Marathahalli is a small village in the eastern part of Bangalore city.
The antiquity of Marathahalli goes back to the medieval period. The Someswara temple and an old Telugu inscription are the only two historical relics of the village.
The Someswara temple is in the centre of the village, but due to, recent renovations the old temple's features have been are modified.
It is interesting to note that the tradition of construction of temples for Someswara was in vogue from the Chola period (11th Century) to the Vijayanagara period in Bangalore region. Halsuru Someswara temple is one such monument built in this tradition.
Marathahalli originally was in the valley of the south Pennar. An old inscription was found on the Aswathakatte (platform of banyan tree) in the village. This belongs to the Vijayanagara kingdom and is dated to 1508. This inscription mentions the rule of Viranarasimha Raya of Vijayanagara kingdom in 1508. It also mentions that Brahma, Saptarishis, Harihara and the god of Varanasi were among the witnesses of Viranarasimha's rule in the Vijayanagara kingdom.
The intention of the inscription is not clear as there is no record of donation or war by the king. But it refers to the rule of Viranarasimha Raya.
This king was the brother of Krishnadevaraya and he established the Tuluva dynasty in Vijayanagara.
He ruled for four years, between 1506 and 1509. Soon after he ascended the throne, he faced rebellion from the Ummattur chiefs (near Srirangapatna).
By erecting this inscription Viranarasimha Raya was asserting his authority over the kingdom.
Hence, this makes the Marathahalli inscription a very important part of the history of the Vijayanagara kingdom and Bangalore region.
To the north of Marathahalli village is the Doddanekkundi village. This village is older than Marathahalli. There are two old inscriptions found in the village, which help us understand village life during the Hoysala period.
The first inscription is dated 1304 and is written in Tamil. It mentions that the name of the village is Nerkundi and also mentions the existence of a fort wall built around the village in 1304. The Hoysala king, Vira Ballala, granted the entire revenue collection of Doddanekkundi village to Shivagange temple for its daily puja.
Both Marathahalli and Doddanekkundi villages share similar history, and both have pre-Bangalore period antiquities.
K.R. Puram, Bellandur, Vibhutipur and other villages also existed during that time. The eastern part of Bangalore was a maidan and saw a number of human settlements. This fertile land supported the establishment of Bangalore city in the later period.
It is interesting to note that these two villages have Telugu and Tamil inscriptions dating back to the pre-Krishnadevaraya period. It seems that the Telugu and Tamil were well known to Bangalore and the Karnataka region before the rule of Krishnadevaraya.
Scholars quite often make comments about the promotion of Telugu by Krishnadevaraya, but the Marathahalli inscription clearly indicates the existence of Telugu in the region before the rule of Krishnadevaraya.