Kuknoor (also known as Kuknur, Kukkanur or Kukanoor) is a City and Taluka in the Koppal District. It is located about 40 km from Hospet and 7 km from Mahadeva Temple (Itagi), Kuknoor is renowned for its temples of the Rastrakutas and Chalukyas times, of these the Navalinga group of temples is famous.
Kuknoor town was an important place in the early and medieval days and is rich in antiquarian remains of the later Chalukya style of architecture and these buildings range from the 8th to the 13th century A.D. and illustrate the building tendencies of the age. The group of temples that represents the early Chalukya school is called Navalinga (Navalinga Temple). Two other important temples are those of Kalleshvara and Mallikarjuna.
9th century old Kannada inscription of Rashtrakutas at Navalinga temple in Kuknoor, Karnataka.
There is a MahaMaya Temple in the middle of the town. The temple has great historical value & is mentioned in the Indian Epic Mahabharata. There are 3 deities in the GarbhaGudi. Two female deities:-Laxmi & Parvathi/MahaMaya.One male Deity:-Harihara.Harihara means Half-Shiva and Half-Vishnu. All the 3 idols are south-facing, which is a rare thing, as most idols in temples face the north. South-facing deities are considered to be more powerful.
The reference to this temple in Mahabharata suggests it was built before 8-9th century BC. There are rumours that there is a hidden underground temple below the current existing temple. The underground temple was dedicated to the Indian Goddess Kali. This is the same Kali temple where King Chandrahasa comes to in the Mahabharata story. As per the priest of the temple, there was Narbali(Human Sacrifice) done in the ancient times in the Kali Temple Underneath. That would make it one of the oldest continuously worshipped Kali temple's(which has a tradition of NarBali(Human Sacrifice) in India. There was Digbandhana(Kind of virtual security fence to contain evil spirits) done around the ancient Kali Temple & the temple was buried underground. There were plans to unearth this Kali temple 25 years ago, but the plan was abandoned due to the insistence of the villagers as they were scared of unleashing the spirits buried there.
Gudneshwar(Rudramunishwar)Temple:It is located near Kuknoor, It is also one of the ancient temple belongs to Rishimuni (saint) Rudramuneeshwar, who worked for social welfare at 12th century then later he called by people as Gudneshwar, this is located in green belt of Tamarind(imali) trees.
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Kuknoor or JNV Kuknoor (Kannada: ಜವಾಹರ್ ನವೋದಯ ವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯ ಕುಕನೂರು)located near Gudneppanamath is a premier educational institution. It is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India. It was established in the year 1987 to provide quality education to rural students of the erstwhile Raichur district now Koppal. Located in the sprawling campus of 35 acres, the school has its own ground for field and track events.
It is a very reputed educational institution in the Koppal District. Students are admitted into the institution after an Entrance test after 5th grade. The medium of teaching is English and it is affiliated to CBSE New Delhi. Students stay in this campus for seven years. apart from academics students of this school participate in co-curricular activities which is very essential for the overall development of the student. Students of this institution have represented the school at the National level in Sports, music and also in Science olympiads.
Himalayan Blue Granite locally known as H Blue Granite Kuknoor is found in the Quarries in Kuknoor.
Kuknoor is well connected by road to Koppal, Yelburga, and Gadag. The nearest major airport is in Hubli.
From Koppal one can travel to Bangalore, Hubli, Hyderabad, Bagalkot and other major cities. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs a bus service to other cities and villages. There are also various private bus services. Also, buses running between Dharmasthala, Ballari, Belagavi Chitradurga, Bagalkote, Vijayapura etc. Kuknur has KSRTC bus depot having many bus facilities. Now Kuknur has become Taluk center which is separated from Yelburga taluk.
Bhanapur is nearest railway station 12 km and Koppal is district place railway station nearby 25 km.