It is an ancient and oldest temple located in the top hill and is dedicated to goddess . Saundatti Yellamma Devi Temple idol is carried out in procession during this Jatre, and she is worshiped as a goddess. Here Devi is known as Renuka Yellamma, the wife of Jamadhangi and the mother of Parashurama, whose stories have been published in Puranas. They worship the god Renuka Devi. The Goddess Kali is identified with Yellamma Devi. Kali is a Punisher who ruins evildoers, but she is a kind mother who gives her devotees praise and gifts.
The temple has shrines for Lord Ganesha, Mallikarjun, Parshuram, Eknath, and Siddheswara, and many more. Ardent devotees from Maharashtra, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh come to worship during the time of Jatras that are held twice a year.
Legend has it that Goddess Yellamma or Renuka Devi was the daughter of King Renuka Raja. The king had performed a Yagna or a ritual to maintain peace, health, and harmony. The Gods, who were pleased with him, blessed him and bestowed on him a girl child through the Yagna.
When Renuka Devi was just 8 years old, Saint Agasthya advised the king to get his daughter married to Saint Jamadagni. Jamadagni and Renuka Devi got married and they went to live in the Ramshrung Mountains. Renuka was a dutiful wife and helped Jamadagni in performing his daily puja and rituals. She used to wake up early, bathe in the Malapahari River, fill a pot with water which she used to make out of the sand near the river and then hold a snake and use it as convolution to help hold the pot on her head, and use the water to assist Jamadagni in his rituals. Eventually, Renuka Devi gave birth to five sons, and Ramabhadra was the youngest and the most beloved of the lot. He was a devout son and he procured the blessings of Lord Shiva and Parvathi and they gifted him with the Ambikasthra and hence he was known as Parshuram. He destroyed evil Kshatriyas who were troubling innocent saints.
Once when Renuka Devi went to bathe in the river, she noticed some Gandharvas playing in the river and she fell into a reverie thinking of herself playing in the river with her husband. For a brief span, she had lost her concentration and devotion and found herself unable to shape a pot out of the riverbank clay. Nor was she able to convolute the snake to hold the pot.
When she returned home empty-handed, Jamadagni cursed her angrily and asked her to leave the place. After being cursed by her husband, she ventured towards the east and sat in deep meditation. In her dream, she met the saints Eknath and Joginath who advised her to on what to do for three days, to appease her husband. They advised her to bathe in the nearby lake, and worship the Shiva linga they had given her. Then she was asked to go to the city and collect rice from the houses there. After collecting the rice, she was told to give them half of it, and then she was instructed to cook the remaining half of the rice with jaggery and to partake of it with full devotion. After three days of this ritual, she was supposed to return to her husband; they promised her that she would be eternally united with her husband and humanity would start worshipping her. Just as they had instructed, Renuka, after performing these rituals, returned home on the fourth day. Jamadagni was still angry and he ordered his sons to behead her. While all four resisted, their father cursed them to turn into eunuchs. Parshuram obeyed his father and beheaded Renuka Devi but her head started multiplying and spreading in various directions.
The architecture of this temple is constructed by Bommappa Nayak in the year 1514. The shrine is constructed in a combination of Chalukyan and Rashtrakuta styles. Several temples devoted to Lord Ganesha, Lord Mallikarjun, Parshuram, Eknath, Siddeshwar are found in the Saundatti Yellamma Temple. Now at the present, the temple is managed or taken care of by the government.
Timings to visit Saundatti Yellamma Devi Temple, Belgaum
All days of a week – 04:00 AM – 02:00 PM | 04:00 PM – 09:00 PM
Parking Fee: Rs. 20/-
Visiting Duration: 1 Hour
Best time to Visit
October – February.
How To Reach Saundatti Yellamma Devi Temple, Belgaum ?
By Air: Belgaum Airport – 86.1 km, Hubli Airport – 67.8 km
By Train: Dharwad Railway station – 50.3 km, Hubli Junction – 58.3 km.
By Road: Hubli Busstand – 53.7 km, Dharwad Bus Station – 46.5 km.
Saundatti Yellamma Devi Temple, Yellamma Gudda, Saundatti-Yellamma, Belgaum, Karnataka 591173, India.
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Govt. of karnataka website of Saundatti Yellamma Devi Temple