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Banavasi   |   Uttara Kannada

Banavasi also known as Konkanapura is an ancient temple town in Uttara Kannada District which is about 374kms from Bangalore, Karnataka is surrounded by forest area and villages, with the Varada river flowing around it on three sides . Huen Tsang the Chinese traveler-monk who was in India between 630-644 C.E, visited Konkanapura called Konkanapulo(referred in Chinese scripts)or Banavasi.

Banavasi is the oldest town in the Karnataka state has grown up around the Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva.

In 2006, a 5th-century copper coin was discovered here with an inscription in the Kannada script, one of the oldest such coins ever discovered. The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums said that the coin's inscription in archaic Kannada proves beyond doubt that Banavasi had a mint in the 5th century. Adikavi Pampa, the first poet of Kannada, wrote his epics in Banavasi.

Photography: [Divakar Hiriyadka]

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