The small village of Yellare in the Karakala taluk of the Udupi district of Karnataka is home to the Irvathur Shri Lakshmi Janardana Temple, where the idols of Lord Shri Lakshmi Janardana, Lord Shri Ganesha, and Goddess Shri Durgaparameshwari are worshipped.
The temple also holds poojas for Daivastana, Naga, Kodamantaya, Lekkesiri, Varthe and Kalkuda. The name "Irvathur," it is said, finds its origins from a time when this was the only temple for the surrounding 20 villages. In the Tulu language "irvathu" means twenty.
Built by the Alupa dynasty 1400 years ago, it was subsequently renovated by the Vijayanagara Emperor Immadi Devaraya Odeya. The village of Yellare was donated to the temple in the loving memory of Vijayanagara Emperor Mallikarjuna Raya so as to carry out all poojas of the Sri Laxmi Janardana Temple.
At one point in time, the temple owned 3,996 acres of land and was one of the richest temples. These numbers fell drastically after the Tenancy Act of the Government of Karnataka came into effect. The temple now owns 50 acres of land. The temple now runs on the donations received from the devotees.
For a long time, specifically between 1932 and 1975, the temple was neglected and was left in a dilapidated state. M Shivarama Shetty, a resident of Yellare, decided to revive the temple and soon became the president of the managing committee, a position he still holds.
So far, they have renovated the temple structures such as the hall, front Pauli, pool, compound etc. An entire new team of Archakas (priests) was also hired to conduct poojas at the temple. Vedamurthi Vishwanatha Thantri Andar currently serves as the head priest of the temple. The temple is presently under the Muzrai Department of the Government of Karnataka, which nominated 9 people to the Vyavastapana Samiti created by the department for the management of the temple. The president of this committee was M Shivarama Shetty. The committee then appointed Yogish Mallya as the president of the Jeernodhara and Brahmakalashotsava Samiti. He has been serving as the president of the committee since 2014.
A unique feature of the temple is the ratha which has the history of the Ramayana carved around it and is said to have been donated by a devotee.