Nadaprabhu Hiriya Kempe Gowda, also known as Kempe Gowda was a chieftain under the Vijayanagara Empire. The city of Bengaluru, which is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, was fortified by Kempe Gowda in 1537. He erected many Kannada inscriptions in the region.
Although Bengaluru existed as a place since the 9th century itself, it was Kempe Gowda who first built Bengaluru as a city. He was a feudatory ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire and ruled the regions like Yelahanka and Magadi. He conquered areas like Domlur and Shivaganga (near Tumkur) and planned to expand the city of Bengaluru.
He got permission from his overlord, the emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire Achyutha Raya and built the Bengaluru fort and the Bengaluru Pete. He also shifted his capital from Yelahanka to Pete. His outstanding leadership won him praise from the Vijayanagara Emperor who gifted him the villages of Halasooru (Ulsoor), Begur, Varthur, Jigani, Thalagattapura, Kumbalgodu, Kengeri and Banavara.
Why is he so important to Bengaluru? Because it was he who first converted Bengaluru into a city. It was just a village before him that no one bothered talking about. It was he who converted it into a city and that’s why he is so important to the city. He laid the foundation for the city to become the metropolis that it is today.