Bengaluru City: History and Ravindra Mahatre

By: P M R

  1. When Kempegowda presented blue print for constructing Bengaluru city to the Vijayanagara King, impressed with the vision and planning, the king not only approved it, but also gave 50000 gold coins(varahas) and six nearby areas of Bengaluru to be included under the new city.
  2. Kempegowda had studied 8 years in a Gurukula, in Hesaraghatta before taking the reigns of Yelahankan ruled by his ancestors for decades. Vijayanagar King advised Kempegowda to ensure the new city of Bengaluru will be a commercial and
    dharmic Centre, and self sufficient in water requirement.

  3. Bhoomi Puja of Bengaluru was done in an area between Domluru & Yelahanka. Havana & Yagna was conducted by the Gurukula teachers where Kempegowda had studied.
    Massive Yagna smoke and Vedaghosha had filled the air due to Vedic rituals.

  4. East-West line became Chikkapete (retail market), North-South line became Doddapete (wholesale market – current Avenue Road), Akki, Ragi, Arale & taragu petes for grocery market, Ganigara pete for oil, uppara pete for salt, Kumbara pete for pottery, Tigalara pete for flower business, Nagarth pete for gold/silver biz, Bale pete for bangles and chain came up.

  5. Dharmambudhi lake (current KBS bus stand), Kempambudhi lake, Halsuru lake and
    Yediyuru lake were constructed for mobilising water for drinking & washing.

  6. For irrigation requirement Kempegowda constructed Sampangi lake (Current cricket stadium).

  7. Having studied in Gurukula and being a totally dharmic king, Kempegowda constructed Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple, Basavanagudi’s Big bull – Nandi temple, Doddapete’s Anjaneya temple.

  8. Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple, in Gavipura, continues to amaze people with
    the extraordinary knowledge of astronomy and temple architecture it synthesises to ensure Sun rays fall on the murthy of Lord Shiva on Makarasankranti every year.

  9. For protection, Kempegowda constructed
    forts all round Bengaluru. Mahadwaras (main entrances) for these forts were constructed at Yelahanka, Halasuru,
    Kengeri and Anekal.

  10. Important aspect of Bengaluru was the
    Design, implementation & interlinking of
    Raja Kaluves (king canals which exist even today). When a lake was filled with rain water, extra water was fed into other lakes through these King canals, and finally to outside the city.

  11. By the quirk of fate, Kempegowda who founded Bengaluru, was arrested and
    imprisoned at Anegondi on charges of treason. The complaints to the Vijayanagar king was given by Channapttana local chieftain. At this time Vijayanagara Kingdom was getting weakened with rebellion.

  12. To protect Bengaluru from evil enemies,
    Kempegowda’s sons constructed watch towers at Lalbagh, Halsuru, Sadashivanagara, and Chamarajapete. It is believed Dharmaraya temples lies at equidistant from these watch towers.

  13. Every evening from atop an elevated boulder, bugle sound (KahaLe) was blown to indicate all is well in the city. If the the bugle sound was heard at other times, it indicated threat to the city. This place is today’s bugle rock in Basavanagudi.

  14. King Aliya Ramaraya released Kempegowda from the prison after five years, realising Kempegowda was innocent. Kempegowda returned to Bengaluru on a triumphant note with people giving him a rousing welcome reception. His popularity had in fact increased after his arrest.

  15. Kempegowda was made to sit on a silver swing (vuyyale) and milk abhisheka was performed on him as part of his welcome. The place where this welcome was given to Kempegowda, was called
    VuyyaLe Kavalu, which in due course has become Vyali Kaval.

  16. Kempegowda who was an outstanding visionary, planner, dharmic leader, and a
    people’s leader whom every Bengalurian must thank, accidentally died in 1569, near Magadi while returning from Kunigal.

Mahatre Bridge

There is a busy bridge in Pune called Mhatre Bridge or Mhatre Pul joining Sarasbaug to Deccan area. Everyday, it is traversed by thousands of people, but few know or care that the bridge is named after an unsung Indian hero, Shri Ravindra Hareshwar Mhatre.

He was brutally killed by Kashmiri terrorists at the age of 48 while he was serving as a diplomat in the Indian Embassy in Birmingham UK.

Ravindra Mhatre was abducted and killed in an attempt to negotiate release of terrorist Maqbool Bhat of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.

Yes, the same Maqbool Bhat, in whose name separatist slogans were raised in JNU.

Mhatre was kidnapped as he was stepping out of a baker’s shop after picking up a birthday cake for his daughter.

Mhatre’s daughter was only 14 when he disappeared forever from her life. Her father’s body was found three days later on a sidestreet in Birmingham.

The then PM Indira Gandhi refused to negotiate with the terrorists and Maqbool Bhat was hanged to death days after Mhatre’s body was found.

A few months after that, Smt. Indira Gandhi visited Mhatre’s ageing parents in Mumbai and allegedly said to them that on a personal level, she was guilty of taking their son away from them, but her hands were tied.

In an emotional story, Mhatre’s daughter talks about how her father’s murder changed her life forever.

The Kashmiri terrorists haven’t forgotten Maqbul Bhat, but we Indians have forgotten Ravindra Mhatre.

In the loving memory of the patriot Hon. Late Ravindra Mhatre !

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