Bangalore is India’s 6th largest city and has taken on many avatars over the centuries, starting with the town of wild beans (from which the name Bengaluru is derived), to pensioners paradise, to India’s garden city, to the IT Capital that it has boomed into today.
The original small town was founded by a legendary Chieftan from Vijayanagar, Kempe Gowda, in the early 16th century. The city primarily grew around 2 hubs: the old city on the west and the new cantonment on the east. The old city and the cantonment eventually merged to form the present city after the British left in 1947, and Bangalore became the capital city when Mysore state joined the Indian union in 1956.
Drawn by the mild climate, Bangalore became a preferred destination for pensioners to settle down especially after retiring from the armed forces. But the real impact of urbanization began to be felt in the early 1900’s, following Bangalore’s electrification on priority, when the city made a headstart in the fields of scientific research, advancement, and industrialization, thus attracting people from different parts of India began to migrate to Bangalore.
Between 1901-1991 the city expanded from 74.72 Sq. km. To 200 Sq. km. and the population increased from 0.16 million to 4.75 million. And so, not so gradually, the pensioners paradise transformed into a booming urban metropolis becoming more complex and diverse. It stands at over 10 million and is still the fastest growing city in the country. A recent McKinsey study says that by the year 2020 Bangalore will become the single largest IT cluster on the planet —overtaking the American Silicon Valley — with 2 million IT professionals, 6 million direct or indirect IT jobs, and $80 billion in IT exports.