Bangalore: From Garden City to Silicon Valley
By Rakesh Gupta
Bangalore is the third-largest city in India and was voted as “the most liveable” by to a global survey of cities conducted by Mercer. It was once called “the garden city” because of its many green spaces. Now, it has become a bustling centre of India’s information technology industry and has earned the distinction of being India’s Silicon Valley.
Over the years, Bangalore has gone through changes that have made it the place it is today. Exploring the city’s history can help people understand its evolution as a technological hub and where it’s going in the future.
The Garden City
Bangalore began hundreds of years ago, when Lord Kempe Gowda, a feudal lord, was hunting. When his dog pounced on a rabbit, the rabbit turned and attacked the dog. This inspired Gowda to name the place “Gandu Bhoomi” or the “Place of Heroes”. In 1537, he built three districts protected by a walled fort.
Bangalore grew over the years, but was always in the shadow of the nearby city of Mysore. In the year 1831, the British took over the Mysore Kingdom and relocated the capital to Bangalore. This is when the city began to truly grow and develop most of its infrastructure, from roads to rail connections to telecommunications. This is also when the city’s famous parks and gardens were created.
The city is filled with lush green parks, offering a respite from the stifling Indian heat. Bangalore developed a reputation as being a progressive, well-designed and green city. As you visit Bangalore, you will notice the surrounding greenery, roads lined with trees and hedges, and public parks abundant with gardens.
There are many parks where you can enjoy the Garden City’s greenery, such as Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Cubbon Park, Kariappa Memorial Park and more. The parks are common places for locals to relax as well as tourists. In the early morning hours before the sun gets too hot, many people jog and exercise along the trails. The parks are well-maintained and while many of them are free, some charge a small entry fee.
The Silicon Valley of India
In recent times, Bangalore has become one of the biggest IT hubs in India. This growth has earned it the nickname of “Silicon Valley of India,” a reference to the original Silicon Valley in Santa Clara Valley, California. This nickname was coined in 2000 by the media to describe the region’s high concentration and growth of firms specialising in software, electronics and research and development.
The abundance of technological companies here started in 1985, when Texas Instruments became the first multinational corporation to establish a headquarters in Bangalore. This drew in other companies to Bangalore over the next 20 years and helped to establish Bangalore as a technological hub.
At the new millennium’s arrival, Internet-based technology was growing rapidly as a result of the dot-com boom. The IT industry in Bangalore expanded enormously during this time, and many IT companies were established. In 2006, an article in the New York Times speculated as to whether Bangalore was the next Silicon Valley. Other articles proposed Bangalore might replace the original Silicon Valley.
Visit Bangalore and Experience Both
Bangalore is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the world and it is the most developed city in India, which you will see during your visit. There is nonstop growth here, evident in the city’s tall buildings, on-going developments and bustling pace.
So, is Bangalore a peaceful city filled with greenery or is it an urban metropolis on the cutting edge of technology? When you explore Bangalore, you realise it is both, holding on to its older reputation while creeping toward the future.