Bangalore's Rise as Tech Capital of India: A Story of Visionary Leadership

Welcome to Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, a city perceived as the tech capital of India today. But there’s a lot more than what meets the eye in this metro city. Let’s take a stroll along the historical landmarks, where you will see that the city’s grandeur can be traced to the visionary leadership of its past rulers.

 

Chamrajendra Wadiyar X: An Enlightened Ruler

As you wade through the busy streets of Bangalore, it’s easy to be captivated by its skyscraper-rich landscape. But, this emblem of innovation has its roots in the late 19th century under the visionary leadership of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X. 

The British had initially deposed Wadiyar X’s father, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, in 1831 due to alleged misgovernance. However, they reinstated Chamarajendra Wadiyar X as the ruler of Mysore in 1881 after 50 years.

The British carefully groomed Wadiyar X for future leadership, providing him with education and exposing him to Western culture and values. They realized his potential to become an exemplary leader who could manage and lead the state to progress.

 

A Palace that Echoes History

Amidst the skyline of the metro city stands a living testament to Wadiyar X’s growing up years and training—the Bangalore Palace. 

The British bought the mansion in the 1870’s using the royal family’s money. It was intended for the future ruler of Mysore. The prince spent time at Bangalore Palace, training for his royal duties, and was officially handed the reins when he turned 18.

As you step into the glorious Bangalore Palace, you’re not just entering a magnificent creation but also stepping back in time. The palace served as the official residence of Chamarajendra Wadiyar X when he was in Bangalore and its architecture is a fusion of Tudor and Victorian styles.

TripAdvisor Review – Excellent guide, enriching day and fun, too

We started our Bengaluru British Heritage Tour in the neighborhood of Ulsoor, which was settled by Tamil people encouraged by the British to immigrate to become their support staff. The large Sree Someshwaraswami Temple contains numerous smaller temples and beautiful carvings and artwork, including a brass Nandi, the bull of Shiva, one of the most important Hindu gods. 

 

With our guide, Praveen of Hidden Gems Tours, we also enjoyed walking through Cubbon Park, which had many flowering trees in bloom. The High Court of Karnataka adjacent to the park and the Sheshadriiyer Memorial Hall (a library) both retain the deep red hue from British colonial times. 

 

Finally, Praveen explained the importance of the 19th century maharaja of Mysore, honored with a statue in the park. We learned that his decisions long ago in support of science and technology education helped Bengaluru to become the first Indian city with public lighting (street lamps) and ultimately led to modern-day Bengaluru’s position as India’s leader in engineering and computer science. 

 

Throughout the tour, Praveen provided excellent historical context to enrich our knowledge and appreciation of India. Plus, we totally enjoyed his company and could hardly wait for our next tour with him the following day. We very highly recommend Hidden Gems Tours!

– Jan W

 

The Palace also served as a hub of social and cultural activities during Wadiyar X’s reign. It hosted grand celebrations, literary gatherings, and musical performances. 

Innovation on Display: Dussehra Industrial Exhibition

Beyond festivities and grandeur, Wadiyar X’s vision extended to commitment to technology and innovation was not limited to the palace walls.

To preserve the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, Wadiyar X organized the Dussehra Industrial Exhibition. The annual spectacle displayed technological advancements and offered a public platform for local artisans to display their creations.

Pioneering Education and Democracy

Wadiyar X was a big supporter of education and founded industrial schools to equip the youth with practical skills relevant to the emerging industrial era. These schools offered courses in carpentry, mechanics, and other technical disciplines, preparing students for employment opportunities in the industrial sector.

He also strongly advocated for women’s education, recognizing its crucial role in empowering women to contribute to society’s development. He promoted starting girls’ schools and supported initiatives for educating and empowering women.

In a landmark move, Wadiyar X adopted the first modern, democratic legislative institution in princely India. This reflected his commitment to representative governance and his belief in the power of public participation in shaping the state’s policies.

It laid the foundation for a more democratic and participatory system of governance. As you explore Bangalore today, this vision of democracy echoes through the architectural grandeur of Vidhana Soudha, which continues to serve as the state’s legislative hub.

