Bengaluru
We bring you the history behind the names of some of the well known stretches of the city.
MG Road in 1950. Courtesy: Wikipedia

As Bengalureans, we battle mounting traffic everyday, and in the urgency of reaching our destinations we rarely pay any heed to the names of the roads we pass on a daily basis. 

But fret not. TNM now brings you a list of some of the city’s most well known stretches and the history behind the familiar names.

JC Road

Located in the heart of Bengaluru, this stretch houses important landmarks such as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Pallike (BBMP) Head Office, the Town Hall and Ravindra Kalakshetra. JC road is short for Jayachamarajendra Road, named after the king Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the 25th and the last ruler of the Kingdom of Mysuru.

Court portrait of the Maharaja. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

He ruled between 1940 and 1950 and was considered an authority of Indian philosophy, and a renowned political theorist and musicologist.

The Maharaja with Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Lavelle Road

This posh and uptown stretch in Bengaluru now houses many upscale restaurants and stores of several international fashion brands.  An important connector of MG Road and Richmond Circle, this stretch starts from the point where Queens Road ends near Chinnaswamy Stadium and through a serpentine curve meets Richmond Circle at the Bangalore Club junction.

This road was named after an Irish soldier, Michael F Lavelle, who rediscovered the gold mines in Kolar. Michael Lavelle had applied to the Mysuru government on August 20, 1873 for a licence to carry out mining operations in Kolar. As the mining operation did not bear a hefty return on investment, he sold his mining company to Kolar Concessionaires Soft Corporation and Arbuthnot Company of Madras in 1877.

Map of Lavelle Road

KH Road

Named after Kengal Hanumanthaiah, this road connects Lalbagh Main Road and Hosur Road. One of the busiest stretches in the city, this road houses the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s corporate office.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Kengal Hanumantaiah was the second Chief Minister of Karnataka, after the Indian National Congress came to power in India’s first general election. He held office from 30 March,1952 to 19 August, 1956 and is known for his contribution towards the construction of the Vidhana Soudha.

Hanumantaiah had taken a Russian cultural delegation on a tour of Bengaluru and was upset when they commented that the state did not having a legislative seat. Hanumanthaiah then vowed to create a monument so magnificent showcasing the best of Karnataka's indigenous architectural style, which resulted in the Vidhana Soudha.

Nrupatunga Road

One of the busiest and jam-packed stretches, this road connects Ambedkar Veedhi to Kempegowda Road. It houses important buildings including the Director General of Police Headquaterters, Reserve Bank of India and the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

Earlier known as Cenotaph Road, which led from Hudson Circle to KR Circle, it was renamed after renowned Kannada poet Nrupathunga. The Cenotaph stood where the Corporation Circle now stands, was built in memory of English soldiers who died in wars with Tippu Sultan. The Cenotaph was demolished in early 1964. 

The road has been renamed after Amoghavarsha Nrupathunga, the Jain scholar-king of Rashtrakuta dynasty, who ruled between 814-878. 

Old Kannada inscription (876 AD) of Rashtrakuta King Amoghavarsha I Nrupathunga at Veerabhadra temple in Kumsi. Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Rashtrakuta king wrote Kavirajamarga, one of the earliest available work on rhetoric, poetics and grammar in Kannada language.

Krumbiegal Road

Most of us probably don’t even know this stretch exists, or we may know it as the road which connects Lalbagh Road to Lalbagh West Gate. 

This nondescript road is named after a German landscape designer and urban planner Gustav Herman Krumbiegal. A noted horticulturalist, he helped design the flower lay outs in London’s Hyde Park. He was also the architect for Brindavan Gardens park and the Superintendent of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore Government during the British regime.

Bust of Gustav Herman Krumbiegal. Picture by Dgarte, derivative work Hic et nunc (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Krumbiegal was born in a town called Lohmen in Germany and played an important role in giving Bengaluru its Garden City tag. In 1908, Krumbiegel took over as superintendent of Lalbagh. Apart from setting up plant exchange programmes with gardens around the world and introducing several species to Bengaluru’s oldest botanical garden, he was also responsible for introducing serially blossoming street trees in Bangalore and for landscaping the gardens at the Bangalore Palace.

DVG Road

Named after Kannada writer and philosopher, DV Gundappa, this stretch is the main commercial centre in Bengaluru’s Basavanagudi. It is home to some of the city’s oldest business outlets, dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.

DVG's statue at Bugle Rock Gardens, Bengaluru. Picture by User:Sarvagnya (Own work (my own photography)) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Lodged in the Centre of DVG Rod is the famous Gandhi Bazaar, which houses Bengaluru’s iconic Vidhyarthi Bhavan, renowned for its scrumptious masala dosa.

One of DV Gundappa’s most popular works is Mankuthimmana Kagga published in 1943. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India in 1974.

AV Road

Located in Chamarajapete, this road originally called the Albert Victor Road, named after the Prince of Wales, was changed to Aluru Venkat Rao Road sometime in the late 1960s. 

Aluru Venkat Rao, third from right. Courtesy: www.kamat.com 

According to historian Suresh Moona, quoted in the Economic Times, in 1888, the then prince of Wales Albert Victor visited Bengaluru and laid the foundation stone for the Lalbagh Glass House. Moona says that when the first extension to the Pete was formed barely four years after the foundation stone for the Glass House was laid, they decided to name it after Albert Victor as a mark of respect 

The road was renamed after the Kannada writer and historian who led the Karnataka unification movement.