Bangalore City is fondly called by many names, viz., Garden City, Pensioners’ Paradise and Silicon city. However, the name Bangalore itself has an interesting story behind it. Tradition associates the
name’s origin to the Hoysala King Vira Ballala.
Vira Ballala, during one of his hunting expeditions near Yelahanka region, lost his way. After wandering for a few hours, he reached the hut of an old woman. The humble woman offered the hungry King some cooked beans and a glass of water. The King gladly accepted the same. Happy with the hospitality of the old woman he named the place Benda Kaal Ooru (Town of Boiled Beans). Though this story is popular and credible, it lacks tangible historical evidence.
The name “Bengaluru” has appeared much earlier than the Hoysalas. The earliest reference to the name is seen in a ninth century Ganga inscription, on a hero-stone (viragal) found in Begur village, about 14 kms South West of Bangalore. This inscription clearly mentions the name “Bengaluru”, referring to a battle that was fought at that place. In his Mysore Archaeological Report (1914-15), Rao Bahadur R. Narasimhachar dates this inscription to the 9th century A. D.
The place which probably lent Bangalore its name, was a tiny hamlet called “Hale Bengaluru” or Old Bengaluru, where the present Kodigehalli village is located, near the Hebbal Tank. Kempegowda-I, on building his new town in 1537, called it by this name, as his mother and wife were believed to have
belonged to this place. According to another speculation, the presence of vast stretches of the trees called “Benga” or “Venga” (“raktha honne” in Kannada, Petrocarpus marsupium, the Indian Kino) lent their name to this place.Vengaluru (the place of Venga) became Bengaluru when “Ve” replaced “Be”. Yet another theory says that there was a big forest in this area and Kmpegowda 1, before building the town is believed to have burnt the forest. So the town built on Benda Kadu (burnt forest) “Benda kaduru”, later got transformed to Bengaduru and finally Bengaluru. These are some of the theories about the origin of the name Bangalore. The inscription in Begur, unlike the others is well supported by proper evidence. The name used now “Bangalore” is the anglicized form of the “Bengaluru”.