since the Time of Kempe Gowda
Professor of Mathematics & Former Principal of Central College
(14 Kms. from Bangalore) Prabhus were Gowdas or tillers of
the Land. They belonged to Morasu Vokkalu sect, the ancestors
of which were migrants from Morasunadu near Kanjeepuram (16
miles from Bangalore on the Bangalore-Madras Hwy.). They used
to speak Telugu. Fourth in succession from Rana Bhairave Gowda,
founder of the dynasty of Avanti Nadu Prabhus and great grandson
of Jaya Gowda, who established separate dynasty, the famous
Yelahanka Nadu Prabhus, Kempe Gowda I ruled for 46 years commencing
his reign from 1513. Jaya Gowda accepted the sovergnity of
the Vijayanagar emperor. There were the Gangadicara Gowdas
of other parts of Karnataka. The name Gangadicara, which is
derived from the word Gangawadi-kara, meaning the inhabitant
of Gangawadi is a relic of Ganga Rule and has since survived
in this part of Karnataka. However the MorasuVokkalu sect
got assimilated with the other gowdas of Karnataka who are
now called Vokkaligas.
Today the Vokkaliga community embraces within its fold the
Morasu Vokkaligas, the Gangadicara Vokkaligas, Reddy Vokkaligas,
Kunchitiga Vokkaligas, Hallikaru Vokkaligas and so on. Kempe
Gowda was a great ruler, was concerned in the welfare of his
subjects and spent lavishly in the construction of tanks,
agraharas, temples and forts. The Vokkaligas rendered great
service in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry and
soldiery. He conquered Sivaganga principality, 30 miles from
Bangalore on Bangalore-Poona Hwy. Next he annexed Domlur which
is on the road from Bangalore to Bangalore Airport. Within
this vast forest area he erected a fort and built the Township
of Bangalore in 1537.
Kempe Gowda next annexed Ulsoor and Hesaraghatta. Bangalore
four main streets Chickpete and Doddapete leading to Ulsoor
gate, Sondekoppa gate , Yelahanka gate and Anekal gate were
laid. Kempe Gowda shifted his capital from Yelahanka to Bangalore.
Emperor Achuta Raya granted Kempe Gowda the neighboring villages
of Begur, Jigani, Varthur, Kengeri, Banavara and Kumbalgode,
besides many other hamlets yielding a revenue of 30,000 varahas.
Kempe Gowda built the cave temple of Gavi Gangadhareswara
at Gavipur, the Bull Temple in Basavanagudi, the Kempambudhi
Tank and Dharambudhi Tank. His successor Kempe Gowda II built
the Ulsoor Tank, the Karanjee Tank, the Sampangi Tank, the
Someswara Temple of Ulsoor, the famous four Kempe Gowda Towers
and the Ranganatha Temple in Balapete, Bangalore.
There is an inscription dated 1628 in this Ranganatha Temple
in Telugu. The English translation of this is "Be it
well, When Rajadhi-Raja-Parameshwara Vira Pratapa Vira-Maha-Deva
Maharaya seated in the Jewel throne was ruling the empire
of the world: When of the Asannavakula, the Yelahanka Nadu
Prabhu Kempanacharya-Gauni's grandson Kempe Gowda' 5 son,
Immadi Kempegaunayya was ruling a peaceful kingdom in righteousness
with the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the eclipse of
the rule of Yelahanka Nadu Prabhus took place at the dawn
of the 17th century. Towards the end of the nineteenth century,
Barrister Nagappa (Nagappa Block of Malleshwaram, Bangalore)
was the first to go to England and become a Barrister-at-Law.
His son Barrister Vijayadeva also went to England and was
President of Vokkaligara Sangha in Bangalore.
Vokkaliga leaders Marappa and Muniswamappa from Ulsoor, Bangalore
donated Rs. 50000,- in the beginning of the 20th century and
founded the Vokkaligara Sangha and built the Vokkaligara Hostel
in Bangalore. Vokkaliga leaders were in the forefront in the
freedom movements launched in Karnataka. Sri. K.C.Reddy and
Sri'. K. Hanumanthaiah prominent among them were the Presidents
of Mysore Pradesh Congress and after freedom became the Chief
Ministers of Mysore State. Sowcar Channaiah and Sri. Nagaiah
Reddy also became Presidents of Mysore Pradesh Congress, Sri.
Kadidal Manjappa another freedom fighter also became the Chief
Minister of Mysore State for a period of (2) months until
the reorganization of States till Mysore State became of part
Many Vokkaligas have served Mysore State, Karnakata State
and India as Legislators, Ministers, Members of Parliament,
Union Ministers and Governors.