Tumkur district is an administrative district in the state of Karnataka in India. Formerly the part of old Mysore State.Formed in the year 1832 during the days of British commissioner of Mysore Sir Mark Cubbon as Chitaldroog Division including the area of present Chitradurga and Tumkur districts headquartered at Tumkur, Major General Rechard Stewart Dobbs was the first collector of the district (term of office 1835-1861),who was key responsible for the establishment of Munro syestem of administration .In the year 1862 Chitaldroog division was abolished and Tumkur (Nandidroog division) and chitradurga (Nagar Division) established as separate districts by Lewin Bentham Bowring.The district headquarters are located at Tumkur. The district occupies an area of 10,598 km² and had a population of 2,584,711, of which 19.62% were urban as of 2001.It is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka.The district is known for the production of Coconut, is called as ‘Kalpataru Nadu’.It is the only discontiguous district in Karnataka(Pavagada Taluk has no Geographical continuity with rest of the District)
It consists chiefly of elevated land intersected by river valleys. A range of hills rising to nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m) crosses it from north to south, forming the watershed between the systems of the Krishna and the Kaveri. The principal streams are the Jayamangala and the Shimsha. The mineral wealth of Tumakuru is considerable; iron is obtained in large quantities from the hillsides; and excellent building-stone is quarried. The slopes of the Devarayanadurga hills are clothed with forests. Wildlife such as leopards, bears and wild boar have been recorded here. Although, tigers have been recorded from these forests as late as the 1950s, most recent reports are of stray sightings and need confirmation.The annual rainfall averages 39 inches.
Etymologically, the name of the city is believed to have been mutated possibly from “Tumbe ooru” because of the abundance of tumbe huuvu, a kind of flower, or tamate ooru because of the folk musical percussion instrument tamate, that might have been used most here. Also, it is called as the coconut city.
Another story says that during the rule of cholas Gulur was their capital, since Tumakuru is at high elevation the guards used to be there on any hill with Tumaki (a kind of drum) and used to make sound in case of any alerts; hence the name. The Indian central government approved the request to officially rename the Tumkur and 12 other cities in October 2014. The city officially became “Tumakuru” on November 1, 2014.
Tumkur is also famous for Shree Siddaganga mutt located 5 km towards HITECH city flyover, known for providing free education and dorms for more than 9000 children. Karnataka Rathna Sree Sree Shivakumara Swamiji is also known as “walking god” is the president of this mutt.
The known history of the Tumakuru district begins with the Gangas. The Ganga family ruled over the southern and eastern districts of the state from early in the Christian era to 1025 A.D. The earliest record of the Ganga family found in this district belongs to about 400 A.D. After the Gangas, Tumkur was ruled by the Rastrakutas and the Chalukyas. The Nolambas under these rulers ruled the area for a long time. The cholas also ruled some parts of the District. The Vijayanagara Empire ruled supreme for the latter part of the 13th to 17th century. During 18th and 19th Century, Tumkur was ruled by the Wodeyars of Mysore until independence.
The Tumakuru town municipality was set up by the Mysore Wodeyars in the 1920s. Self-rule of the residents of Tumakuru started after the setting up of the municipality. Tumakuru was converted into a city corporation only in 2010 by adding 22 villages adjoining the city. The population is 3,05,877 as per the 2011 census. Tumakuru is now a middle class majority city, with a literacy rate of 80%, mainly traders, government employees, small and medium industrialists, self-employed individuals, etc. The GDP of Tumakuru is around 16600 crores (2014) and the total collection of income tax in the last financial year was approximately 80 Crores. Being an Agrarian economy, the major plantation crops of Tumakuru are coconut and arceanut. The major cash crops are paddy, ragi and groundnut. Iron ore, manganese and granite are the major minerals found in the Tumakuru district.
Due to its proximity to Bengaluru , it acts as a gateway to North Karnataka, being on the Chennai – Mumbai industrial corridor and the infrastructure that Tumakuru provides, it has the potential to be the satellite city to decongest the state capital Bengaluru . It also has been identified as National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ). NIMZ of approximately 13500 acres and the HAL helicopter manufacturing facility (Nr Gubbi) 610 acres are being developed as integrated industrial townships with state-of-the art infrastructure and land use on the basis of zoning; clean and energy efficient technology; necessary social infrastructure; skill development facilities, etc., for promoting world class manufacturing activity. Tumakuru is home to 24 large scale industries with an investment of 911.42 crores and generating an employment for 6445 persons. The existing 15 medium scale industries and 23804 micro and small industries employ 132994 persons and account for an investment of close to 790 crores. Also 2000 MW of solar power plant on 11000 acres is being developed near Pavagada to cater to the power needs of Tumakuru and adjoining districts.
Tumakuru is a knowledge hub in the south interior Karnataka . It has Tumakuru University, two medical colleges, five engineering colleges, 38 degree and postgraduate colleges, one dental college and many polytechnics, high schools and primary schools.
The Indian budget for year 2014-2015 held on the 10th of July 2014 had announced that Tumakuru is one of the cities in south India to be developed as a “Industrial Smart” city. Also the city has been selected as one among the 100 in the country shortlisted for the Smart City project. Tumkur is competing now to be one among the 20 to be taken up for development this year. The government of India has promised 100 crores each as a matching grant for five years and the local body with assistance from the state government has to match another 100 crores. Thus, in five years, development in the amount of 1000 crores will happen in Smart City. The Tumkur District Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the leadership of Surendra Shah, President – 2014-16 is striving to make the City of Tumakuru the most aspired city in India.