- Basavanna, also known as Bhaktibhandari (literally, the treasurer of devotion), was a 12th-century philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka, India.
- Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals such as the wearing of sacred thread.
- The traditional legends and hagiographic texts state Basava to be the founder of the Lingayats.
- However, modern scholarship relying on historical evidence such as the Kalachuri inscriptions state that Basava was the poet philosopher who revived, refined and energized an already existing tradition.