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Madhukeshwara Temple at Banavasi
Madhukeshwara Temple at Banavasi
Pampana Banavasi
Banavasi is located in India
Location in Karnataka, India
Banavasi is located in Karnataka
Banavasi (Karnataka)
Coordinates: 14°32′03″N 75°01′04″E / 14.5341°N 75.0177°E / 14.5341; 75.0177Coordinates: 14°32′03″N 75°01′04″E / 14.5341°N 75.0177°E / 14.5341; 75.0177
Country  India
State Karnataka
District Uttara Kannada
 • Total 4,267
 • Official Kannada
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
581 318
Telephone code 08384

Banavasi is an ancient temple town in Uttara Kannada in the South Indian state of Karnataka. Banavasi was the ancient capital of the Kannada empire Kadamba who ruled entire Karnataka state. They were the first native empire to give prominence to Kannada and Karnataka.


Banavasi is the oldest town in the Karnataka state.[1] It has grown up around the Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva[2] the supreme God in Shaivism, a major branch of Hinduism.

Madhukeshwara temple, Banavasi
Coin of the Kadamba king who calls himself on the coin "sri dosharashi," thought to be Krishnavarma II (ruled c. 516-540). The reverse of the coin has the legend shashanka, which means "moon." The Kannada letters and another coin can be seen in the entry for Kadambas of Banavasi

5th-century copper coin was discovered here with an inscription in the Kannada script, one of the oldest such coins ever discovered.[3]

Adikavi Pampa, the first poet of Kannada, wrote his epics in Banavasi.

The town once was the capital of the Kadamba rulers, an ancient royal dynasty of Karnataka.[4] They established themselves there in A.D. 345 and ruled South India for at least two centuries.[5]

Banavasi contains some of the oldest architectural monuments in South India.


Banavasi is surrounded by forests and villages, with the Varada river flowing around it on three sides. It is located 400  km from Bengaluru. The nearest railway stations are 70  km away in Haveri and Talaguppa. Sirsi, is the nearest town about 23 km away.The district Head quarters is karwar.


The soil is fertile around Banavasi and paddy, wheat, sugarcane, arecanut, spices and pineapple are grown. Its specially known for pineapples , Bananas & Ginger. You will find lots of farms of pineapple as soon as you enter the village.


The annual December cultural festival, Kadambothsava, is a huge gathering, organised by the state government, and featuring folk dancers, drama troupes, classical musicians, art exhibitions while drawing together performers, artists, and writers from all of south India.

Banavasi has long been a cultural centre, especially the Yakshagana art form. Today local artisans craft and sell the classical folk art Yakshagana masks here.


See also


  1. ^ Kamat, Jyotsna (6 August 2006). "Ancient City of Banavasi". Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  2. ^ "Banavasi- 'Kadambothsav'". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  3. ^ "5th century copper coin discovered at Banavasi". Deccan Herald. 5 February 2006. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  4. ^ Kamat, Jyotsna (5 August 2006). "Kadambas of Banavasi". Archived from the original on 4 September 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  5. ^ "South Indian Coins - The Kadambas of Hangal". Archived from the original on 15 August 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.

External links

  • Ancient City of Banavasi
  • 5th century copper coin discovered at Banavasi
  • Bouncing off to Banavasi
  • Coins of the Kadambas of Banavasi
  • The Kadamba Kula: A History of Ancient and Mediaeval Karnataka
  • A study of regional organization at Banavasi
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