The Yellamma Devi fair is held at the Yellamma temple located in Saundatti of Belgaum district. The Yellamma temple is the shrine of Yellamma Devi or Renuka, wife of Sage Jamadagni. The temple is located atop a hill known as Yellammagudda.
Even though the Yellamma Devi fair is held on many occasions between
October and February, the biggest celebration takes place on the full
moon day of Margasira. On this auspicious day known as the Bharat
Hunnime, the famous Neeramanavi Yellamma jatra is taken out. On this
occasion, the goddess Yellamma is worshipped in the manner of Shakti
Puja, complete with all its attendant rituals.
During the Yellamma Devi fair, women become Devadasis or slaves of God.
This age-old practice has been dubbed as religious prostitution by NGOs
and other social organizations. More than 30 thousand devotees from
Raichur, Bellary, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bidar, Belgaum and
various districts of Maharashtra, Andhra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa
participate in the Yelamma fair and the car festival.