Street names: Treasure trove of history - The New Indian Express

Street names: Treasure trove of history

Published: 17th November 2012 10:16 AM

Last Updated: 17th November 2012 10:16 AM

They say every name has a story behind it. So is the case with the street names of Bangalore. Ever wondered how Avenue Road or Singapura got their names.

Researcher Arun Prasad, Co-founder of Discover Bangalore, a website which documents the history and heritage of the city, says,“Singa Pura comes from the name ‘Singasandra’ which literally means Lion City.

In fact, I read that even the name Singapore is derived from ‘Singa Pura’. And Dollars Colony is called so because the layout was initially meant for the bank employees.

” Though in the past, the roads or streets were named after landmarks, the trend changed post independence.

Dr S K Aruni, Deputy Director of ICHR ( Indian Council of Historical Research) says,” In the olden times, roads were named after landmarks and that idea was borrowed from the European context.

After independence, the names of roads mostly had an emotional reason and had iconic names to identify with. More and more roads were named after a person, such as Dr.Rajkumar Road. However, before the British Raj, it was also named after persons such as kings and queens.

What is KG (Kempegowda) Road today, was once known as District Office Road (to please the officers of the erstwhile Mysore state).

Our notion changed after political changes and communities were given prominence.

Not very well known during those days, but after the independence, Kempegowda had roads named after him” He adds,” There is something called Nagaland Circle in Jalahalli. I used to travel in a certain bus daily and one day some passenger asked the name of a particular stop.

The driver humorously said ‘Nagaland’, indicating how remote the place is. And today, it is known by the same name!” The first main road in Chamrajpet is today called Aluru Venkatarao Road.

“Originally it was named Albert Victor Road, back in 1889. The abbreviation was AV. The public very intelligently renamed it Aluru Venkatrao,” Dr Aruni explains.In the ancient times, most of the roads were named after the sun, moon, other planets and temples. Dr Aruni throws some light on Avenue Road.

“Originally it was a main road in the medieval period. It was known as Dodapete Raste. It was also known as Surya (sun) beedi and chandra (moon) beedi. Avenue Road has a true meaning. Many feel that this road got its name as it has a lot of trees lined up. It was the main road in the heart of the city, and it naturally couldn’t have so many trees. It actually means ‘Royal Road’ since this road led to the Tipu's Palace.”


 _ Infantry Road was renamed Bhagwan Mahaveer Road in 2004.

 _ Avenue Road was renamed Aniketan Road

_ Vittal Mallya Road was called Grant Road.

 _ Sampige Road and Margosa Road, Malleswaram, derive their names from the fl ower Sampige (Champak) and Margosa trees that once lined these roads.

 _ Nrupathanga Road was earlier known as Cenotaph Road. Where the Kempegowda statue stands today, there was a memorial of Cenotaph built in memory of the soldiers who died in the 1791 Bangalore Battle. The battle took place in front of Ulsoor Gate.

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