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Know your neighbourhood - 7: Shivajinagar

Overview: Modern Shivajinagar area is named after Chatrapati Shivaji as he visited this place during his brother's rule in the 17th century. During Kempegowda's times, this area primarily was inhabited by farmers who cultivated rice, hence the British, who came and ruled here later, named this area as 'Blackpalli'-  probably derived from 'BiliAkki Palli'. However, there are a few more theories explaining the naming of this place.
The most prominent landmark of Shivajinagar is the St Mary’s Basilica. This is the oldest catholic church in Bangalore, existing since 1685 when a small chapel was built.

St Mary's Basilica
Shivajinagar area is bordered by Fraser Town, Ulsoor and Cantonment areas, making it one of the areas in Bangalore with heritage tag. Elgin Talkies, which was recently closed down, was once the hub of entertainment in the 1800s and 1900s. Started as a stage theatre, it grown into the stature of talkies in 1930s. An old 19th century inscription was found near Shivajinagar which tells about the progress of building the Cantonment.

Old Venugopalaswamy temple, Shivajinagar

Commercial Street
Russell Market, initially called as the New Market in Shivajinagar is one of the oldest markets surviving since British times. Built in 1927, built in Indo-Sarcenic style, the market was built for the large Anglo-Indian community in the Cantonment area. The Beef Market is opposite to the Russell Market, which is supplied by meat from the slaughterhouse on Tannery Road. Commercial Street is a favourite among Bengalureans for shopping. Also stands on Infantry Road is the Safina Plaza, a shopping complex started in 1987, is a great place for affordable shopping. The British established Bowring and Lady Curzon hospital in the late 1800s to provide good medical facilities to the local population. The area is known for co-existence of people from all communities.

Russell Market

Bowring Hospital
Also known for scrap items and spare parts, the Broadway street is lined up with such items.
Just behind Shivajinagar bus stand is the Old Poor House road (OPH Road), which housed an asylum for British orphans during the war time. Initially meant for lower income group and whites, later even Indians were admitted. Thus the house came to be known as Old Poor House. One of the oldest mosques of Bangalore stands on the Old Poor House road and a Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple stands next to it.

Lakshmi Narasimhaswamt temple and Jumma Masjid on OPH Road

Jumma Masjid, OPH Road
Shivajinagar is also popular for furniture. Several furniture shops can be seen in Central Street serving the city population since decades. Also, Bangalore's oldest Bamboo Bazaar is around 1km from Shivajinagar.
The Bangalore Rife Volunteers (BRV) association had built this structure for armoury and later was used as a theatre for screening Hindi/English movies. Now its being used as an Army canteen.

St Andrews Church: St Andrews Church, built in Gothic style, on Cavalry Road (Kamraj Road) was completed in 1866. This church was initially the Church of Scotland until 1959 and later became a part of Church of South India. This church was initially called St Andrews Kirk and was designed by Major Sankey.

St Andrews Church
Parsi Fire Temple: The early Parsi settlers built their temple on Queen’s Road in 1926, with the help of a Mumbai based contractor Dinshaw Cawasji. It has carvings of bull on its corners and pillars.

Parsi Fire Temple


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