One of the old and among the most revered temples of Hyderabad is the Yellamma Temple located at Balkampet, popularly called the Balkampet Yellamma temple. The temple is thronged by heavy crowd on Sundays and Tuesdays and is quite famous for the annual Bonalu Jathara festivity that takes place in Hyderabad.
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Yellamma that literally means 'mother of the universe'. There is also an alternative name called Jagadamba who is considered the same as Goddess Renuka. According to a legend, Renuka, the daughter of Raja Renuka had married Jamadagni, the son of Satyawati and had five sons, one of them being Parashurama. One day, Renuka couldn't perform one of her regular household chores and this enraged her husband who then asked her to leave the house.Dejected Renuka was reportedly suggested by saints to perform pujas near a Shivalinga and feed Brahmins for her penance. Jamadagni was reportedly furious at her and demanded his sons as well to punish their mother Renuka. Others refused and they were burnt to ashes by the father's gaze while Parashurama searched for his mother who was hiding in a village, beheaded her and even the poor woman who helped her. Jamadagni who was pleased by his son's obedience, gave him a boon and in turn Parashurama asked his father to restore the lives of his brothers, his mother and the village woman. However, during the process, the head of Renuka was restored on the other woman's head and vice versa. While Jamadagni accepted the woman who had Renuka's body, the other form came to be popular known as Yellamma, which means mother to all and is being devoutly worshipped from then by the people ofTelangana people.
Balkampet Yellamma Goddess is also considered as an incarnation of Goddess Kali. Devotees offer animal sacrifice here. The most important event here is the celestial marriage ceremony of the temple goddess, Yellamma Kalyanotsavam. Bonalu Jathara Festival at Balkampet Yellamma Temple falls in the calendar only after Golconda Bonalu Jathara followed by Ujjaini Mahankali Bonalu Jathara each year.
The temple was first constructed in 15th Century AD and later renovated in the early 20th century. The idol of the goddess here is seen 10 feet lower than the ground level and the devouts believe that the water in the well here can cure all ailments. The holy water is treated as Theertham. The temple also has Akhand Jyothi, which was lit during the renovation. It is situated at a distance of 10 km from Secunderabad Railway Station and is just 3 km away from Ameerpet junction.