District: Uttara Kanada
Temple: Madhukeshwara temple
The Madhukeshwara Temple is located in Banavasi town in Uttara Kannada district.
The Madhukeshwara Temple – Overview
The Madhukeshwara temple is located in Banavasi, an ancient town on the borders of the Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to have been built during the reign of the Kadamba dynasty.
The Madhukeshwara Temple – History
The Madhukeshwara Temple is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka. It is believed that Mayura Sharma, the first King of the Kadamba dynasty built this temple. The Kadambas are the oldest Dynasty of Karnataka. They ruled over large parts of Karnataka till the rise of the Chalukyas. The Madhukeshwara temple has undergone many changes, with additions during the rule of other dynasties like the Chalukyas and Hoysalas.
The Madhukeshwara Temple – Architecture
The main shrine in the Madhukeshwara Temple was built during the nascent stages of temple architecture. So, it is a very simple structure with minimal decorative sculptures on the walls and pillars. A Sankalpa mandapa was added to the temple during the Chalukyan rule. There is a Nritya mandapa which was built during the Hoysala period. This mandapa has exquisite carvings on the pillars and ceiling. The main deity is Lord Shiva in the form of a honey colored Shiva Linga. The color of the Linga is the reason for the name, Madhukeshwara. There is a beautiful monolithic Nandhi statue in this temple.
How to Get to Madhukeshwara
The nearest airport to Banavasi is Hubli which is 100 km away. Nearest Railway Station is at Haveri, 50 km away. The easiest way to reach Banavasi is to get a bus to Sirsi, a major bus Terminus 23 km away. From Sirsi, regular bus service is available to Banavasi.
The best time to visit would be during the Rathotsava in March, Mahashivarathri and during the two day Kadambotsava cultural festival in December every year.