Banakal is a Malnad village in Mudigere Taluk, Chickmagalur district of Karnataka, situated atop the Charmadi hills in the Western Ghats section. The Western Ghats is one amongst twenty-five identified hot spots for biodiversity conservation in the world. Banakal is surrounded by coffee estates and paddy fields and known for its pleasant weather throughout the year. Banakal town is the headquarters of Banakal Hobli.
Banakal lies on the banks of the Hemavati River. The Hemavati, which flows through Banakal, originates in Western Ghats. This 245 km (152 mi) long river covers about Template:Convert5410 of drainage area and considered as a prime source of irrigation along with natural rainfall. The geographical location of Banakal is 13 degree 0'59" North and 75 degree 53'9" East.
One of the immensely beautiful natural waterfalls of Karnataka known as Alekan waterfalls is just six kilometers away from Banakal towards Charmadi.
The people lead a monotonous way of life irrespective of the religious diversities. Generally life is slow paced as it is seen in most of the agriculture dominant villages of Chickmagalur district. The Gowda community is dominant and owns most of the landed property like agricultural fields and coffee estates. Folk songs and folk dances are given much importance. During special occasions men play Kolata - a group dance using sticks, and women do perform folk dances and folk songs like Bhaagyada balegaara hogi baa nanna tawarige are note worthy.
The Malnad food style is followed. Rice and wheat are a part of the daily menu. Traditional dishes like Rotti, Ganji-oota, Kadubu-chatni and shevije are eaten. Generally people are non-vegetarian. Some traditional dishes like Edi-chatni, Iruve-chatni and Maralu-meen-saru are now vanishing from the daily menu.
Like Are Bhashe spoken by the Gowdas of Sullia in Dakshina Kannada, the people in this region speak another dialect of Kannada which can be called Gowdra Bhashe. This dialect is sweet and has powerful expressions. People belong to Tuluva community like, Shettys, Poojarys speak Tulu with Ghatta accent, little different than actual Tulu used in South Canara. Local Muslims speak a dialect of Urdu known as Dakni. Bearys, the immigrant Muslims hailing from a neighboring district, Dakshina Kannada, and who are engaged in various small scale business activities do speak Beary bashe.
Suggi Habba is the main festival celebrated at the time of harvesting. All Hindu festivals are celebrated by Gowdas and local communities. Tulu speaking people also celebrate Hindu festivals. Muslims observe Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha as it is universally observed. Christians celebrate all Christian events and the local church festival is called Saint-Mary. Banakal Jatre is the car-festival that occurs once a year and attracts a lot of people from adjacent villages. Bhuta Kola and Kori Katta are the other events celebrated by mainly Tulu speaking communities.