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Banavasi is an ancient temple town in located in Uttara Kannada District bordering Shivamogga district of Karnataka state. Banavasi and its surroundings are gifted with nature's bounty. Banavasi is located on the banks of river Varada.
Banavasi also features in Hindu mythology across the yugas (eras). Banavasi is considered to be as old as Kashi Varanasi or Benares which is amongst the most sacred of Hindu towns. Buddhism and Jainism have also spread their roots here.
The Banavasi town once was the capital of the Kadamba rulers, an ancient royal dynasty of Karnataka. They established themselves there in A.D. 345 and ruled for at least two centuries.
The major attraction of Banavasi is the Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 9th century by the Kadamba dynasty and dedicated to Lord Shiva the supreme God of Shaivism. Around the main temple are idols depicting Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu from all their main abodes including Varanasi, Tirupati, Rameshwaram, etc. There is a striking half idol of Ganesha and it is believed that the other half is in Varanasi. There is also an unusual idol of Lord Narasimha with a peaceful face.
Adikavi Pampa, the first poet of Kannada, wrote his epic poems in Banavasi. Following are his famous quotes on Banavasi: 'Aaramkushamittodam nenevudenna manam banavasi deshamam' which means 'I shall cherish the sweet memories of Banavasi even when tortured'
The annual cultural festival, Kadambothsav, is a huge gathering, organized 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.
Distance from Banavasi:
Sirsi: 23 km
Hubli: 100 km
Haveri: 70 km
Dabolim (Goa): 245 km
How to get there:
Nearest Airport: The nearest airports are Hubli which is 100 km away and Dabolim (Goa) which is 245 km away from Banavasi.
Railway Station: The nearest train station is at Haveri (70 km) away. Several trains from Bengaluru and Mumbai stop at this station.
Road: Banavasi is well connected by roads.
How to reach Banavasi from Bangalore:
Driving up from Bangalore toBanavasi would take seven to eight hours. The route will take you from Bangaore via Tumkur, Tiptur, Arisikere, Shimoga, Sagar on NH 206 and then turn right at Manmane towards Siddapur, Sirsi to reach Banavasi.
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