution.
Bengaluru has a tropical savanna climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Due to its high elevation, Bangalore usually enjoys a more moderate climate throughout the year, although occasional heat waves can make summer somewhat uncomfortable. The coolest month is December with an average low temperature of 15.4 °C (59.7 °F) and the hottest month is April with an average high temperature of 36 °C (97 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded in Bangalore is 38.9 °C (102 °F) (recorded in March 1931). However, the suburbs of Bangalore recorded temperatures as high as 41 °C (106 °F) which are now part of present day Bangalore that time. The lowest ever recorded is 7.8 °C (46 °F) (recorded in January 1884). Winter temperatures rarely drop below 12 °C (54 °F), and summer temperatures seldom exceed 37 °C (99 °F). Bangalore receives rainfall from both the northeast and the southwest monsoons and the wettest months are September, October and August, in that order. The summer heat is moderated by fairly frequent thunderstorms, which occasionally cause power outages and local flooding. The heaviest rainfall recorded in a 24-hour period is 179 millimetres (7 in) recorded on 1 October 1997.
Bangalore lies in the southeast of the South Indian state of Karnataka. It is in the heart of the Mysore Plateau (a region of the larger Precambrian Deccan Plateau) at an average elevation of 900 m (2,953 ft). It is located at 12.97°N 77.56°E and covers an area of 741 km2 (286 sq mi). The majority of the city of Bangalore lies in the Bangalore Urban district of Karnataka and the surrounding rural areas are a part of the Bangalore Rural district. The Government of Karnataka has carved out the new district of Ramanagara from the old Bangalore Rural district.
The topology of Bengaluru is generally flat, though the western parts of the city are hilly. The highest point is Vidyaranyapura Doddabettahalli, which is 962 metres (3,156 feet) and is situated to the north-west of the city. No major rivers run through the city, although the Arkavathi and South Pennar cross paths at the Nandi Hills, 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the north. River Vrishabhavathi, a minor tributary of the Arkavathi, arises within the city at Basavanagudi and flows through the city. The rivers Arkavathi and Vrishabhavathi together carry much of Bangalore’s sewage. A sewerage system, constructed in 1922, covers 215 km2 (83 sq mi) of the city and connects with five sewage treatment centres located in the periphery of Bangalore
The name “Bangalore” represents an anglicised version of the Kannada language name, “Bengalūru”. The earliest reference to the name “Bengalūru” was found in a ninth-century Western Ganga Dynasty stone inscription on a “vīra gallu” (literally, “hero stone”, a rock edict extolling the virtues of a warrior). In this inscription found in Begur, “Bengalūrū” is referred to as a place in which a battle was fought in 890 CE. It states that the place was part of the Ganga Kingdom until 1004 and was known as “Bengaval-uru”, the “City of Guards” in Halegannada (Old Kannada).
An apocryphal or a fabricated story recounts that the 12th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II, while on a hunting expedition, lost his way in the forest. Tired and hungry, he came across a poor old woman who served him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place “benda-kaal-uru” (literally, “town of boiled beans”), which eventually evolved into “Bengalūru”. Suryanath Kamath has put forward an explanation of a possible floral origin of the name, being derived from benga, the Kannada term for Pterocarpus marsupium (also known as the Indian Kino Tree), a species of dry and moist deciduous trees, that grew abundantly in the region.
On 11 December 2005, the Government of Karnataka announced that it had accepted a proposal by Jnanpith Award winner U. R. Ananthamurthy to rename Bangalore to Bengalūru. On 27 September 2006, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) passed a resolution to implement the proposed name change. The government of Karnataka accepted the proposal, and it was decided to officially implement the name change from 1 November 2006. The Union government have approved (along with other 12 cities) this request in October 2014 and Bangalore was renamed to “Bengaluru” on November 1, 2014.