The Temple of Yellamma Devi is in Saundatti taluq, five kilometers from the town of Saundatti. Saundatti is 70 km from the city of Belgaum.
Overview of Yellamma Devi Temple
The temple of Yellamma Devi is located on a hill near Saundatti. Saundatti is an ancient town that was the Ratta dynasty’s first capital. The Renuka Devi Temple (as it is more popularly known), or Yellamma Devi Temple, is Saundatti’s most prominent pilgrimage spot.
The Temple of Yellamma attracts people from all over Karnataka and nearby states. The number of participants normally crosses 10 lakhs during the Yellamma Jatre, particularly the one held during Margasira’s month. The Jatre is also known for the Devadasi method tradition of dedicated women.
These girls were originally meant to devote their lives to following the song and dance arts for the god of the temple. Those girls later led the concubines ‘ lives to the local wealthy. And later, their lives degenerated into prostitutes. Officially this practice has been banned. But the Yellamma Jatre is more about celebrating women’s strength in Shakti form. Yellamma Devi’s idol is brought out in procession during this Jatre, and she is worshipped as Goddess Shakti.
There are huge numbers of people from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa gathering here to see the Jatre and worship Yellamma Devi.
The mythology of Yellamma Devi Temple
Renuka, Jamadhagni’s wife, and Parashurama’s sister, whose story is told in the Puranas, is identified with Yellamma Devi. Named Renuka Devi or Yellamma Devi, she is worshipped here.
The Goddess Kali is also associated with Yellamma Devi. Kali is regarded as the punisher who kills the evildoers, but she is also the kind mother who showers her devotee’s love and blessings. She is worshipped here in this dimension. In Sanskrit and Kannada, a Jain inscription in the temple refers to the Krishna and Vikramaditya Rashtrakuta kings.
The architecture of Yellamma Devi Temple
This temple was built by Bommappa Nayak in 1514. It is designed in a combination of styles of Chalukyan and Rashtrakuta. Of Ganesha, Mallikarjuna, Parashurama, Eknath, and Siddheshwara there are smaller temples in the courtyard of the temple. The government is now operating the temple.
How to reach to Yellamma Devi Temple
The nearest airports are Hubli and Belgaum, while the nearest railway station is Dharwad. Saundatti is connected by KSRTC buses to these locations.
Entry Fee: Free