Know your neighbourhood - 21: Shankarapuram, VV Puram, Mavalli

Overview: The name Shankarapuram comes from the Shankara Math in this area. Apart from Shankar Math, the area is known for eateries, like the Brahmin’s coffee bar for the traditional Kannada breakfast, and is more of a heritage restaurant. Right opposite the BCB is the Kannada Katte, which is a small place for gathering as one gulps the soft idlies with a dose of by-2 coffee. The Kannada Katte is blessed by the portraits of famous personalities from Karnataka. Not far from Shankarapuram is the Chat Street in VV Puram famous for different kinds of chat items and is popular street food place in Bangalore.

Shankara Math, Shankarapuram
Brahmin's Coffee Bar

Vishveshwarapuram, or VV Puram as it is known, is another traditional locality in South Bangalore. With many temples around Sajjan Rao circle, most popular being the Subramanya temple, is thronged by devotees. Annual car festival is held in this area. A popular hangout among the locals in VV Puram is the Chat Street, which opens after 5pm everyday with a variety of fast food which is a treat for foodies. VB Bakery stands at the entrance of chat street offering bakery items and is a popular evening hangout. 

Temple Street, VV Puram

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is Bangalore’s one of the last surviving lung spaces. Bengaluru has been naturally carved out of one of the oldest land formations on Earth. The huge monolith at Lalbagh, has been classified as Peninsular Gneiss by geologists and is believed to have formed around 3 million years ago. These are metamorphic rocks subjected to natural exposure for centuries giving rise to a pattern of rocks based on their colour. The pattern is formed due to the presence of mineral constituents which give rise to light and dark coloured rocks.
Lalbagh houses the Southern Kempegowda Tower on top of volcanic rock called Peninsular Gneiss. Within Lalbagh there is a huge variety of trees and the annual flower show is a treat for nature lovers. Lalbagh also has old tree fossils and a beautiful lake ideal to spend a lovely day outdoors. Lalbagh was initially commissioned by Hyder Ali and later completed by Tipu Sultan. German botanist Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel is remembered for his contribution towards Bangalore’s development as the Garden City. He was appointed as the superintendent at Lalbagh Botanical Gardens and planted several exotic plants there. Also he planned the tree-lined avenues in Bangalore which we can see today. The road which runs adjacent to Lalbagh and Mavalli has been named 'Krumbeigal Road' in his honour. Another important structure inside the Lalbagh is the Glass House. Built on the lines of London's Crystal Palace (later demolished in 1936), this Glass House was built in 1889 to commemorate the visit of Albert Victor, grandson of Queen Victoria. One of the trees in Lalbagh- ‘Araucaria cookie’, popularly known as the Christmas tree in Lalbagh, has been tagged as a heritage tree.

Peninsular Gneiss
Kempegowda South Tower, Lalbagh

Veeragallu and ancient Nandi at Lalbagh

Lalbagh Lake

Mavalli: A little away from VV Puram, in the backyard of Lalbagh Gardens, is the old village of Mavalli. Consisting of ChikkaMavalli and Dodda Mavalli, the area has been mostly inhabited by traders. Being close to Urvashi and erstwhile Minerva Talkies, Mavalli has been one of the prime areas of Bangalore since 1940s. Also home to Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) which originated here. MTR is famous for its South Indian cuisine and still retains its taste even after
several decades. JC Road, close to Mavalli is the place to buy spare parts for vehicles. Also on JC Road was the old Shivaji theatre, which was one of the most popular theatre in the 60s and 70s along with Minerva. However, now only the statue of Shivaji brings back the memories of the heydays of
single screen cinemas of Bangalore.
Mavalli Habba: Held once in 3 years, the festival in Mavalli village is celebrated and attended by more than 300,000 people where the four Goddesses of the village are taken out together in a procession along Papaiah Street, Lalbagh West Gate, Krumbeigal Road. Legend has it that Goddess Chamundeshwari in Mysore had once taken shelter under a tree and the temple of Bisilu Maramma stands at the exact location.


Bisilu Maramma temple, Mavalli

Urvashi theatre is one of the old single screen cinemas in the city which has withstood the test of time and has been moderised with latest technology and online bookings. Also close to Mavalli is the Gutte Anjaneya temple, on Hosur Road, adjacent to Lalbagh Gardens. The idol of Lord Hanuman was found behind bushes in the 20th century, though this might have existed for several hundred years. The Lord is known for miraculous blessings to the devotees since the time of Maharaja of Mysore, Sri JC Wodeyar. It is said that once the Maharaja’s car had a breakdown near the temple area and after the Maharaja offered prayers at the Gutte Anjaneya temple, the car started miraculously. The Hanuman statue is carved out of stone on a hillock, hence it is called Gutte Anjaneya temple. 

Gutte Anjaneyaswamy temple, Mavalli

Other Posts in this series: 


  1. Lake inside Lalbagh is also called Mavalli Kere (Mavalli Tank)

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