Know your neighbourhood - 22: Kalasipalayam

Overview: Kalasipalaya is adjacent to Pete area, even more important than the Pete, because of Tipu Sultan ’s fort and Palace. In 1686, the Mughals under emperor Aurangzeb won Bangalore after defeating the Marathas. The Mughal General captured all the surrounding areas in 3 years and in 1689, sold Bangalore to the Wodeyars lead be Chikka Devaraya Wodeyar for 3 lakhs. In the same year, Sri Chikka Devaraya Wodeyar built the Kote Venkataramanaswamy temple around the mud fort built by Kempegowda. During the 1791 war between Tipu Sultan and the British, the gunshots damaged a part of the pillar of the temple. This pillar, while shifting it for road expansion, broke into four pieces and had to be removed from the original site. The pedestal was transported to another temple near Chamarajpet and a new pillar similar to the old one was installed at the temple. The temple was built in Vijayanagar style with huge gopurams and the victory pillar. Hyder Ali got the Bangalore Fort as jagir in 1758 AD and later expanded the mud fort with stone walls. His son, Tipu Sultan soon deposed the Wodeyars and proclaimed control over Bangalore. However, the British defeated Tipu Sultan in 1791 AD and captured the Bangalore Fort during the siege of the fort. Tipu was killed in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 AD and the Fort area was returned back to the Wodeyars only as figureheads.

Kote Venkataramanaswamy temple

Bangalore Fort

Tipu also built a summer palace close to the fort. The palace is a compact structure and it was built entirely on teak wood and the interiors mark the elegance of Islamic architecture. The Palace stood at the centre of the Fort and to imagine those days, the vibrant city was built within the fort premises which was the heart of politics.

Tipu Summer Palace

Tipu Sultan stored a large chunk of his weapons in the armoury near Kalasipalya area. The armoury has been recently identified as a heritage structure and has been taken over by the ASI. The Bangalore Medical College, one of India’s premier institutes, is also located near the fort. Kalasipalya also has city’s one of the main bus stands which caters to local and interstate transportation. Albert Victor Road, connecting Kalasipalya and Chamrajpet, is Bangalore’s first road to have been built. This road has been renamed to Alur Venkata Road, however, locals prefer to call it as AV Road. On the fort walls, there is a plaque installed by the British pointing the location from where the fort was attacked. 

Tipu's armoury
Fort High school

Victoria Hospital: The British built the Victoria Hospital (now renamed as Vani Vilas Hospital) in 1900 after the outbreak of plague in 1898. The hospital was inaugurated by Lord Curzon and is one of the best Government Hospitals in the city.

Victoria Hospital

City Market: City Market or KR Market is the first place in Asia to get electricity and also to get the first flyover in Bangalore which starts near Byatarayanapura on Mysore Road and connects to City Market near NR Square.

City Market
Old Market gate

Dargah Hazrath Mir Bahadur Shah Al-Maroof Syed Pasha Shaheed: The 1791 Third Anglo-Mysore war saw the British army led by Lord Cornwallis attack Tipu’s Fort at midnight, killing soldiers during the siege. In the midst of the drama, Bahadur Khan kept the British army busy by not giving up the fight despite being stabbed several times. Even the British couldn’t resist praising Bahadur Shah for his bravery and handed over his body to the locals to give him a befitting funeral.

Bahadur Khan Tomb

Jumma Masjid: Arguably the most beautiful of all mosques in Bangalore, the structure was designed by Rayyaz Asifuddin of Hyderabad and the foundation stone was laid by Sir Mirza Ismail in 1940.The building exteriors are built of marble from Rajasthan. The mosque is said to be dedicated to Tipu Sultan.

Jumma Masjid

Kote Jalakantheshwara temple: Located opposite to the Kalasipalayam Bus stand, is the old temple of Jalakantheshwara. The temple, believed to be initially built by the Cholas, was later renovated by Kempegowda in the 17th century. The temple is visited by many devotees from across the city and state seeking blessings. A short walk from this temple takes us to the Kote Anjaneyaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, also believed to have been built by Kempegowda.

Kote Jalakantheshwara temple
Kote Anjaneyaswamy temple

Doddanna Hall and Bangalore’s first cinema: Talking about the story of Bangalore, one cannot forget the contribution of Janopkari Sri Doddanna Shetty, who established SLN charities, aimed at providing basic educational facilitates in the city. He was awarded the title ‘Janopkari’ by the Maharaja of Mysore, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar in 1907 and was also offered around 5 acres of land opposite Tipu Sultan’s fort. Also an important contribution by Doddanna is the Doddanna Hall, initially built for organizing cultural activities, and later went on to build Bangalore’s first cinema hall, which was later converted into Paramount Talkies, and the first talkie to be screened was Sati Sulochana in 1934.

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