History: Existing since 4000 BC, the period of Mahabharata, Banavasi was known as ‘Vanavasaka’. Greek geographer Ptomlemy mentioned Banavasi as ‘Banousi’ in his famous book in 1st century A.D. It was called ‘Jayanthipura’ or ‘Vaijayanthipura’ during the Kadamba period in the early 4th century A.D.
Banavasi is the oldest town in the Karnataka state. 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.