About Saundatti Renuka Yellamma Devi Temple
Saundatti Yellamma Temple is located in Belgaum district at a distance of 70 km from its district headquarters & 38 Kms from Dharwad.
Saundatti is popular for the wonderful and ancient temple dedicated to Goddesss Renuka also called as Yellamma. The temple is situated on Yellammagudda, which is about distance of 5 Km from Saundatti village.
Saundatti Yellamma Temple is built in the Chalukyan and Rashtrakuta Style of architecture and the Carvings indicate the Jain architecture.
Saundatti Yellamma Temple houses multiple shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Mallikarjun, Parshuram, Eknath, Siddeshwar in its premises.
Legend of Saundatti Yellamma Temple:
Renuka Devi (Yellamma), daughter of Renuka Raja married Sage Jamadagni (son of Ruchik Muni and Satyavath) and lived n the 'ramshrung' Mountains. Jamadagni, well known sage for his anger had obtained the blessings of the anger gods by performing severe penance. Renuka Devi was helping her husband Jamdagni muni in all his tasks of performing various rituals and Pooja.
She gave birth to five sons Vasu, Viswa Vasu, Brihudyanu, Brutwakanwa and Ram Bhadra. Ram Bhadra got the mercy of lord shiva and parvathi he was also blessed with "Ambikashtra" from Lord Shiva and Parvathi and hence he was called Parushrama.
Renuka Devi used to go to the River Malapahari (Malaprabha) daily to have bath and after having her bath in the holy river, with total attentiveness and devotion she used to fill the pot with river water which she used to make out of the sand which is available on the bank of the river. Then she would catch the snake which was around there and turn it into a convolution and place it on head as support for the pot. This shows her devotion and concentration towards the Pativrata. She use to bring water daily like this to Jamdagni for performance of rituals.
Once Renuka devi went to River Malapahari to take her bath and get the river water for her husband. She saw the Gandharvas playing in the river. At that instance she lost her concentration as well as devotion and imagined that herself playing with her husband in the river. After some time came out of her imagination and took her bath in the river and start making the pot using the sand but she was not able to do. Even the snake was disappearing if she tried to catch the snake. Renuka Devi returned to the ashram with great disappointment.
Sage Jamadagni came to know about this and got angry and cursed her. He ordered her to get away. Jamadagni ordered his sons to punish their mother. No one agreed except Parashurama. Jamadagni cursed his sons who did not agree to punish their mother. Parashuma using his axe, cut his mothers head. Renuka devis's head multiplied by tens and hundreds and moved to different regions. This miracle made her four eunuch sons and others to become her followers, and worship her head.
How to Reach Saundatti Yelamma Temple:
By Air : The nearest airport is Belgaum, 85 kms away.
By Rail : Nearest Railhead is Dharwad about 38 Kms away.
By Road : Saundatti is 38 kms from Dharwad, 85 km from Belgaum & 490kms from Bangalore. KSRTC buses and private taxis operate regularly in this route.