Located on the hilltop near Saundatti, Belgaum district in Karnataka, the Yellamma Devi Temple is one of the popularly known pilgrimage spots visited by millions of Hindu devotees every year. Saundatti is an ancient town and it takes the pride of having been the first capital of Ratta Dynasty. Yellamma Devi temple is also popularly known as Renuka Devi temple.
Hindu devotees not only from Karnataka but also from other neighboring states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa visit Yellamma Devi temple especially during the celebration of Yellamma Jatre every year, which is held in Margasira month. Number of people attending this great celebration would cross over 10 lakhs.
The Devadasi system is also practiced during Jatre in which young girls are dedicated to the temple. To specify, these girls devote their entire life to follow the holistic arts, dance and music dedicating to the god in the temple. Nevertheless, the Government has now officially banned this practice.
However, Yellamma Jatre is especially known to celebrate the power of women, which is in the form of Goddess Shakthi. During Jatre every year, an idol of Devi Yellamma is brought out for the procession and by millions of people around worship the goddess.
Bommappa Nayak constructed Yellamma Devi temple in 1514. This temple was built as a combination following both Rashtrakuta and Chalukyan styles. There are also other small temples in the courtyard of the Yellamma devi temple for Lord Ganesha, Parashurama, Mallikarjuna, Siddheswara, and Eknaath. The complete temple management is now taken by the Government.
Address: The Yellamma Devi temple, Yallammagudi, Saundatti, Belgaum District, North Karnataka.