May 7 is celebrated by Lingayats across the world every year as Basavanna Jayanthi. It is the birth anniversary of Basavanna, Kannada poet of the 12th century.

Basavanna was born to Madaras and mother, Madalambe on the third day of the Vaisakha month in the year 1134 AD. Basavanna was also a philosopher, is also believed to be the founding saint of the Lingayat community.

Many followers of Basavanna visit the Kudalasangama where Basava Jayanthi is celebrated over a span of six to seven days. The samadhi of Basavanna is in Kudalasangama.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay homage to Basavanna. He wrote, “Paying homage to the venerable Bhagwan Basaveshwara on his Jayanti. An iconic thinker and pioneering social reformer, Bhagwan Basaveshwara worked throughout his life to make our society more inclusive. His emphasis on education and serving the poor continues to motivate millions.”

According to historians, Basavanna was born in the 12th century in Karnataka's Ingaleshwar, Bagewadi town, which is 20 km away from Hungund taluk and grew up in Kudalasangama. Basavanna was not only a great poet but also a social reformer and a philosopher. He expanded awareness of social issues like gender and social prejudice.

In the 12th century, Basavanna established spiritual democracy called Anubhava Mantapa. This was called the "first parliament concept of the world". The Anubhava Mantapa is believed to be a  practical solution to all kinds of problems mankind was suffering at the time.

Basavanna's teachings are time tested, proven and scientific. Basava tatva is never ending inspiration to achieve the welfare of mankind.

Basava Jayanthi 2019 is mainly celebrated in states like Karnataka,  Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Basava Jayanthi is even a government holiday in Karnataka. A staunch devotee of Lord Shiva, Basavanna himself is worshipped.

Lingayat communities organise various events to celebrate the day and even exchange sweets and greetings on the day. Several cultural and spiritual programmes are also held on this day in Basavanna temples. Lectures about the preachings and life of Basavanna are also held to remember him.