Bangalore fort 1860

by Guruprasad

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150 years old very rare photo!!
1860 photo of Bangalore Fort.

If you had seen this album’s previous picture of 1791 map of Bangalore, you would have noticed this oval shaped fort:
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The original fort was built up of mud by Kempe Gowda (Founder of Bangalore) in 1537 because it was mandatory for any prosperous town to be accompanied with a fort those days. Basically, the role of a fort was to protect people during war and used as Military station.
It was converted into a strong stone fort by Haider Ali (Tipu Sultan’s father) in 1761. Notice the ditch filled with water around the fort for extra security. This fort was further strengthened by Tipu Sultan and used as garrison. A temple of Ganesha was built by him inside the fort, which symbolizes the religious tolerance of Tipu. He was a great patron of Sri Ranganatha temple in Srirangapatnam.

After Bangalore was captured by Lord Cornwallis in 1791 and Military Station (Cantonment) establised in 1809, the fort had lost its purpose and was slowly being disintegrated. The ditch around the fort was filled and and land flattened.
Over the next 100 years, as the city grew, it expanded into the fort too. Most of the fort walls were brought down, houses were built, roads were laid.

Have a look at this 1924 map of Bangalore and notice the Fort near Petta, and see how it was reduced to just a cluster of walls.
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Later, the whole fort was destroyed by the govt except for one part which was retained for heritage purpose. You can see this heritage spot near KR Market and is called “Bangalore Fort” and this is the location on map:

After some renovation, this is how the heritage fort looks like:

There has been a lot of research going on about the history of this fort. Scientists have taken satellite images of areas around the fort, and applied some image processing algorithms to find out the impact of the fort on crops/plants in that region. We know that plants usually grow well if there is lot of soft soil under it and growth is not good if there are stones under it.
From the satellite images, they have identified all those regions with short crops, and those regions with long crops and marked them. This process gives the exact boundary of the fort which existed there, centuries ago. So, if someone says there was no fort in Bangalore and all the story of fort was made up, you know how to prove its existence :)

Here is the research paper explaining the same: