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Shri Yellamma Devi Fair

The most important fair in the state of Karnataka, India is the Yellamma Devi fair. This fair is just not restricted to one time of the year but is held on a number of occasions right through the months of October to February. It’s a popular fair not only in the state of Karnataka but also draws crowds from the neighbouring states of Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The fair thus has the distinction of attracting the most varied section of people in central India. The largest of the Shri Yellamma Devi Fairs however is held on Margasira which is the full moon day.

Religious significance

The Shri Yellamma Devi Fair ground is held to honour Yellamma Devi or Renuka. The temple grounds at Saundatti in Belgaum district or Karnataka built in reverence to Shri Yellamma Devi spring to life during this time of the year. Situated on top of the Yellammagudda hill lies the shrine of Yellamma Devi or Renuka, who is believed to be the wife of the great Sage Jamadagni.

The full moon day on which the biggest Shri Yellamma Devi fair is held is also known as “Bharat Hunnime” and is one of the most sacred and auspicious days in the Hindu calendar in this part of India. The Neeramanavi Yellamma is the well known jatra which is carried out on this day in the fair. Yellamma the goddess is worshipped and Shakti Puja is performed. Another practice during the fair is the fashion of becoming Gods Slaves or Devadasis.

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