Digging up some old history of Bangalore

Bangalore Rants, General Stuff

While looking up stuff on banglore’s history, I bumped into a nice tidbit on Mr. Lavelle who got the rights to mine gold in Kolar. This link is a book written in 1898 by ROBERT H. ELLIOT. Makes for an amazing reading. This is a blog from the past !

Also, a nice post about the names of roads in Bangalore from By bglr_usha


1. Lavelle Road was named after Michael Lavelle, an Irish soldier who made his money in the Kolar Gold Fields.

2. Langford Town/Road was named after Col.Pierce Leslie Langford whose residence was located on that road once.

3. Mayo Hall is supposed to remind you of Richard South Bourke, the then Viceroy, who was the Earl of Mayo.

4. Meanee avenue road gets its name after the battle of Meeanee (Miani) where Charles Napier defeated a Baluchi army (1843)

5. The house of the British resident of Mysore was located on Residency Road – it is currently the residence of the Chief General manager of The S.B.I.

6. The names given to the roads in the Cantonment were according to the military arrangement and campus. Thus, there was Artillery Rd., Brigade Rd., Infantry Rd., Cavalry Rd., etc. The South Parade (presently Mahatma Gandhi Road) was to the south of the Parade Ground. St.Mark’s Road gets its name from the St.Mark’s Cathedral.

7. Kumara Park takes its name after the residence of Dewan Seshadri Iyer which he called Kumara Krupa after his family deity.

8. Austin Town is now Kittel nagar after Ferdinand Kittel who compiled the first Kannada dictionary and Thomas Town is B.I.Rice nagar after the archaeologist.

9. Ali Asker was the grand father of Dewan Mirza Ismail who imported horses from iran – remember Ali Asker Road?

10.Jayanagar came into existence in 1948 and has been named after Maharajah Jayachamrajendra Wodeyar.

11.Tata Silk farm gets its name from the silk business that flourished in that area from 1896.

12.Did you know that the shopping area around South Parade ground (Now M.G.Road) was once called Blackpally? (after the Black death in 1898-99)



18 thoughts on “Digging up some old history of Bangalore

  1. Hi there. I was just searching for Skoda laura on the net and came across your blog. Nice blog. Its amazing that you dont blog for money.

  2. Hi there, I’m researching my step mums family & Michael Fitzgerald Lavelle of KGF is her gt grandfather on her mothers side. Can you tell me if there is anywhere I can contact to obtain more information on him and his life in Bangalore?
    Many thanks

    1. Try these organisations:
      1. Mythic Society in Bangalore
      2. The St. Marks Cathedral, it must have had a membership of all the who’s who in Bangalore at that time
      3. There is some association which is doing something for the preservation of the old christian graveyards in bangalore, try searching for that on the net
      4. The British Council Library in London, they have a section on the british individuals in India prior to 1947. Lavelle was the guy who discovered gold at KGF right? So must have been an important person even then. That house which he is supposed to have lived in was demolished recently. It was opposite the British Library (the new premises) in Bangalore.
      5. Take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolar_Gold_Fields. This is what it says: “In 1873, M.F. Lavelle, a resident in Bangalore, applied to the Mysore Government for the exclusive privilege of mining in the Kolar district. His request was granted and he commenced operations by sinking a shaft near Urigam (Oorgaum) in 1875, but, finding that large capital would be required he, in the following year and with the approval of the government, transferred all his rights and concessions to the late Major General G. de la Poer Beresford.”


    2. Hi Michael Lavelle was the Grand Father of my mums grand mother….. the name Michael has been comming down the ages and even my son has the name Michael….. hope to stay in contact…..

  3. hi Yvonne,

    I am no historian, but very keen on all this historic. I will look around and see what help I can dig up and guide you over the next few weeks. One of the things I plan to do is go to Kolar Gold fields for a field photography session. I will ping you with any information I can get.


  4. Ben a long time since I did anything on MF Lavelle, but have just come back to it- Still looking for any advices. pics or help. Can’t afford the trip to do the research myself so would appreciate any help.

  5. Hi,
    Was interested in the comments regarding Michael Fitzgerald Lavelle, as I am tracing his family history. His son was married to my great great aunt, and my grandmother lived with them for a while when she was a child after her own mother died. I would be grateful for any information regarding the family.

    1. Hi Andrea, My grandmother, Grace Lavelle, was one of the six daughters of Michael George Lavelle, eldest son of Michael Fitzgerald Lavelle. He had a second son, David John – which son are you tracing?

      1. Hi, oh I’m so excited my mum has been trying to trace her family as well….. my mums grandma Kathleen Lavelle was one of the daughters, my mum remembers an aunt called Cibby ( Cibby married a Brafield one of her sons were called Alan )…. we have a few details from one of the researchers and will give details and we could make notes…. how wonderful……

    1. Hi Elizabeth
      My mother has been researching her family history and that of Michael Fitzgerald Lavelle. My great grandfather was the son of ‘Sabina’ daughter to Michael George Lavelle. My mother who is also called ‘Elizabeth’ and who’s mother was called ‘Tricia’ has been doing some research at the British Library and I’m sure she would be happy to share any research she may have on the subject. Dion

  6. Hello Elizabeth & Dionne, first of all we need to confirm where each of us live, me, I live in Croydon, Surrey… tricia_meyers@yahoo.co.uk ……. my mum has quite a bit of info as she was very close to her grandma (granddot of MF Lavelle, dot of jr Michael Lavelle )

  7. Hi,
    My organization is planning to develop an application in the area of augmented reality. In this regard, I need your advice on where to source old pictures of Bangalore.Due credits will be given to every source in our project.

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