Banavasi village is a temple town located near the border of Uttara Kannada, (North Kanara ) district (Karwar) and Shimoga district southern Indian state of Karnataka. It is one of India’s oldest towns, after Varanasi. The main attraction of Banavasi is the 2000 year old Madhukeshvara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The local festival of Kadambotsava festival also attracts lots of artistes from South India.
Tourist attractions and things to do in Banavasi Village
Banavasi is a very charming and laidback place, where you can visit many old structures and learn about how they were built and the history behind them. Located near the Shivamogga district, Banavasi is a natural tourist magnet and is populated entirely by pilgrims and tourists during the winter season.
Madhukeshwara temple :
Gudhapura Lake : Then there is the lake called the Gudhapura Lake which adds to the beauty of the village. Distinctive agricultural practices, indigenous system of medicine and traditional dwellings are the main attractions of Banavasi Village. Its a good weather here round the year but September to January are the best months.
There are many Jain icons and temples in and around Banavasi that can be explored- Asthana Mantapa and Triloka Mantapa in Sirsi. However, rambling through the ruins of the Buddhist stupas and ancient settlements can be an enriching experience.
Art and Craft
Banavasi Village Festivals
Kadambotsava festival :
The Lakshadweepotsava festival – During this festival, earthen and metal lamps are lit all over homes in the town. It is held during the month of November and December (sometimes coinciding with the Indian festival of light – Deepavali)
Car Festival : Car festival is the biggest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Karnataka. It falls in the month of March every year. People pray to God to get peace and prosperity. It is an attraction for thousands of people outside and within the state. The merry making of the festival includes grand feast among the villagers. They adorn themselves with the new dresses, women wear heavy jewelry and men wear traditional dresses. It is one such festival in karnataka which unites the people irrespective of their caste and religion.
Banavasi Kalamela : showcases the art forms of the region. Gudigars, an ethnic group from North Karnataka, are master craftsmen with wood and metal. The Kalamela (carnival of art) showcases thier inctricate works on sandalwood, pottery and metal. You can also pick up souvenirs from here.
Varnaloka : is an art gallery which also display paintings and crafts native to this region. You also get costumes and props used in the Yakshagana dance form here.
Where to Stay in Banavasi Village
There are two home stays currently operational. Please contact the Village Tourism Committee for tariffs and bookings. Tourists can also stay at the newly built Village Tourism Complex. There are several double rooms available with attached bathrooms as well as a dormitory. The complex is set around a square courtyard at the edge of Banavasi; river Varadha flows on one side and the Pampa Vana is on the other side.