Celebrated In: India
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.