Population: 4,931,230 Urban/Metro Population: 6,062,577
Date Founded: 1537 Primary Language(s): Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, etc.
Name Origin: Possibly Anglicized version of Benda kaluru, meaning "city of boiled beans" in Kannada
Alternate/historic names: Bengaluru

Bangalore is believed to have been founded in 1537 by Kempe Gowda. During the time of the Puranas, this region was known as "Kalyanapuri" or "Kalyananagara", the "City Auspicious". The Mauryan Emperor, Chandragupta Maurya, renounced his throne to become a Jain Monk at Shravanabelagola, a Jain piligrimage center, southwest of Bangalore. Bengaluru was first mentioned in records from the Ganga era as a small hamlet, the location of which coincides with modern Halebengaluru near Kodigehalli (not far from Hebbal). It is said that when Kempe Gowda built his new capital town in about 1537, he called it Bengaluru as his mother and wife belonged to the hamlet of Halé Bengaluru (Old Bangalore).

Another version suggests that the name Bangalore derives from Benda kalu, which means Boiled beans. It is said that a humble old lady served a 10th century ruler, King Veeraballa of Vijayanagara who lost his way in the forest. He liked the food so much he named the place Benda Kaluru, meaning "the city of boiled beans", to commemorate his experience. After the arrival of the British, the city was given the anglicized name of "Bangalore".

The reign of Bangalore changed hands several times. It was ruled by the Adil Shahisultans of Bijapur until 1638, when it was captured by the Maratha ruler Shahji Bhonsle. After 50 years of Maratha rule Bangalore was conquered by the Mughals in 1686. The city was leased to the Mysore ruler Chikkadevaraya by the Mughals around 1689 and Chikkadevaraya expanded the Bangalore fort to the south and built the Venkataramana temple in this fort area. This new fort in granite was strengthened by Haider Ali who secured Bangalore as a jahgir in 1759. The British under Lord Cornwallis conquered the place in 1799 after defeating Tipu Sultan.

Bangalore was hit by a plague epidemic in 1898. The epidemic took a huge toll and many of the temples were built during this time. Many of these temples are called "Maramma" temples after the plague deity. It is believed that this epidemic helped in the development of Bangalore and improvements in sanitation and health facilities helped in modernizing Bangalore. A plague officer was appointed and the city was divided into four wards.

Modern Bangalore is the largest city in the state of Karnataka and is a cosmopolitan city. Kannada, the state language of Karnataka, is widely spoken here. Many people are fluent in more than one language. In Bangalore there are people speaking languages such as Kannada 31%, Tamil 27%, Telugu 17%, Malayalam 15%, other languages 10%. English is widely understood, and spoken with variable fluency. The large number of central government and defence establishments with many employees from northern India, movies and television have made Hindi a widely understood language in the city.

A majority of Bangalore's population consists of expatriates from other parts of India as well as foreign nationals, a trend that existed even in colonial Bangalore. This is evident in the Tamil inscriptions on the memorial set up near Brigade Road by the then British rulers for the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in various wars.

Bangalore is known as the "Garden City of India", and there are many public parks, including the Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park which attract a lot of people, tourists and locals alike, especially over the weekends.

The locals are generally referred to as Bangaloreans and the definition permiates class, religion and even language. Bangalore has significant proportions of groups that would otherwise be considered "minorities" in India, including Muslims, Christians and Anglo-Indians.

Religious festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm. The festival of Deepavali transcends demographic and religious lines and is celebrated with great valor. Dussera, a traditional celebratory hallmark of the old Kingdom of Mysore is another important festival.

Bangalore is home to the Kannada film industry which churns out about 80 movies each year. Kannada movies are very popular in the city. Movies from other parts of South India including Tamil movies and Telugu movies are popular, as are Bollywood and Hollywood movies.

The diversity of the cuisine available is reflective of the social and economic diversity of Bangalore. Roadside vendors, tea stalls, South Indian, North Indian, Chinese and Western fast food are all very popular in the city. Udupi restaurants, found at almost every nook and corner of the city, are very popular and serve predominantly vegetarian cuisine.

Cricket in Bangalore, just as in the rest of the nation, is the most popular sport. Significant numbers of India's national team have come from Bangalore, including Rahul Dravid, Venkatesh Prasad, Anil Kumble, Erapalli Prasanna and B.S. Chandrashekar. Many of the city's children play Gully cricket on the roads and in city's many public fields. Bangalore's main international cricket stadium is the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, which was the venue for the India-Pakistan cricket quater-final during World Cup 1996.

Bangalore has an active night culture and is home to over 200 clubs and bars. Popular nightspots in Bangalore include Athena, Taika, Pecos, The Club Inferno, Cosmo Village, Geoffrey's, Insomnia, iBar, Zero G, Urban Edge, Spinn, Club X, Styx (a pub for hard rock fans), Purple Haze, 13th Floor, Legends Of Rock, TGIF and Fashion Bar Apart from urban and night life Bangalore has a number of elite clubs, like the Bangalore Golf Club, Bowring Institute, Karnatka Golf Association, the Karnataka State Cricket Club (which boasts several of members of the Indian cricket team) and the Bangalore Club which is so exclusive it has a 25 year waiting list and counts among its previous members Winston Churchill and the Maharajah of Mysore. The Bangalore Club is much like a miniature city with supermarkets, recreational facilities, libraries and auditoriums, not to mention a number of bars.

Descriptive text from Wikipedia