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The city is located at a distance of about from Bangalore and the same distance from Hyderabad. Kolar was an ancient town known as "Kolahala" in the pre-British era, which has been mentioned in inscriptions found at Aihole. The name Kolahala means "the stone axe". The region around Kolar is called 'Kolara' or 'Koilara'. It was ruled by Chalukyas of Badami during 6th century CE and Rashtrakutas during 8th century CE. During 973–974 CE, it was ruled by King Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I after defeating the last Pallava king, Aparajita II who ruled over Mysore Kingdom for some time before his death due to a war with Tailapa II (of Tuluva Dynasty).