Banavasi is a small and peaceful town on the borders of Shimoga and the Uttara Kannada districts. This was the capital of the Kadamba Rulers. The Kadamba Dynasty was the first royal dysnasty of Karnataka and the temple of Madhukeshwara belongs to that era during the 4th century. The name Madhukeshwara is due to the honey coloured lingam inside the temple which was erected and fixed during the rule of the first Kadamba ruler, Mayura Varma. The later kings and dynasties have made enough renovations and additions of this temple which is now a fine example of the blend of a variety of architectural styles. The place around this temple is good for relaxing and lazy walks.
Life in Banavasi
The town itself effuses nostalgia for the days gone by with archaic houses lining the streets and sports a laid-back lazy attitude except during the Kadambotsava festival every year when it springs to life and rejoices. A visit to Banvasi in incomplete without savouring the delicious local food served in its Khanavalis or small eateries – worth mentioning are breads made of rice, jowar and corn relished with veggies, pickles and chutneys and topped with Obattu smeared with ghee. Pineapples grown in the farms of Banavasi have earned a juicy reputation and are best enjoyed in the pouring rain. The town is also home to a number of highly acclaimed artists - carpenters, potters, carvers, painters and moulders.