1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bangalore

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BANGALORE, a city of India, the capital of the native state of Mysore, and the largest British cantonment in the south of India. It is 3113 ft. above the sea, and 219 m. W. of Madras by rail. Pop. (1901) 69,447. The foundation of the present fort was laid by a descendant of Kempe-Goude, a husbandman of the neighbouring country, who, probably in the 16th century, had left his native village to avoid the tyranny of the wadeyar of that place, and settled on a spot a few miles to the north of Bangalore. To the peaceful occupation of a farmer he added that of a warrior, and his first exploit was the conquest of this place, where, and at Savendrug, his family subsequently erected fortresses. Bangalore, with other possessions, was, however, wrested from them by Bijapur. Somewhat later we find it enumerated among the jagirs of Shahji, father of Sivaji, the founder of the Mahratta sway; and at an early period of his career in the service of the Bijapur state, that adventurer seemed to have fixed his residence there. It appears to have passed into the possession of Venkaji, one of the sons of Shahji; but he having occupied Tanjore, deemed Bangalore too distant, especially under the circumstances of the times, to be safe. He accordingly, in 1687, entered into a bargain for its sale to Chikka Deva, raja of Mysore, for three lakhs of rupees; but before it could be completed, Kasim Khan, commander of the forces of Aurangzeb, marched upon the place and entered it almost without resistance. This event, however, had no other result than to transfer the stipulated price from one vendor to another; for that general, not coveting the possession, immediately delivered it over to Chikka Deva on payment of the three lakhs. In 1758, Nanjiraj, the powerful minister of the raja, caused Bangalore to be granted, as a jagir or fief, to Hyder Ali, afterwards usurper of Mysore, who greatly enlarged and strengthened the fort, which, in 1760, on his expulsion from Seringapatam, served as his refuge from destruction. The fort formed the traditional scene of the first captivity of Sir David Baird after Baillie's defeat at Perambakam in 1780. The prison cell of Sir David and his fellow-captive is from 12 to 15 ft. square, with so low a roof that a man can scarcely stand upright in it. In 1791 it was stormed by a British army commanded by Lord Cornwallis. In 1799 the district was included by the treaty of Seringapatam within the territory of the restored raja of Mysore. It formed the headquarters of the British administration of Mysore from 1831 to 1881. When the state of Mysore was restored to its raja in 1881, the civil and military station of Bangalore was permanently reserved under British jurisdiction as an "assigned tract." It has an area of 13 sq. m., and had in 1901 a population of 89,599, showing a decrease of 10% in the decade, due to plague. Bangalore is the headquarters of a military district, its elevation rendering it healthy for British troops, with accommodation for a strong force of all arms and an arsenal in the old fort. It is the headquarters of a brigade in the 9th division of the Indian army. A considerable number of European pensioners reside here. There is a modern palace for the maharaja. There is an aided Roman Catholic college, besides many schools for Europeans. A permanent water-supply has been introduced and there is a complete system of drainage. Bangalore is an important railway centre. There are several cotton mills. The city suffered severely from plague in 1899 and 1900.

The district of Bangalore borders on the Madras district of Salem. The main portion consists of the valley of the Arkavati river, which joins the Cauvery on the southern frontier. Its area is 3079 sq. m. In 1901 the population was 789,664, showing an increase of 15% in the decade. The district is crossed by several lines of railway. Outside Bangalore city there is a woollen mill, which turns out blankets, cloth for greatcoats, and woollen stuffs.