 

A great introduction to the city

We had the best time, and it was because of our fantastic guide. This is a well-planned tour with many sites to visit in a day. It covered all of the highlights and some surprises with great opportunities to walk around and take pictures. The traditional lunch provided was an experience in itself! I can’t say enough good things about our guide, Pravin. He is extremely knowledgeable, funny, and patient. Highly recommend this tour.

– SammyMG on Tripadvisor

 

The Indian Institute of Science: A Beacon of Scientific Research

Chamarajendra Wadiyar X set the ball rolling for the Golden Age of Mysore kingdom in 1881. Upon his death, his family members picked up the baton. His wife, Maharani Kempananjammani Vani Vilasa Sannidhana, was the regent queen till 1902, his son Krishnaraja Wadiyar IX assumed the throne upon turning 18 in 1902 till his death in 1940, and his grandson Jayarchamaraja Wadiyar who ruled from 1940 till India’s independence- all proved to be visionary leaders.

 Over time, Mysore set up several educational institutions as the rulers believed that educating their people was imperative for the growth of the state. Perhaps their most significant contribution was assisting Jamsetji Tata’s ambitious initiative to establish a world-class research institute in India- the IISc

The royal family shared the renowned industrialist and philanthropist Jamsetji Tata’s vision, recognizing the potential of the IISc to transform India’s scientific landscape. Despite intense competition from other cities, including Bombay and Madras, Bangalore emerged as the ideal location for the IISc. They generously offered land and financial support for the institute, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to scientific progress. 

In 1909 their powerful vision helped install the IISc in Bangalore, and it became a beacon of scientific excellence and innovation in India. This ignited a chain of events that transformed the city into an educational hub. The presence of the IISc attracted renowned scientists and scholars from around the world.

 

Public Sector Industries: The Backbone of Bangalore’s Tech Ecosystem

Chamrajendra Wadiyar X and his successors endeavors proved to be instrumental in the eventual establishment of public sector industries in Independent India’s Bangalore. 

Their earlier efforts triggered a chain of events that led to the creation of renowned institutions such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to name a few. This transformed Bangalore into a hub for aerospace, telecommunications, and heavy industries.

 

Amidst the tale of industries lie the sprawling expanse of greenery, the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. Standing tall in the middle of this haven is a glorious statue of Maharaja Chamrajendra Wadiyar X that commemorates the visionary ruler’s contributions to Bangalore’s development. 

Unveiled in the early 1900s, the statue represents Wadiyar X’s legacy as a ruler who brought about progress in education, science, and technology.

Exploring Bangalore’s Tech Heritage with Hidden Gems Tours

If you are interested in learning more about Bangalore’s rich tech history, Hidden Gems Tours offers a curated tour that takes you to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Vidhana Soudha, and the Bangalore Palace. Join us on this journey through time and discover the stories that have shaped Bangalore’s transformation into the tech capital of India.

 

Duration
8 hours
Group Size
Up to 8

BANGALORE THROUGH THE AGES TOUR

Bangalore gives you the impression of a modern new city, yet if you scratch the surface, you will uncover a storied past dating back over 1000 years.

In this tightly paced tour, we will visit interesting sites of different eras – Historical Temples, Palaces, Heritage Buildings, Markets, Statues, a Fort, a Museum, a lush Park, and more and learn about their significance and contribution to the making of Bangalore.

It’s a tour of the story of Bangalore – from its modest origin in pre-medieval times; to the era when it was just another place compared to its more illustrious peers, now long faded into oblivion, to the fascinating times when the city was traded, and gifted like a commodity; then fought over and retained like a shining possession; right down to the times when it reached an inflexion point and came into its own as a modern mega city.

This is by no means an ordinary sightseeing trip, but a true journey of exploration with engaging commentary sprinkled with interesting facts and anecdotes. A tour is sure to stimulate your mind and invigorate your senses.

11 Reviews verify
from
₹10,000
Duration
4 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
Up to 8

BANGALORE THROUGH THE AGES – HALF DAY TOUR

Bangalore gives you the impression of a modern new city, yet if you scratch the surface, you will uncover a storied past dating back over 1000 years.

