The pages of history tell us that the area now called Basavanagudi was an agricultural village called Sukenahalli, consisting of groundnut fields. It is believed that an enraged bull would ruin the groundnut crop year after year. Legend says that a farmer, frustrated with the rampaging bull, hit it with a club. The stunned bull sat still and became motionless. Soon, it transformed into stone. Later in repentance, the farmers built a temple for the bull. The name Basavanagudi stems from the Kannada word ‘Basava’ or bull. In tribute to this legend, every year, a groundnut fair called Kadale Kaayi Parishe is held around the Bull Temple area. All the local farmers congregate and offer their first groundnut crop each year to the sacred bull. Today, this is one of the many beautiful cultural events in Bangalore.
Basavanagudi as we know it today, was formally developed around the late 1800s. A devastating plague struck Bengaluru in 1896. By the year 1898, more than 3000 people were dead. The core areas of Bengaluru at the time were Mavalli, Chamrajpet and the Fort area. Aware of the rapid spreading epidemic and its potential effects, the then Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru, V P Madhava Rao ordered citizens to move to the outskirts of the city to distance themselves from the rampant plague.
Madhava Rao proposed the development of two new hygienic extensions of the city as ‘modern suburbs’. The government supported this idea, and thus two new extensions, namely Malleswaram and Basavanagudi, were built. The wide, tree line streets in Basavanagudi and its defined gridiron layout are owed to Madhava Rao’s foresight and vision. Basavanagudi is still home to some of the oldest and most beautiful gulmohur, tabebuia and coconut trees that sway mesmerically to the cadence of the wind.
Landmarks at Basavanagudi
CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, CLUBS, SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
Ramakrishna Mutt, Shankar Mutt, Uttaradi Mutt, Raghavendra Mutt, Gavigangadeshwara Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Dodda Ganesh Temple, and Ramanjaneya Temple are the spiritual centres in the area.
The Theosophical Society of India, The Indian Institute of World Culture, The Gokhal and Institute of Public Affairs are landmarks in the cultural hub that is is Basavanagudi.
APS College, National College, BMS College of Engineering, Acharya Pathashala, The Home School, East West School, and Mahila Seva Samaja are the premier educational spaces in the locality.
MULTI SPECIALITY HOSPITALS
Bangalore Medical College, Minto Eye Hospital, Vanivilas Hospital, Shekar Hospital, Trinity Hospital and Heart Foundation, Ranga Dore Memorial Hospital, Anugraha Vittala Hospital, Madikeri Superspeciality ENT Centre, Gunasheela Surgical Maternity Hospital, and Khincha Orthopedic Center are some of the noted healthcare facilities in bustling Basavanagudi.
Brahmins Coffee Bar, Vidyarthi Bhavan, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, Upahara Darshini, Kamat Loka Ruchi, Davanagere Benne Dose, Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Venkateshwara Sweets, Krishna Sweets, and Arya Bhavan are a few of the many noted eateries in the area.
This 62 year old shop is an iconic presence in Basavanagudi. This family-run store, named after the present owner’s grandmother, is globally famous for its home made masala powders, pickles and condiments, mostly sent as presents to home sick NRI’s from southern Bengaluru. Kitchen fresh, replenished daily, mouth watering with flavorful, nostalgic goodness, Subbammana Angadi is a must visit.
JEWELLERY AND FLOWER SHOPS
DVG Road and Gandhi Bazaar are known as some of the shopping haunts in the area. It is perhaps safe to assume that DVG Road has the highest number of jewelry shops per square feet than any other Indian city! Gandhi Bazaar is famous for some of the most beautiful flowers and adornments for women.