Let me introduce my self-I am H.Gopalakrishna residing at Fifth Block,BEL Lay out Vidyaranyapura since 1984. Since I am one of the early birds of this place I want to record the growth of this place as I observed. Vidyaranyapura was formed in early 80s by BEL House Building Society. The original holder of this vast land was M/S Dinshah Estates. They had a vast Mango garden in this area and they used to export the mangoes. Even when I came over here the export was there and they were holding some acres of land after selling the majority area. I had purchased Mangoes from here and they were very tasty. Even today one can see a plot of land with Mango trees just opposite to SBI.

Some 1200 sites were made in six blocks and the present sixth block is delinked from other five because the middle portion was taken by HMT HBSociety. The size of the sites were 30/50,40/60 and 50/80. The sites were sold to members of BEL House Building Society at the rate of *Rs 21 per Square yard* . The rates were further revised by collecting Rs 7/- as development charges. Mr.Devaraj Urs had come for the inauguration of the lay out and a Foundation stone with his name and participants names were put at the corner of the First and Second Block ( Turning of Bus routes from Nanjappa Road- Opposite to Benaka now ) and this was there for quite a good time. Slowly when the area developed this stone disappeared.

Water could be touched by hand in the wells which existed then. You dig for maximum 6 Ft and you will get water. The source was good and many people used to drink well water without any problem. It was almost a Heaven then! In the initial stage there was no drainage pipes and some of the residents who constructed the dwelling units earlier had Sanitary pits. We used to get pipe water through some bore wells which had links to overhead tanks around the area. BEEHBS had invested for all these amenities and they were maintaining these for some time..

There was no approach road to Vidyaranyapura. Initially this area was called Narasi Pura and as name sounded unpleasant and country somebody took the initiative and collected signatures to name this area as Vidyaranyapura in memory of Vidyaranya who was instrumental in building of Vijayanagara Empire. As there was no road we used to travel for our work (at Bharat Electronics) via Ramachandrapura. About 20 of us were working in shifts then and around 10 will be in rotation for a fortnight. We will gather at Cycle Stand at BEL Main Gate( then there was no North Gate for BEL. It came into existence much later ) till the last man comes and we will ride to our houses around 12 in the night. If somebody happens to be sick or on leave, he would intimate the rest early and if someone has to go urgently on leave the message will be sent to one of the co bicycle riders!

Thrice it so happened that due to rain the electrical supply wire was cut and it fell on the road. The area was short circuited. An Individual from Ramachandra pura stood on the road in the midnight to deviate us to Bettahalli route! Such good people are existing everywhere. There was only one land line Phone connection with somebody just opposite to Present Ganesha Temple at 4th Block and we used to request him for urgent calls which he would oblige happily. The Gentleman’s name was Mr.Mahajan if I remember correctly. Telephone was a luxury then and we had to wait for three years to get our turn! Telephone connections were given from 1995-96 to this area. Mobiles were not heard of then ! Earlier to 1995 for a small period-hardly about six months- we had one device by name Pager which could receive the message only. This gave way to Mobiles.

There were three nearest BTS Stops (Then BMTC was called as BTS) one at Thindlu,Second at Ramachandrapura(269) and the third at Bettahalli (271E)-julley Machine. One Bus Route 268 was the lonely bus from Yelahanka to City Market which was running via MS Palya,BEL ,Mathikere…. There were six trips at Thindlu -3 in the morning and 3 in the evening and most of the times when you wait for it, it will not turn up!. The route was 288.

This will go to City Market via Mekhri Circle. One 274 was running between Majestic and SBI Jalahalli via Nagaland circle and movement of this bus was visible if you stand at present Fifth Block stop. Normally the relatives who used to come for the Grihapraveshas of the early residents will curse themselves & take a oath that they will not come to this area in their life time because it was a KOMPE!

The construction Materials will be like this -Sand from Yeshavantpura-Soap Factory,Stone from Bettahalli and Cement & steel,Paints and woods from Yeshavantpura. After a few houses came some shops were opened keeping the construction materials . The present Bettahalli was the source for construction stone and in 1985 a 50 mtr hill was visible at Bettahalli. As the houses came up the hill dissolved and you can see a semi curved pond in that area.

Mean time pressure was being put on BELHB to have an approach Road. After very hectic efforts by BEL Management and BELHB Society the present Nanjappa Road was constructed and the present link Road from Nagaland Circle( Actually this circle is named after Mr.B.V.Baliga who was CMD of BEL but as old name was not given up by the old residents!) to Nanjappa Road also came into existence. Initially on a trial basis Route No 276 was introduced and this bus was supposed to start from BEL Fifth Block( Welfare Association)as the pressure was from this address.

The existing old building which is housing RWA was the HQ for all the activities then and even today the same old touch is there for this building! Within one week or so pressure was built by the residents of Sixth block and Free site area on BTS for extension of this route to Last Bus Stop. One note about this free site area: When the layout was formed some sites were marked for poor people as a Social Commitment on the part of Government (Economically Weaker Section) and it was allotted to poor people. But later this area became one of the very fond places because many shopping areas came up here. May be there are a few original allotters are here even now!

Also many who had paid the money for sites of HB Society withdrew the money because they felt -the area will never improve and it is very very very far from their place !

By *H.Gopalakrishna*