Know your neighbourhood -9: Hebbal, Yelahanka, Chikkajala & Singapura

Overview: Yelahanka’s history goes parallel to Bengaluru’s past. After the Hoysala rule, Yelahanka was ruled by Hiriya Kempegowda, who later moved to Bengaluru to set up a new capital. Yelahanka Nadaprabhus, as the Kempegowdas were called were originally the Palegars of Yelahanka. The legend has it that once Kempegowda was out hunting, he saw a hare chasing a dog, and hence he was so amazed with this sight that he called the land as ‘Heroic Land’. The exact place however, coincides with Kodigehalli, north west of Hebbal.
In fact, the adjoining village of Kodigehalli, which happens to be Kempegowda’s maternal home, was known as HaleBengaluru or ‘Old Bengaluru’. So he named his new capital as Bengaluru (This is one of the many theories, though not conclusively proven fact). An inscription at Kodigehalli records the gifting of the village Virupakshapura to the Someshwara temple at Shivanasamudra, which coincides with modern Hesaraghatta, on the occasion of a solar eclipse on 8-Aug-1431, wishing for the well being of the Vijayanagara King Devaraya.

Kodigehalli inscription

Yelahanka: This place is mentioned as Ilaipakka Nadu under the Cholas. Several inscriptions can be seen in Yelahanka old town in Kote Beedhi or Fort Area. Even though the remains of the fort cannot be seen now, the area has been always known as the Fort Area. The Venugopalaswamy temple inside the Kote  Beedhi is a testimony of its ancient past. Kodigehalli is also known for Dolu Kunitha, a traditional folklore in this part of Karnataka.  Also not far is the GKVK campus, dedicated to agricultural studies. Puttenahalli Lake near Yelahanka is also being developed as a bio diversity spot. Close to Yelahanka New Town stands the once highest peak of Bangalore, Doddabetta, and the name of the area is called Doddabettahalli. But recent quarrying has left the place shrink down to less than half its height.
Yelahanka Venugopalaswamy temple


Hebbal is a very popular locality which witnesses massive traffic everyday as it is the gateway to the International Airport. Not long ago, when Mekhri circle used to be the end of the city, Hebbal used to be a hillock where people used to come for picnics. The ancient Ananda Lingeshwara temple built in the 13th century by the Cholas still stands strong, though the temple has undergone a complete makeover. The Hebbal lake has been developed as a Bio diversity spot which is also home to lot of migratory birds.

Anandagiri Hill

Singapura, a village near the erstwhile HMT Colony, has its origins from the 16th century records of Achutaraya from Harohalli near Yelahanka. There is an ancient Varadarajaswamy temple in the village, which, as per 1530 CE inscriptions, was built by the grants by Achutaraya to the God Tiruvengalanatha of Singapura. Around 3km south of Singapura is the HMT Heritage museum, showcasing the evolution of HMT watch company over the years.

Varadarajaswamy temple, Singapura

Jalahalli, in the north-west of Bangalore, falls under Air Force, HMT and other public sector companies, so it has managed to retain some greenery. The Jarkabandi State reserve forest in Jalahalli is covered with sandalwood trees and several species of animals are spotted here round the year.

Jarakabandi State Reserve forest

Thindlu is a 3 kms West of Sahakaranagar and is an ancient village dating back to the age of Gangas. The ancient Veerabhadraswamy temple in Thindlu village centre is a testimony of its ancient past. The temple was built by the Cholas initially (not much info available), now being renovated for the second time in the last 20 years. Old traditions are still followed here  of firewalking during festivals. Vidyaranyapura borders Thindlu village and was probably a battlefield as per the historians. This is supported by the name of a place called Dandina Kodigehalli, near Vidyaranyapura.

Thindlu Veerabhadra temple

Chikkajala: One of the several ‘lost’ forts of Bangalore, Chikkajala is in the middle of infrastructure development as it is on the NH leading to the airport. The origins of the fort remains unknown to date and the interior of the fort has a huge kalyani or tank along with a Hanuman temple. The fort premises also has a very old house in a depilated condition. A couple of kms interior of Chikkajala is a small hillock called Akkayamma betta which has several ancient structures at the top and also has a temple dedicated to the village goddess on the top. Chikkajala, under the Hoysalas was called as Vishnuvardhana Chaturvedi Mangala. There is a Hoysala era Chenakeshava temple still surviving in the village, which has been renovated now. A few inscriptions have been found in the temple dating back to 13th-14th century. Just a km south of Chikkajala is Hunasemarenahalli, which has an ancient Chandramouleshwara temple, built during the Vijayanagara rule.

Chennakeshava temple, Chikkajala
Akkayamma Betta

Chikkajala Fort
Chandramouleshwara temple, Hunasemarenahalli

Jakkur: Along the KIAL airport road is a now popular area of Jakkur, known more for the Air-Force station. This village also holds immense history. Recently a 14th century inscription was revealed by a team of experts, which records tax exemption to lands conferred as a privilege by the kings. The land was gifted by a chieftain to the local accountant Allala. Another inscription at Allalsandra recording legal rights over property has been re-discovered after being lost in 'development'.
Jakkur also as a beautiful 160 acre lake now well preserved, and attracts birdwatchers. Some of the species spotted here are Moorhen, Common Coot, Darter, Cormorant, Heron,  Egrets, Glossy Ibis, etc.

Jakkur Lake

Other Posts in this series: 


  1. There are no Chola inscriptions in Bengaluru. So what is the basis of the assertion that the temple was built by Cholas? I request the author for a response. Thankyou

    1. I haven't mentioned about any Chola inscription in this post


      Reference to Chola temples in Bangalore by SK Aruni sir..

  2. Interesting information. Good to know about the history around these places.


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