Renuka Devi temple, which has a special place in theHindu mythology. A big fair is held here every year on the occasion of Vijayadashami.
Renukadevi, daughter of King Raivada married Sage Jamadagni and delivered Parasurama. It so happened that Renukadevi delayed in bringing water for Jamadagni’s puja as she stood to wonder the beauty of the reflection of a Gandharva in the water. Suspecting her fidelity, Jamadagni ordered his son Parasurama to chop off her head which the son obeyed. Yet, Parasurama begged his father to give him back his mother. Jamadagni gave the son the water with a Mantra power to restore her to life. While doing so, Parasurama wrongly fixed the head of his mother with other woman and was able to make only the head alive. Meanwhile, as one Karthaveeryarjunan stole the Kamadenu cow of Jamadagni after killing him. Renukadevi accompanied her husband in death. However, as rain fell, she appeared with burn injuries and neem leaf clothing and met her son Parasurama. Parasurama pursued Karthaveeryarjuna and killed him and recovered the Kamadenu and began destroying the Kshatriya community. Lord Shiva appeared before Parasurama and said that what happened was the act of destiny and asked him to end the anger. While Renuka Devi's head alone stayed on Earth, the body accompanied Jamadagni to higher worlds. This is how Renuka’s head alone stayed and now a swayambu in the Padavedu temple
This wonderful temple was constructed in the year 1514 by the BommappaNayak. The spectacular architecture represents the Chalukyan and Rashtrakuta construction styles. In the vast temple courtyard, there are many smaller temples for Ganesha, Siddheshwara, Eknaath, Mallikarjuna and Parashurama. The management is currently handled by the government. The architecture of this temple is a representation of the rich culture of the ancient Indian kings. The prehistoric SaundattiRenukaYellamma Temple is located in the Saundatti Taluk which is around five kilometers from the town of Saundatti. The temple is located on ahill which makes it a famous spot for the pilgrimages. YellammaJatra which takes place at this temple was practices of making women follow the Devadasi system. In this, all the ladies were to devote their lives towards dancing and singing for the temple god. Then, these ladies were to lead the life of concubines for the local rich people. With the passage of time they were forced to get into prostitution. But now, this Jatra is a celebration of the power of the Goddesses. During this, an idol of the Devi Yellamma is taken out in a procession.
Renuka Devi Mandir Mahur
Renuka was the daughter of the King Renu of Kubaj country and the wife of the Sage Jamadagni. When the King Sahastrarjuna paid a visit to Jamadagni in his abode, he was taken by surprise by the hospitality of the sage. When asked about the same, the sage told him that it is all because of the "Kamadhenu", i.e., the cow that fulfils the desires of the owner given to him by Indra, the King of the Gods.Thinking that if the Kamadhenu was in his possession he would be able to maintain his vast army easily, the King Sahastrarjuna tried to seize the Kamadhenu from the sage by farce when his request to hand over the Kamadhenu to him was turned down by the sage. In the scuffle, the sage died and his wife Renuka was injured due to 21 wounds she had received at the hands of the king. At this juncture, many soldiers appeared on the scene from the body of the Kamadhenu by divine magic and farced the king to retreat. On coming to know of the above incident Parashuram, the son of Jamadagni who rushed there vowed to defeat and punish the king 21 times. His mother asked him to cremate his father. He carried his father and mother to Mahur and cremated his father there. His mother became a sati.The religious rites were conducted on this occasion by the God Sri Dattatreya himself. However, after everything was over Parashuram was stricken by grief and at this time a voice from the heavens told him that his mother would come out from the earth but he should not look behind. Being eager to see his mother, Parashuram turned the head to have a look at his mother again and the Renuka Mata stopped there as a head only and said that I will be residing here only and will not live the place.
Best Time to Visit Many people from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra visit this temple during the winter months. The main attraction during this period is the Shri Yellamma Devi Fair, which is a celebration dedicated to the Goddess. Also, the temperature during the months starting from October till February is very pleasant. A lot of devotees come to this temple to worship Devi Yellamma. But, during the other months also, one can visit this temple but most of the crowd is seen during winters due to the fairs during those months.