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Coordinates: 14°32′03″N 75°01′04″E / 14.5341°N 75.0177°E / 14.5341; 75.0177
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Pampana Banavasi
Madhukeshwara Temple at Banavasi
Madhukeshwara Temple at Banavasi
Banavasi is located in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 14°32′03″N 75°01′04″E / 14.5341°N 75.0177°E / 14.5341; 75.0177
Country India
DistrictUttara Kannada
Nearest Large CitySirsi
 • Total4,267
 • OfficialKannada
 • RegionalSirsi Kannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
581 318
Telephone code08384
Vehicle registrationSirsi KA-31

Banavasi is an ancient temple town located near Sirsi in Karnataka. Banavasi was the ancient capital of the Kannada empire Kadamba that ruled all of modern-day Karnataka state. They were the first native empire to bring Kannada and Karnataka to prominence. It is 24 km (15 mi) away from its nearest large city Sirsi through SH 77.


Banavasi is one of the oldest town in the Karnataka state.[1] It has grown up around the Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 5th century and dedicated to 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 southern India. Madhva saint Vadiraja tirtharu has mentioned about Banavasi in his work Tirtha Prabandha.

Carved bed-stoad of stone existing in a small chamber in the south side of compound of Madhukesvara temple


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


The soil is fertile around Banavasi and paddy, wheat, sugarcane, arecanut, spices and pineapple are grown. Its specially known for pineapples, bananas and ginger. There are many pineapple farms on the edge of 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 throughout 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[edit]


  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'". BangaloreBest.com. 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[edit]