Kempegowda Museum

Kempgowda Museum

Kempgowda Museum


  • Kempegowda Statue
  • Map of Bengaluru on floor
  • Picture Gallery
  • Historical information:
    • Bengaluru City & Markets
    • Yelahanka Dynasty
    • Hill Forts, Temples & Tanks
    • Kempegowda Towers
  • Architecture of Mayo Hall

Kempgowda Museum

  is housed in the Mayo Hall, on M G Road, Bengaluru. The museum is a tribute to Kempegowda I, the founder of Bengaluru. Kempegowda museum was inaugurated on 7th April, 2011 and is being maintained well by BBMP.

Information Displayed

Under a large glass on the floor rests a huge map of Bengaluru and surrounding areas. On the map stands an elegant statue of Kempe Gowda I, similar to his 400 year old statue at Gangadeshwara temple in Shivagange. The map is a directional map, surrounded by pictures and information mounted on verical panels, in directions corresponding to the directions in map. There are pictures of the 4 Kempegowda towers, temples, hill forts and water tanks built by Kempegowda and his successors. There is historical information about the clan of Yelahanka Nada Prabhus, their lineage and culture during their times. There is also information about Bengaluru city and the markets in the pete designed by Kempegowda.

Kempegowda I ( 1510-1569 AD)

In the 16th century, Kempegowda I was a chieftain ( Nada Prabhu) of Yelahankanadu, under the Vijayanagara Empire ruled by Krishnadevaraya. Inspired by Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagara empire, Kempegowda dreamt of building a beautiful and well-planned city like Hampi, with forts, temples, water tanks and people from all trades and professions.As per legend, during a hunting expedition, Kempegowda is said to have been impressed by the gallantry of a rabbit chasing a dog, and chose the heroic land to develop his dream city. He was titled as Chikkaraya by Krishnadevaraya and commissioned to realize his dream city. The Bengaluru city established by him thrived in commerce, culture, education and military. The King of Vijayanagar gifted to him 12 Hoblies (villages)including Kengeri, Varthur, Begur, Halasuru and Jigani to generate revenue for the maintenance of Bengaluru. After his death, Kempegowda I was succeeded by his eldest son Immadi Kempe Gowda (Kempe Gowda II).

Bengaluru Pete

In the forest between Domalur and Yelahanka, 4 pair of bullocks were made to plough along the 4 directions, to mark the main streets of the Pete (market) - Doddapete ( Avenue Road) along North-South and Chikkapete along East West. Smaller lanes were named after the trade they promoted: Akkipete (rice), Balepete (bangles), Ganigarpete (oil), Aralepete (cotton), Gollarpete (cattle), Kumbarapete (pottery) and so on. To protect his city, in 1537, Kempegowda built a strong mud fort around his city with 9 gates: The 4 principal gates were Halasuru (E), Sondekoppa (W), Yelahanka (N), and Anekal (S). 5 other gates were in Varthur, Sarjapur, Kanakanahalli, Kengeri and Yeshwantapura. The fort was surrounded by a moat. The Bengaluru Pete became a flourishing commercial centre in the Vijayanaga empire. His successors: Kempegowda II built the famous watch towers and Kempegowda III built several water tanks.

Mayo Hall

The grand wooden stairways lead to the display on the first floor. Ground floor is under renovation to house more artefacts. Greek cornices, Tuscan columns, wooden floors and windows, spiral staircases etc. are the striking architectural features which are well maintained and look very majestic till date. Mayo Hall has been named after Lord Mayo, Viceroy and Governor General of India 1869-72. During the British rule, Mayo Hall was built to house the Municipal Office for the Cantonment, several public offices and law courts.

Those who expect artefacts in a museum may be disappointed; it is more of a gallery with a rich display of pictures and text of historical places developed by the Yelahanka clan. It is a treat for history lovers.

Kempegowda Museum
Travel info:
Mayo Hall, M G Road
Next to Utility bldg.
Time: 9 am - 5 pm