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Ulsoor, or Halasuru, is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city of Bangalore. It is located in central Bangalore, and begins roughly near the eastern terminus of MG Road. It is renowned for its numerous temples and rather narrow streets.

Ulsoor is located in Bengaluru
Coordinates: 12°58′N 77°38′E / 12.97°N 77.63°E / 12.97; 77.63Coordinates: 12°58′N 77°38′E / 12.97°N 77.63°E / 12.97; 77.63
Country India
State Karnataka
Metro Bangalore
 • Official Kannada
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registration KA-03
Native Girls' School and Preaching-Room, Alasoor, Bangalore (p.184, 1865)[1]
A Street Scene in India, Outside the Wesleyan Girls School, Bangalore (January 1869, p.7)[2]
Juggernaut cart in the Ulsoor temple complex in Bangalore, India, around 1870
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Ulsoor


History and nameEdit

The village of Bangalore is said to have been gifted to Kempe Gowda I (1513–1569), the founder of Bangalore, by the Vijayanagar emperors. The Ulsoor Lake was built by his successor, Kempe Gowda II, and is the only surviving tank built by the Gowda kings in Bangalore.[3] The first British military station was set up in Halasuru in 1807.[4]

There used to be a jackfruit orchard near the Ulsoor Lake, and the Kannada name for jackfruit being 'Halasina Hannu', the area came to be known as Halasuru. During the British rule, the name was anglicised to 'Ulsoor'.


The population of Ulsoor consists of local Kannada speaking population. It is also largely dominated by Tamils.


The Ulsoor Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Bangalore.


There are several old temples in Ulsoor, which are scattered throughout the area. The oldest temple is the Halasuru Someshwara Temple, was built by Kempe Gowda I [5] in the 16th century and is a mixture of Hoysala, Chola and Vijayanagara architecture.

Sri Subrahmanya Temple, Halasuru, which is more than 800 years old, is also a prominent temple.

Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh SabhaEdit

The largest Sikh shrine in Bangalore, the Sri Guru Singh Sabha, is situated on the banks of the Ulsoor Lake. The sprawling white building on the edges of the lake, is indeed a well known place on the City's landscape. Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara at Ulsoor was built in 1943 by A G Russell and was inaugurated in 1945. "While the Jollys and the Sahani families were the main forces behind the construction of the Gurudwara, all the community members and the Kohli and Chandoks families financed it under the leadership of Ahulwalia and the Gill family from the neighboring Haudin Road Sikh foundation. It was only later in 1975, that the first floor of the Gurudwara was built. The monument is known for its splendid structure - it has added to the beauty of the area and Kensington Road where it is situated, which is also popularly known as Gurudwara Road. Being the biggest Gurudwara in City, a huge gathering of Sikhs come here on Wednesdays for prayer and the 'langar' on Sundays. All the devotees are offered free meals on Sundays, in what is known as the 'Langar Sewa'. Around 1000 people visit the Gurudwara on Sunday mornings, while more than 2,000-3000 people visit in the afternoon and seek blessings post blessings they have Guru Ka Langar(Meals)."

Kempe Gowda TowerEdit

Chinese BellEdit

The Eastern watch tower on Ulsoor Lake had a Chinese bell about 4'3" in height and 3'1.5" in diameter. The Chinese inscription read that the Bell was cast during the reign of Emperor Chien Lung in 1741 and dedicated to the San Yuan Kung temple. Investigations by B L Rice, led to a pensioner and veteran of the Opium War, T Cribb narrating the story of its presence in Bangalore. The bell was taken from a hill temple in Nanking, by C Troop of the Madras Regiment, and brought to St. Thomas Mount, Madras, from where it was shipped to the Bangalore Civil and Military Station, to be suspended near the Quarter Guard of the Troop. The bell was struck on the hour, day and night and the sound was heard for a distance of up to 3 miles. It cracked on being stuck with a 12lb shot one rainy night, making it useless, after which it was dismounted and given to Mr. Smith the Waterworks engineer to be placed at the Tower (p. 26,27).[6] The bell is seen in old photographs, it has since been removed to the Madras Sappers Museum.

Chinese InscriptionEdit

In Bangalore, on a large metal bell in the watch-tower to the east of Ulsoor Tank. (Chinese).

Fa lun ch'ang chuan. Hain shili Waag Chih Lung Wang Chih Hung chiug ha'ien
San Yflan Kung Kung feng. Fo jili tseng hui. Ch'ien Lung Wu nien pa Yueh chi tan kuo tai miu
an. Feng tiao ^ii Shun. Huang t'u Kung ku. Ti tao hsia ch'ang. Wan Ming le yeh. Wu ku
feng teng.[6]

English TranslationEdit

May the Wheel of the Law revolve for ever. A votive offering(2) reverentially made to the Sau Yiian Kung temple by the devotees Wang Chih Lung and Wang Chih Hung. May the Sun of Enlightenment increase in brightness. An auspicious day in the 8th month of the 5th year of the reign of the Emperor Ch'ien Lung. May the empire and the people enjoy peace. May the seasons be regular. May the Emperor enjoy consolidated power. May the Emperor's authority penetrate into the remotest corners of the empire. May the people be contented. May there be abundant harvests (2)A large metal bell.[6]


Some of the main thoroughfares in Ulsoor are CMH Road, Cambridge Road, Ulsoor Road and Old Madras Road. CMH Road has several fashion outlets and supermarkets and is the main shopping area for the residents of Ulsoor and the neighbouring Indiranagar.

MG Road, arguably the most well-known road in Bangalore, is a short walk from Ulsoor.

Location in ContextEdit

Bangalore Metro RailEdit

There are two Bangalore Metro Rail stations[7] located in Ulsoor:

  • Ulsoor (Located on Old Madras Road, at the end closer to CMH Road)
  • Trinity (Located at Trinity Circle)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Native Girls School and Preaching-Room, Alasoor, Bangalore - Bangalore Cantonment, 8 July 1865". Wesleyan Juvenile Offering. London: Wesleyan Mission House. XXII: 43–46. December 1865. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  2. ^ "A Street Scene in India, Outside the Wesleyan Girls School, Bangalore". The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering: A Miscellany of Missionary Information for Young Persons. Wesleyan Missionary Society. New III: 7. January 1869. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Halasuru Lake".
  4. ^ "The birth of a cosmopolitan city" The Hindu. 22 Mar. 2005
  5. ^ Rice, B. L. (1 February 2001). "Gazetteer of Mysore". Asian Educational Services – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b c Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1894). Epigraphia Carnatica: Volume IX: Inscriptions in the Bangalore District. Mysore State, British India: Mysore Department of Archaeology. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Bangalore Metro: Route Map". Retrieved 24 July 2012.