Welcome to Banavasi

Banavasi is a small, ancient town located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India. It is one of the oldest towns in the state and has significant historical, cultural, and religious importance. Here are key aspects of Banavasi:

Historical Significance:

Ancient Capital: Banavasi was the capital of the Kadamba dynasty, which is considered the first native kingdom to rule Karnataka from around the 4th to 6th centuries CE.

Historical References: The town has been mentioned in various ancient texts, including the works of the renowned Kannada poet, Pampa.

Madhukeshwara Temple:

Main Attraction: The Madhukeshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most prominent landmark in Banavasi.

Architectural Style: The temple showcases Dravidian architecture with intricate carvings and a unique Nandi statue made of single stone.

Historical Artifacts: Inside the temple, there are various sculptures, inscriptions, and a 5thcentury stone cot.

Cultural Heritage:

Kadambotsava: An annual cultural festival called Kadambotsava is celebrated to honor the rich history and heritage of Banavasi. It features classical dance, music performances, and traditional arts.

Local Crafts: Banavasi is known for its traditional craftwork, including carved wooden toys and handicrafts.

Natural Beauty:

Idyllic Surroundings: The town is surrounded by lush greenery, paddy fields, and areca nut plantations, offering a serene environment.

River Varada: The Varada River flows through Banavasi, enhancing its picturesque setting and providing opportunities for boating and picnicking.

Historical Ruins and Inscriptions:

Ancient Inscriptions: Various ancient inscriptions can be found in and around Banavasi, detailing the history and achievements of the Kadamba dynasty. 

Historical Structures: Ruins of old structures and temples can be seen, reflecting the town’s glorious past.

Nearby Attractions:

Unchalli Falls: Also known as Lushington Falls, located about 35 km from Banavasi, is a stunning waterfall set amidst dense forests.

Gudavi Bird Sanctuary: Located around 20 km from Banavasi, this sanctuary is home to various species of migratory and resident birds.


Road Connectivity: Banavasi is well-connected by road. The nearest major towns are Sirsi and Shimoga, which have good road networks.

Rail and Air Connectivity: The nearest railway station is in Shimoga, and the nearest airport is Hubli Airport, about 120 km away.

Mythological Significance:

References in Epics: Banavasi is believed to have been referenced in the Mahabharata, adding to its spiritual significance.

Local Cuisine:

Traditional Food: The cuisine in Banavasi is typical of the Uttara Kannada region, featuring dishes made from locally grown ingredients, including rice, coconut, and spices.

Banavasi, with its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty, offers a unique and serene experience for visitors. It is a significant destination for those interested in ancient history, architecture, and the cultural tapestry of Karnataka