Located on the border of Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts, the ancient temple town of Banavasi has been a great religious hub for ages. The fact that it is regarded the most ancient city of India after Varanasi, speaks volumes about rich heritage of Banavasi.
The prime attraction of Banavasi is the renowned Madhukeshwara Temple
built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Madhukeshwara
temple is an amalgamation of several schools of architecture. The
presiding deity of Madhukeshwara is a honey colored lingam dedicated
during the period of Mayura Varma, the first king of Kadambas.
During its halcyon days, Banavasi was the capital city of the Kadamba
kings, the first royal dynasty of Karnataka. The Kadambas established
their empire in 345 A.D. and held supreme for two hundred years. The
annual December 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.