Madhukeshwara Temple, Banavasi

posted in: Uncategorized | 6
18th April 2009
Banavasi, a small town near Sirsi was once the capital city of Kadamba rulers who were known to be the first royal dynasty in Karnataka. Established in 345 AD, they ruled the areas around Banavasi for nearly 200 years. Later, they were reduced as the feudal lords under the Chalukyas and Rastrakutas for another 500 years.

It was during Kadamba rule that Kannada was first used as an administrative language. Origins of Kannada language also point to the time of their rule.

Coming back to Banavasi, though its history dates back to few thousand years, it is mainly known for Madhukeshwara Temple built during 9th century.

The Temple itself was renovated and new structures were added by later dynasties. Hence it forms a mixture of Kadamba, Chalukya and Hoysala architecture.

The Sankalpa Mantapa in the front is said to be added by the Chalukyas. The Nritya mantapa was constructed during Hoysala rule.

Like in all older Temples, there is a big Nandi statue. The deity of the Temple is a honey coloured Linga and is worshipped daily. So, in addition to the history lovers, it attracts a lot of religious people.

An elephant statue at the entrance greets the visitors.

Karnataka Government organizes the cultural festival “Kadambotsava” in Banavasi every year. I think it is held in December.

There is also a museum in Banavasi that is supposed to be good. But when i went there, for some unknown reasons it was closed.

More photos of Banavasi can be seen here.

6 Responses

  1. wandering soul

    a very informative post i must say!
    just out of curiosity, how do you get all the information? ask the locals or self-research or is it a secret.? 🙂

  2. Aravind GJ

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. The info i get is from a mixture of all sources – locals, friends, blogs, websites etc. !!
    there is no secret!!!!

    You are right… its a nice place.

  3. ಹೊಸಮನೆ

    Origins of Kannada language also point to the time of their rule. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಈ ಹೇಳಿಕೆ ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ಅರ್ಥವಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡಭಾಷೆ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು ಆ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಎಂದು ಅರ್ಥವೇ?
    ವಾಸ್ತವದಲ್ಲಿ, ಹತ್ತನೆಯ ಶತಮಾನದ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯಗಳು ಬಂದಿದ್ದವು. (ಪಂಪ, ರನ್ನ..ಅವರ ಕಾವ್ಯಗಳು) ಅಂತಹ ಕಾವ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆಯುವಷ್ಟು ಭಾಷೆ ಶ್ರೀಮಂತವಾಗಲು ತುಂಬ ದೀರ್ಘ ಕಾಲವೇ ಬೇಕಲ್ಲವೇ? ಹಾಗೇ ಪಂಪನ ಬನವಾಸಿಯ ವರ್ಣನೆಯನ್ನು ಗಮನಿಸಿ.(ಮೂಲವನ್ನು ಸರಳಗೊಳಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ)
    “ಸೊಗಯಿಸಿ ಬಂದ ಮಾಮರನೆ,ತಳ್ತ ಎಲೆವಳ್ಳಿಯೆ, ಪೂತ ಜಾತಿ ಸಂಪಗೆಯೆ, ಕುಕಿಲ್ವ ಕೋಗಿಲೆಯೆ,ಪಾಡುವ ತುಂಬಿಯೆ, ನಲ್ಲರೊಳ್ಮೊಗಂ,ನಗೆಮೊಗದೊಳ್ ಪಳಂಚಲೆಯೆ ಕೂಡುವ ನಲ್ಲರ ನೋಳ್ಪೊಡೆ ಆವ ಬೆಟ್ಟುಗಳೊಳಂ ಆವ ನಂದನ ವನಂಗಳೊಳಂ ಬನವಾಸಿ ದೇಶದೊಳ್.”
    ಒಂದು ವೇಳೆ, ಬನವಾಸಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮನುಷ್ಯರಾಗಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗದಿದ್ದರೆ ಮರಿದುಂಬಿಯಾಗಿ,ಕೋಗಿಲೆಯಾಗಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದರೂ ಭಾಗ್ಯ ಎಂದು ಪಂಪ ಉದ್ಗರಿಸಿದ್ದಾನೆ.
    ಈಗಲೂ ಹಾಗೇ ಅನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಾ?

  4. Aravind GJ

    It looks like the sentence has conveyed a wrong meaning. What i meant was the origin of Kannada as a written language points to the era of Kadambas. (Halmidi inscription 450 AD).

    But Kannada was a used as a spoken language during Satavahana rule, which dates to 230 CE. There is also an Ashokan inscription that contain a Kannada word which again dates to 230 CE.

  5. anujkalra

    Hi Dear,

    A great destination indeed and these days I am working in Karnataka tourism research project for BANAVASI. I need for info about problems and positives of the place. I would love to hear from you. Please mail at

    Anuj Kalra

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