In this tightly paced tour, we will visit interesting sites of different eras – A lush park, A historic temple, the oldest Market of the city, and the centre of state government to learn about their significance and contribution to the making of Bangalore.

It’s a tour of the story of Bangalore – from its modest origin in pre-medieval times; to the era when it was just another place compared to its more illustrious peers, now long faded into oblivion, to the fascinating times when the city was traded, and gifted like a commodity; then fought over and retained like a shining possession; right down to the times when it reached an inflexion point and came into its own as a modern mega city.

This is by no means an ordinary sightseeing trip, but a true journey of exploration with engaging commentary sprinkled with interesting facts and anecdotes. A tour is sure to stimulate your mind and invigorate your senses.

from
₹7,000
Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 8

ULSOOR HERITAGE WALK

Come take a stroll through quaint bazaars and by lanes of one of the oldest localities of Bangalore.

Watch a way of life frozen in a time warp.

Explore a magnificent ancient temple of unknown origin with its tall juggernaut and Gopuram.

Get to know the layered history of a centuries-old lake; a watch tower with stories of its own and a magnificent memorial fit for a king.

Lose yourself inside a leafy British regiment church with murals and memorials which tell a tale of another era.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 8

MALLESHWARAM HERITAGE WALK

Join us as we walk the neighbourhood often referred to as the cultural heart of Bangalore.

Having been home to Nobel laureates, Diwans, artists, and scholars it has a vibrant atmosphere unique to itself.

Visit a placid lake with expansive views and lovely walkways, filled with the laughter of children.

Explore a delightful temple complex dating back to the 1600s with its majestic gopuram, lush garden, and stepped water pool.

Meander through colourful bazaars filled with the heavy scent of jasmines, tuberoses, fresh fruits, and sweet incense.

Marvel at a way of life unique to the locality.

Stops also include a center for culture, beautiful homes of a bygone era, and more.

We pause midway for some hot South Indian snacks and wrap up the walk with fine-filter coffee under a canopy of tall trees in a charming heritage site.

Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
Up to 8

DAYS OF THE RAJ WALK

Join us on a leisurely walk in what was known as the Civil and Military Station during the reign of the British.

Stops will include Landmark buildings, Memorials, Statues, etc on MG Road, Brigade Road, Residency Road & Museum Road.

Our tour explores the fascinating history of this area from its origin as a British army garrison; blossoming into a full-fledged township larger than the original town; to its transformation as the Central Business District of Bangalore.

We wrap up the walk with breakfast in one of the oldest remaining eateries in this part of town.

Duration
4 hours
Group Size
2 to 8

BRITISH HERITAGE TOUR

The legacy of over 150 years of British presence in Bangalore is hard to miss if you are in the city. For example, The broad roads laid out over 200 years ago for horse carriages, bullock carts, and horsemen do a fine job of carrying the chaotic traffic of this day.

The British brought to Bangalore promenades, parks, churches, schools, hospitals, pubs, clubs, shopping centers, dance halls, race courses, golf ranges, cricket, etc where there was none before.

In this specially curated tour, we will explore in detail many of the fascinating landmarks of that era as well as sneak a peek at a few more that have left an indelible mark on the cityscape of Bangalore

You will also learn how events of that era have shaped a modest town to become one of the largest cities in India in a few generations; how the capital of an unknown state has become the outsourcing capital of the world.

3 Reviews verify
from
₹5,650
Duration
3 hours
Group Size
Up to 8

LALBAGH HERITAGE AND FOOD STREET WALK

Join us for an invigorating walk and talk in the largest man-made work of art in Bangalore.

For a few centuries, the Lalbagh Botanical Garden has acted as the lungs of the city, providing a refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life for residents and tourists alike.

The park is a treasure trove of delights with astonishing layers of history associated with it which we uncover in the walking tour.

We will walk along the neatly manicured greens, enjoy the exquisite architectural details of the fine structures within it, and marvel at stories of its glorious trees and plants.

The tour ends at the famed food street of Bangalore where you will eat till you drop a dazzling assortment of vegetarian delicacies unique to the place.