Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Name game begins for new international airport

Name game begins for new international airport
New Idnian Express

BANGALORE: Even with 17 months to spare for the inauguration of Greenfield international airport, coming-up on the outskirts of Bangalore, the name game has already begun with more than half-a-dozen historical figures being contenders for the new airport.

While City founder Kempe Gowda looks like a forerunner for the international Airport name, Kannada Thespian late Dr Rajkumar and visionary statesman Sir M Visvesvaraya too, do not lag behind.

Adding to that Tippu Sulthan who was born in Devanahalli and had a special attachment with the place is another name which cropped-up in the list of probablaties, along with Mallabhairagowda, who built Devanahalli in 1551.

Among the names, Tippu Sultan's name is appears more relevant as this warrior was born in Devanahalli in mid 17th century.

Several speculations have been made on the exact year of his birth, with history books terming it as November 20, 1750 AD. But, some historians say he was born in 1953.

Hyder Ali's second wife Fakhrunnisa (Fathima) was on her way to Devanahalli fort for her first delivery.

Before she could reach the fort, she gave birth to her first son Tippu.

Young Tippu spend his childhood of 15 years in Devanahalli fort, where most of his education and artillery training took place.

Even during his last years he often visited this place. According to Research Head of Discover Bangaluru Arun Prasad, Tippu developed the Devanahalli fort after he took over from his father Hyder Ali.

“He installed the famous Gun Powder Factory at Devanahalli, which supplied ammunition for the rocket manufacturing unit at Taramandalpet near City Market area,” he said.

When asked about Kempegowda, he said, though Kempe Gowda who does not directly belong to Devanahalli, his ancestors belonged to Devanahalli.

Arun Prasad asserted that the fort renovated by Tippu still exists in Devanahalli, and with the international airport coming-up, the area can be developed as a heritage spot.

However, CEO of Bangalore International Airport Albert Bruner is not keen in the name game right now.

“Our prime focus is to get the airport ready before the deadline. Let's get the airport ready first. It will be the collective board's decision which will decide about naming the airport,” he said.


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