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Activities in New Tharagupet, Bengaluru

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Bangalore Fort

Bangalore Fort began in 1537 as a mud fort.[1] The builder was Kempe Gowda I, a vassal of the Vijaynagar Empire and the founder of Bangalore. Hyder Ali in 1761 replaced the mud fort with a stone fort and it was further improved by his son Tipu Sultan in the late 18th century. It was damaged during an Anglo-Mysore war in 1791. It still remains a good example of 18th-century military fortification.The army of the British East India Company, led by Lord Cornwallis on 21 March 1791 captured the fort in the siege of Bangalore during the Third Mysore War (1790–1792). At the time the fort was a stronghold for Tipu Sultan. Today, the fort’s Delhi gate, on Krishnarajendra Road, and two bastions are the primary remains of the fort. A marble plaque commemorates the spot where the British breached fort’s wall, leading to its capture. The old fort area also includes Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, and his armoury. The fort has provided the setting for the treasure hunt in the book Riddle of the Seventh Stone.[2]Bangalore Fort
The confirmed history of the Bangalore Fort is traced to 1537, when Kempe Gowda I (pictured), a chieftain of the Vijayanagara Empire, widely held as the founder of modern Bangalore, built a mud fort and established the area around it as Bengaluru Pete, his capital.[3][4]

Kempe Gowda I, builder of Bangalore or Bengaluru pete, his statue oppostite to the Bangalore Corporation office
Kempe Gowda I, who showed remarkable qualities of leadership from childhood, had a grand vision to build a new city which was further fueled by his visits to Hampi, now a UNESCO heritage city, the then beautiful capital city of the Vijayanagar Empire. He persevered with his vision and got permission from the King Achutaraya, the ruler of the empire, to build a new city for himself. The King gifted 12 hoblis (revenue subdivisions) with an annual income of 30,000 varahas (gold coins) to Kempe Gowda to meet the expenses of his venture of building a new city.[3][4][5]

Kempe Gowda moved from his ancestral land of Yelahanka to establish his new principality, having obtained support from King Achutaraya. One version for the site selection process for the fort and the Bengaluru Pete is that during a hunting expedition along with his Advisor Gidde Gowda, Kempe Gowda went westward of Yelahanka and reached a village called Shivasamudra (near Hesaraghatta), some 10 miles (16 km) from Yelahanka where, in a tranquil atmosphere under a tree, he visualized building of a suitable capital city with a fort, a cantonment, tanks (water reservoirs), temples and people of all trades and professions. It is also said that an omen of an uncommon event of a hare chasing away a hunter dog at the place favoured selection of the place and a dream of goddess Lakshmi (Hindu Goddess of wealth) that prophesied good indications of the events to happen, further sealed his decision on the place for his capital. Following this event, on an auspicious day in 1537, he conducted a ground breaking ritual and festivities by ploughing the land with four pairs of decorated white bulls in four directions, at the focal point of the junction of Doddapet and Chikkapet, the junction of the present day Avenue Road and Old Taluk Kacheri Road (OTC).[4][5]