At one stage Plague was considered a deadly and infectious disease caused by bacteria called enterobacteria. It is primarily carried by rodents and spreads to humans through fleas. It spread quickly and uncontrollably wherever unsanitary conditions exist and in the dense city areas through rats which carry the bacteria. Though universally there were three types of Plagues, the worst amongst them was called Black Plague, one of the most deadly pandemics in human history in which the the plague-boils caused blood seeping out of the strange swellings, followed by a host of other unpleasant symptoms like fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, terrible aches and pains and then in short order death took severe toll of human lives. However this dreaded disease Plague has been claimed to be fully eradicated, thanks to modern sanitation and public-health practices which have greatly mitigated the impact of the disease but have not eliminated it completely, isolated cases of Plague surfaced in lesser magnitude in and around 19th century. The disastrous part of this epidemic is once someone got affected by this disease, death was the end. During 18th century this epidemic has taken many tolls in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kamaon, Karnataka, Bombay and Calcutta etc. However the most documented and dreaded outbreak in India was of bubonic plague that spread terror across Bombay and Calcutta Presidencies, Mysore State, Dharwad and Hyderabad during 1896-1899.
The Plague Mariamman temples are more than a century old, still people continue to perform Pooja and worship in them even today for other reasons too besides Plague disease. These temples are the only mute witnesses to the disastrous epidemic that struck Bangalore in the 18th century.