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banavasi overview

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about banavasi

Deep within the dense rain forests of Western Ghats, surrounded by river Varada on its three sides, lies one of the oldest towns of Karnataka, Banavasi. Speckled with paddy and sugarcane fields, plantations of pepper and pineapple, Banavasi is where the clock will turn back a thousand years and you will find yourself back in the first century when the Kadamba dynasty settled out here and reigned over Karnataka for two centuries.

An antiquated temple town still alive with colours and traditions of the past, Banavasi actually grew around the temple of Madhukeshwara dedicated to Lord Shiva. Placing this town on every archaeologist’s map was a copper coin unearthed in 2006 dating back to the 5th century with inscriptions on it identifying King Krishnavarma II who ruled from 516-540 and the legend of shashanka on its other side.

Held in December is Kadambothsava, Banavasi’s annual festival, when folk dancers, artists, dance troupes, classical musicians and all sorts of performers and writers from across Southern India get together in Banavasi and exhibit their work in addition to holding cultural events.

Be sure to pick up Yakshagana masks in Banavasi. One of the few places where this unique theater art form is still practiced, artisans in Banavasi craft beautiful traditional masks used in the performances and plays.

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Banavasi traveller reviews

1 Banavasi review
Anannya Deb
Anannya Deb
History hidden in a forgotten town
Jun 19 2015
Banavasi is a stopover for history lovers - whether political history or cultural history, this town of 4000 people is a very significant place. It was the capital of the Kadamba empire, the first major dynasty in the Deccan area (not counting the fo ...... read more