The Kirloskar saga began in 1888 when Laxmanrao Kirloskar set up a small bicycle repair shop (now near the Shreekrishna theatre on Kirloskar road) at Belgaum (now Belagavi)and later Laxmanrao and his brothers set up a model industrial colony called ‘Kirloskravadi’ India’s first industrial township. In January 1910 when the Kirloskar was being ousted from Belgaum to make room for a new suburb, they found themselves in dire need of a place to live and work and hence the birth of Kirloskravadi.

Laxmanrao Kirloskar, founder of the Kirloskar Industries was born on 20th June 1869, in a small village, Gurlahosur in Belgaum District. He started his life as a school teacher and later on, opened a cycle repair shop in Belgaum. But his ambition and mission could not be satisfied with a small workshop at Belgaum.


When the Municipality of Belgaum ordered Kirloskar to vacate their place, Laxmanrao Kirloskar could not find a suitable place for his workshop. But thanks to the timely help of the Ruler of Aundh who offered him a place arranging a loan of ten thousand rupees, he started his factory in an arid waste land by the side of a renowned railway station, named Kundal Road. The factory later blossomed into famous Kirloskar Industries and the station came to be called Kirloskarvadi.

Laxmanrao Kirloskar set foot on 32 acres of barren land strewn with cacti and infested with cobras. Driven by his faith in human ability, Laxmanrao banded together 25 workers and their families and succeeded in transforming the barren expanse into his dream village. Ramuanna, Laxmanrao’s brother, planned and administered the township, Shamburao Jambhekar doubled as an engineer and all-around healing man, K.K.Kulkarni, an unsuccessful student, became a manager, treasurer, and odd jobs man, Mangeshrao Rege was the clerk and chief accountant, Anantrao Phalnikar, a school drop-out flowered into an imaginative engineer. Such was Laxmanrao’s faith in the human being that, Tukaram Ramoshi and Pirya Mang, both convicted dacoits, became the trusted guards of Kirloskarvadi! Superstitious farmers were extremely hard to convince and Laxmanrao Kirloskar took two years to sell his first iron ploughs.