Banavasi Tourism: Top Things to Do in 2020, Videos, Photos - HolidayIQ


14.3/5(6 Ratings)

Banavasi Tourism

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Reviews (6)

Shilpz S

Shilpz S3.6/5

51 reviews

A place of many falls and tourist attraction

There were 2 reasons what took me to Banavasi quite impulsively on my backpacking short trip . One was that I enjoy the monsoons in the western ghats . Especially the Malnad region of Jog falls, just roars with the rains . Secondly being an architect, I thought I would take a peek at the long forgotten temples of 4th Century architecture Though I did a reverse turn from Karwar for Banavasi ideal way would be to reach Sirsi from Hubli by Bus. Sirsi is the closest busy place from Banavasi. You get buses every half hour from Sirsi for Banavasi. - 26/-. Ride through monsoon season should be fun Banavasi is no tourist haven . Its a rural area . With innocently beautiful places . Totally unclassified lost in the daily mundane ways of village life. The stay can be tricky . There is just one Tourist guest house . Which has been primarily built for encouraging rural tourism in association with the UNDP. It has 15 rooms, a friendly caretaker and a very friendly manager ., which also serves as a guide for your trips. ( 150/- for half day guidance) Having a vehicle at disposal is a must, since the public transports are meagre . You can hire rickshaw ( about 700/- half day ). Or you can ask the manager to fix various trails for you . Temple trail/ waterfall trails/ rural craft trails and such. ( 1500/- per trail The rooms at the guest house are basic clean, no TV, and they serve hot food from a nearby khanavali. ( 1300/- per person per day inclu of food) There are a number of places to see, if you have a vehicle at hand, you can do all in a radious of about 60km in 2-3 days. For the historian the amazing temples of Siralkoppa can be a wonderful excursion . The Kedareshwar temple is a gem !. You can even see the archeaological dept doing their work of restoration for few temples. The temples belong to the Kadamba and the chola dynasties. What is interesting to see is there is a live deity in most temples, intact unlike the temples in Hampi/. Badami. Each temple has a huge Nandi equally elaborately crafted. Simply amazing. GUdavi bird sancutary is another place you might wanna go to click the hordes of birds nesting there. JOg falls / Lushington falls and many other smaller falls can be a delight if you are visiting in the monsoons. Lastly do take a pit stop at the local artisans homes to see some amazing works of arts. If you are looking for an Off beat road . This one sure serves you right.

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Abhilash Deshmuk

Abhilash Deshmuk5.0/5

1 review


Divinity whispers softly in the rain forests of Western Ghats in south India as the temple town of Banavasi goes about its daily business. The echo of the temple bells travels far and wide epitomizing the sacredness of this land. Encircling the holy precincts, the Varadha river flows by… Banavasi is one of the oldest towns in the Karnataka state; it is recognized as the first capital of ancient Karnataka ruled by the Kadamba dynasty.

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Recommended Duration in Banavasi

Number of days to spend in Banavasi as recommended by our travellers.

2 days


Banavasi Overview

Set on the banks of River Varada, Banavasi is an ancient temple town located in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka. The town shares its borders with the Shimoga district, which lies in the Malnad region of the Western Ghats. Located between the coordinates 14°32'03?N and 75°01'04?E, this town lies in the forests of Western Ghats.

According to a famous European historian, Kittle, the town has derived its name from two words 'Bana', which means forest and 'Vasi', which means spring. Flourished around the Madhukeshwara Temple of 9th century, Banavasi is one of the oldest towns in Karnataka. The town has been referred to as ‘Vanavasaka’ in the epic Mahabharata, which conveys that the town existed since 4000 BC. During the reign of Kadamba Dynasty from 4th to 6th century, the destination served as the first capital of ancient Karnataka.

Before the Kadamba dynasty, Banavasi was under the reign of different dynasties, including Pallavas, Chutu and Shathavahanas dynasty. From mid 6th century to 8th century, the town was under the rule of Chalukyas. After Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas ruled over the region from 757 to 973 AD. Over the course of time, the region was ruled by several dynasties like Chalukyas of Kalyani, Kalachuriyas, Yadavas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings, Sonda kings, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. After the death of Tipu Sultan, the town was conquered by the Britishers, who ruled the region till independence.

The town was known by different names in different eras like in 1st century the Greek geographer Ptomlemy, mentioned the town as ‘Banousi. During the reign of Kadambas in the early 4th century, the town was known as ‘Jayanthipura’ or ‘Vaijayanthipura’. There are several inscriptions found which mention Banavasi by different names like Nandanavana (1100 AD), Kanakavathi (1552 AD) and Jaladurga.

Believed to be the cultural epicentre of the state of Karnataka, the town is known for its Madhukeshwara temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Madhukeshwara temple, is one of the biggest temples built in the 9th century. Another major attraction in the town is the cultural event, Kadambothsav. This festival is held every year in the month of December, when the town hosts performances like folk dances, art exhibitions, classical music and Yakshagana dramas.

Apart from this, Navaratri, Mahashivaratri and Lakshadeepotsava are some of the main traditional events celebrated here. The nearest airport is in Hubli, located at a distance of 100 km from Banavasi. On the other hand, for tourists travelling from different parts of the world can board flights to Dabolim Airport, which is an international airport. This airport is located in Goa and is at a distance of 245 km from Banavasi.

Trains are also available for travellers, which are served by the nearest railhead, Haveri Railway Station, located at a distance of 70 km from the destination. In addition, buses also operate from Bangalore to Banavasi. The best time to visit the destination is during winter season, which extends from the month of November to February.

Photos of Banavasi

Banavasi, Karnataka

Photo by

Shilpz S

Bamboo bridge in Banavasi
Banavasi, Karnataka

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Shilpz S

Park in Banavasi
Banavasi, Karnataka

Photo by

Akshatraj Adig

Visit to Banavasi
Banavasi, Karnataka

Photo by

Shilpz S

Temple in Banavasi

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