When you read the signage on the street that has words Balepet, Chikpet, Upparpet, Huriyopet, Darjipet, and so on, then you know you are in Bangalore’s “Pete” area. Last weekend, I was part of a photo walk held at the Bangalore Pete area. This walk was held as part of weeklong events to mark the World Photography day where a series of multicity walks were organised by online photography community, the ‘Photo Konnect‘. The Bangalore walk was led by photographers Mahesh Bhat and Dr Vivek M. Here is a Photo gallery and few notes from this photo walk.
Pete is one of the oldest areas of Bangalore city and dates back to the 16th century. Pete is a Kannada word and it means market. Bengaluru Pete was a network of markets established by Kempegowda, who is widely regarded as the founder of Bangalore. The Pete, measuring about 2.24 square kilometers, was built around the Bangalore fort. Together with the fort, the Pete then defined the original Bangalore city. Five centuries later, the city has expanded into a major metropolis. Pete is probably one of the few localities in the city to still retain some history and an old world charm.
The naming convention of the streets in Pete follow a well-planned pattern. Each street was named after the trade or business done in the street. For example, Balepet was named because the street was for bangle sellers (Bale is Kannada word meaning bangles), Darjipet would mean a street of tailors (Darji means tailors). The significance of Pete declined after British East India company established the cantonment area in Bangalore.
In today’s Pete, businesses necessarily do not follow naming conventions. The Pete has changed over centuries, but we still find building and business that date back to the 19th century. There are temples even dating back to centuries earlier. A walk, with or without the camera, through the intricate network of streets and alleys of Pete, is a discovery of Bangalore for eyes that are used to seeing the modern city of Bangalore.
Here is a photo gallery from the walk we had at the Pete. Do read the captions for related anecdotes and individual stories. I should be going back to Pete for more discoveries.