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Sunday 01 May 2016
News updated at 6:57 PM IST
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Malleswaram, Basavanagudi, the new extensions

THE GREAT PLAGUE AND AFTER

The extension of Bangalore came about with time and unforeseen events. The city had its share of disasters in the late 1800s.

The most catastrophic of these was the plague outbreak in 1898-1899, which carried off about 3,500 people in Bangalore alone out of an estimated 6,000 in the old Mysore State. It was rumoured that an infected man had come to Bangalore by train, thus setting off the disease.

Plague camps

Plague camps were set up in outlying areas to segregate and tend to afflicted citizens.
Building sites in many of the present suburbs, which were then mere fields, were allocated to people from congested areas to enable them to build small houses.
Sheds were also erected for temporary shelter and accommodation. These areas gradually took in well-to-do families from the unhealthy parts of the Cantonment, particularly from Blackpalli which was a hotbed of the disease...

A temple called ‘Plague Amma Temple’ was set up in Thyagarajanagar, 2nd Main, to propitiate the grama devatha, or village deity, for many believed that it was the wrath of the Goddess that brought about scourges like plague and small pox. In an attempt to divert the attention of the Goddess, people would write on the doors of their houses ‘Plague Amma, naale baa’ (Plague Amma, come tomorrow).

As a result of the plague, new extensions such as Malleswaram and Basavanagudi came into being. These suburbs were well-planned and hygiene and sanitation were emphasised.

Chamarajpet Extension, named after His Highness Chamarajendra Wodeyar, was, at the time of its formation, inhabited mostly by Government officials. It was well planned, with several streets and crossroads, and had the Rameswara

Maya Jayapal, ‘The Story of a City’


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