(Last Updated on : 12-03-2015)
The Navalinga temple, an ancient temple constructed in the 9th century, is located in Kuknur in the Koppal district
in the Indian state
. The temple built during the reign of King Amoghavarsha I or his son Krishna II marks the opulence of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty
and the artistic and creative skills of the craftsmen of the ancient period. The pilgrimage centre is at a distance of almost 6 kms north of Itagi and 40 kms east of Gadag
Architecture of Navalinga Temple
Navalinga temple, a religious edifice recounting the magnificence of the bygone eras, exhibits the South Indian Dravida style architecture
. Each of the nine temples in the cluster houses a Shivalinga installed within a circular yonipith. The Navalinga group seems to have been built asymmetrically devoid of any order. The shrine has been constructed using sandstone and reflects the rich decorative temple plan. However, the degradation of the walls has somewhat marred the beauty of the temple. Each of the shrines has been embellished with a South Indian style sikhara. The ensemble is marked by four mantapas or hall. Among them three of the halls are designed in a line moving east-west and exposing itself to the shrines. Each of the shrines is adorned with a Shivalinga installed in the sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha
. The lintel constructed above the entrance is embellished with an image of Gajalakshmi, the holy consort of Lord Vishnu
The Navalinga temple ornamented by well decorated pillars provides a deep insight into the rich architectural beauty of the yesteryears. The religious edifice has been further titivated by two makaras i.e. mythical beasts having circular scales and florid tails. Two ancient Kannada inscriptions have been engraved in the temple complex. These inscriptions state about the grants bestowed upon the temples housing different Hindu goddesses such as Saraswati
, Kalikadevi, Ganga as well as God Mallikarjuna. It is believed that the Navalinga temples have been constructed in honour of these goddesses.
The Navalinga temple is well connected by different modes of transport. The temple can be reached by private transport or availing the bus services offered by KSRTC. There are trains available for the pilgrimage centre also.