Know your neighbourhood-3: Madivala, Agara, Koramangala, Bellandur

Overview: Now famous for high rises, branded showrooms and startups, the villages of Madivala, Agara, Koramangala and Domlur are the villages which have seen an ancient past.

Madivala village was a flourishing agrahara under the Cholas and Hoysalas. There is an ancient Chola era temple, which was later expanded by the Hoysalas behind the road opposite to the Silk Board. This Someshwara temple is of high historical importance, with Tamil inscriptions all along the outer walls of the temple. The most important being the 1247 CE inscription which talks about the grants of some lands near the big tank of Vengalur (2nd inscription of the city name after the one in Begur). This inscription is by an official Pemmataiyar of Veppur (Begur) for the deity Sembeshwaram (Someshwara) at Tamaraikkirai (Tavarekere).

Someshwara temple, Madivala
Agara is situated at the junction of the ORR and Sarjapura Road, and is in existance since the Gangas. A 870 CE Ganga inscription mentions about the fixing of sluices to 2 tanks (Agara Lake) and the building of a third tank (now Iblur Lake) by Sirimamayya, son of Irugumayya, the chief of Irvuliyur which is modern Iblur. In Iblur near the bus stop are 2 hero stones along the main road. A few other inscriptions have also been found here dated 1515 (Krishnadevaraya), 1363 (Vijayanagara), 1793 in the village. A Chola era Someshwara temple is also present near the Sarjapura road, where, according to the locals, the ghee turns into butter after abhishekam. One ancient lantern and some herostones are also seen in the complex.
Kaikondrahalli Lake, on Sarjapur Road, is one of the few lakes around Bangalore which has been rejuvenated and has a healthy bird population.

Agara Lake
Someshwara temple, Agara
Herostones at Agara & Iblur
Bellandur is along North-East direction of Agara village and is popular for the largest lake in Bangalore, which is believed to be earlier a tributary of Dakshina Pinakini river. Historians have also found evidences of pre-historic dolmens and weapons near the lake banks. According to DR Gordon, Roman coins were unearthed near Bellandur in 1945. Many hero stones have also been discovered recently while cleaning up of the lake.
Along the banks of Bellandur is an old Venugopalaswamy temple dating back to Mummudi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Kannada inscriptions can also be seen on a slab within the temple premises.

Venugopalaswamy temple with inscriptions, Bellandur

Ancient Nandi, Bellandur
Kaikondrahalli Lake

Bellandur Lake
Koramangala: Until the 1970s, Koramangala was a tiny village off Hosur Road and the road from Adugodi would bypass Koramangala to reach Hosur. Today’s Koramangala is an upmarket area with lot of pubs, restaurants and malls. Forum Mall was the first mall to be operational in Bangalore, started in 2004.
Hosur Road and Sarjapur Road are bifurcated at Madivala, making it an entry/exit point to the city. There was a checkpost near Christ College, the bus stop still retaining the same name.
Lakshamma’s legacy: There is also a interesting story behind the construction of Kempegowda’s fort. It was observed that the southern gate of the fort would collapse every time it was being built and to avoid this, KempeGowda's daughter-in-law, Lakshamma, sacrificed her life and thereafter, the gate stood still. In memory of his daughter-in-law Lakshamma, Kempegowda built a temple, called Lakshmi Devi temple, in Koramangala village. Also a memorial has been developed recently in the memory of Lakshamma. There is also a park called Lakshmi Devi Park not far away from the memorial.

Lakshmamma memorial, Koramangala

Muneshwara temple, Hosur Road

Jakkasandra: Jakkasandra, at the south eastern end of Koramangala towards Sarjapura, is an ancient village. The Venugopalaswamy temple in Jakkasandra has some Ganga era inscriptions, however, have been worn out and not visible. Some hero stones can also be seen near the temple. 

Venugopalaswamy temple & inscriptions, Jakkasandra

Other Posts in this series: 


  1. Excited to learn about the grand history of the places which we usually ignore while travelling back n forth to work.
    Great work Arun..happy to see the way u are pursuing ur passion. Lage raho.

  2. Someshwara Temples are a legacy of Hoysalas who continued the tradition of the Chalukyas. All the inscriptions of Someshwara temples belong to the Hoysala period. As devotees of Someshwara, several Chalukya Kings used the name of Someshwara. There was not a single Chola King of that name.

    The Chola period in South Karnataka was one of extreme war between the Cholas and their more powerful contemporaries, the Chalukyas bringing the Chola lineage to an end in just 70 years. There were hardly any temples built in that period.

    More importantly, though the region was under Chola control, Bengaluru had no presence of Cholas as per B L Rice who recorded the inscription stones of Bengaluru.

    In the last 60 years, false history has been created by interested groups incorrectly attributing Tamil inscriptions of Hoysala period to Chola period. The Tamil inscriptions in Bengaluru are all dated to Hoysala period (when a Chola kingdom became part of Hoysala domains) as a few Tamil administrators were settled here.

    The language of Inscriptions had nothing to do with the language spoken by the people. Till the fifth century, we see inscriptions in Sanskrit which was not known to the people. Similarly Tamil inscriptions of Hoysala period was alien to the native people here. In fact according to BL Rice, Tamil was known as Aravamu in Bengaluru which is a Telugu term for 'Shouting'' which essentially should be interpreted as Incomprehensible to the people.


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