This temple is dedicated to Goddess Yellamma, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathy. The temple is located 5 Km from the town of Saundatti in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. Goddess Yellama is portrayed as the “Mother of Universe”. She is also referred to as Goddess Renuka or Goddess Jaggadamba.
1) The Yellamma Devi temple is situated on top of a hill near the town of Saundatti, which was the first capital of the Ratta dynasty.
2) Renuka was the wife of Sage Jamadhagni. She was the mother of Lord Parashurama, one of the incarnations of Lord Rama. Once the father of Lord Parasurama, ordered him to kill his mother, none of the brothers or Lord Parasurama obeyed. It was Lord Parasurama, who obeyed the Father’s order. Thus he was able to quench his father’s anger.
3) The temple of Renuka Devi is a temple in the town of Saundatti. Once when the Sage Jamadagni’s anger was over, Lord Parasurama requested his father to bring back his mother and brothers to life. Sage Jamadagni accepted the request and found that the body and head of two women got interchanged. Sage Jamadagni, the accepted the lady, with the body of his wife with the head of another woman. Later, the Head of Renuka became the Goddess Yellamma.
4) Goddess Yellama is an incarnation of Goddess Kali. She would punish all the people who commit sins. Her incarnation is to establish righteousness. She is highly benevolent and blesses all her devotees who seek refugees.
5) The temple is constructed on the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta Style of architecture. It is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka, which has been renovated several times. The idol was found 10 feet deeper to the ground and was built as a huge temple. The temple has a big temple tower or raja gopuram.
6) There are several inscriptions and carvings on the wall. The other shrines inside the complexes are Lord Shiva, Lord Mallikarjun, Goddess Nagaraja, and Lord Ganesha.
7) Many people visit her temple, with great reverence and piety. People with prayers for good health, progeny, good marital life are all blessed by the Goddess.
8) Navilatirtha Dam near Saundatti has a spot called Jogulabhavi. This is a water body, where pilgrims would love to take a dip before visiting the Yellamma Hill.
9) There are several festivals celebrated in this temple. Banada Hunnime and Bharathi Hunnime are important festivals. The “Jatre” is a festival, dedicated to the Devadasi system. During this festival, the Goddess Yellama is taken out as a procession. The gates of the Goddess is open from to the public from 5 am to 9 pm on all days of the week. Fridays see very important, as there would be a surge in the number of devotees, who visit her shrine.
10) The temple offers good connectivity. The nearest Airports are at Hubli and Belgaum, where the further journey has to be continued by roadways. Dharwad Railway Station. Roadways are effective to reach the town of Saundatti. KSRTC has established good connectivity. Other than busses, there are private cabs and autos.
Conclusion: Thus this is one of the important temples, where people would love to visit and get the blessings of the Goddess. This is one of the Landmarks of Karnataka, where it reflects the culture, values, and the tradition of the people.