Uttar Kannada District, Karnataka
Set against the backdrop of the Western Ghats on the banks of the Varada river, Banawasi, a temple town, was once the capital of the Kadamba dynasty. The town's Gudigar community are skilled carvers excelling in sandal- wood, stone and metal; other artisans include painters, basket weavers and potters.
Distinctive agricultural practices, indigenous systems of medicine and traditional dwellings enhance the experience. The 1500 households of Banawasi function as a well knit unit... well evident in the newly built tourism complex, entirely managed by the local community.
The rustic greenscape of paddy fields, areca nut plantations and pineapple farms is heightened by the sprawling Gudnapura lake, where water sports rev up in the Kadamba Festival every December - January.
See & Do
Cycle through the countryside, walk in the plantations, visit the Gudavi bird sanctuary. Stop by at Vaijayanti, the shop run by the local crafts organization... and at Varnaloka, an art gallery set up by a young artist, Shreepad Purohit. Visit the Madhukeswara temple, named after its honey (madhu) coloured idol... and catch your breath at the temple's Lakshadeepotsav (Nov/Dec), aglow with a thousand diyas. Enjoy festivities at the annual Kadambotsav, (Dec) with folk dancers, classical musicians and Yakshagana artists. Join the community at the Car Festival (Mar) to invoke the blessings of the gods. Go on a pineapple binge with a meal of 20 plus dishes... purely pineapple!
- Airports: Hubli (100km), Goa (245km), Bangalore (345km)
- Rail link: Karwar (145km), Hubli-Dharwad (100km)
- Road: Regular buses, taxis from Sirsi (23km); Sirsi is 70km from Hubli
On the Spot
- Tourism complex: 9 double rooms, 2 suites & 1 dormitory
- Home stays with local families