The Urban Food System of Bangalore, India


Bangalore is located in Southern India on the Deccan Plateau (Figure 1). The city has existed for more than 450 years, although it has few physical markers or sites that indicate its age and antiquity (Nair 2005: 27). The earliest settlement on the present site was probably a small community that acted as a node for the trade of agricultural surpluses from the surrounding region and, as it grew, the settlement was controlled by successive kings from different dynasties (Nair 2005). Bangalore’s history was marked by two significant political developments: the Vijayanagara Empire in the 1500s and the British Empire in the 1800s. In the 16th century, under the Vijayanagara Empire, Bangalore began to grow into a significant fortified settlement and market town. The city’s foundation lay in its petes (or markets in Kannada, the local language) which were largely located in the southern part of Bangalore. The original pete streets – Chickapete Street and Doddapete Street – formed the heart of commercial and social Bangalore, and continue to be central to the city’s culture and commerce. The system of tanks and bunds that provided a regular supply of water to the city also dates back to these early settlements, which the British later continued to develop (Nair 2005).