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Wow, That’s Old! How Heritage Researchers Stumbled Upon ‘Bengalur’ in 1247

A temple bearing an inscription dating back to 1247, makes for a fascinating history lesson

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Ever since Bangalore was renamed as Bengaluru, interesting stories about the name and it’s possible origins have cropped up.

The Begur stone inscription of the 9th Century mentioned the name Bengaluru. The stone, dating back to around 890 AD, mentions the ‘Bengaluru Kadana’ (the Battle of Bengaluru).

Now another one has been unearthed. An inscription on the outer wall of the Madivala Someshwara Temple mentions the name Vengalur in Tamil, which translates into Bengaluru in Kannada.

Inscription on the temple wall. Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia

This inscription is of major significance, and the team of history and heritage researchers turned to the Epigraphia Carnatica for clues. Arun Bharadwaj, a member of the Inscription Stones of Bangalore, speaking to the Bangalore Mirror, said  “The Madivala Someshwara temple outer wall is filled with writings and Vengalur is mentioned at the bottom. It talks about land grants made by the rulers. This temple is just about 6 km from Begur, and since there is a mention of Veppur (now Begur) in the inscription, it adds all the more credence to the city’s name. This inscription is also recorded in the Epigraphia Carnatica,’’

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The Epigraphia Carnatica is a rich repository of information on the incredible epigraphy of the old Mysore region. Compiled by Benjamin Lewis Rice, the former director of the Mysore Archeological Department, it contains the study of about 9000 inscriptions from lithic surfaces and copper plates, found in the region.


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The Madivala Someshwara Temple is one of Bengaluru’s oldest, dating back to the Chola period. The revered temple’s outer walls contain numerous Tamil and Grantha inscriptions, which mention land grants done during the reigns of the mighty rulers of that era.

Visiting this temple is a great way to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the region. 

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