The historical name of the Savadatti was Sugandavarti"Sougandipura". It was the capital of the Ratta dynasty (from 875-1230), until the capital shifted to Belgaum.During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Belagaon (Belgaum) was the capital of the Rattas, the chieftains of Saundatti. The fort at Belgaum was built by Bichiraja (Ratta Dynasty) in 1204.
The Ratta clan was one of several which came out of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty.
Rattas of Saundatti accepted the overlordship of Taila II (AD 973-977).
Two of the pillars at Belgaum fort have Kannada inscriptions in Nagari script, one inscription from around 1199 is attributed to the Ratta king Kartaveerya IV.
In one of the inscriptions related to Rattas of Saundatti it is mentioned that Krishna III having appointed Prithvirama as a chief feudatory had dignified the Ratta dynasty of Saundatti.
The Rattas of the saundatti, who were used to represent themselves as lords of the Lattaluru(present day Latur), could have represented their ancestor as Manyakheta pua var adhisvara if they wanted to avoid Lattalura pura var adhisvara.
At Saundatti, Jain inscription slab written in Sanskrit and Kanarese (Kannada) of Krishna Rashtrakuta, Shaka 797 (c. 875 AD), and Vikramaditya, Shaka 1017 (c. 1095 AD).
At Saundatti, in front of the Western Chalukya-style Ankeshwara temple, there is an inscription carved into the wall by the Ratta Chief Ankarasa.
The Rattas of Savadatti are Jains by religion.
In the 11th century Rattas of Saundatti and their provincial governors were great patrons of Jainism. Kartivirya's son, a Jain saint Munichandra, a minister to Laksmideva and a teacher, and has the title of Acarya, the founder of Ratta-rajya.
Savadatti has two small Jain basadis dating back to Ratta times.
18th century Savadatti fort was built by the Sirasangi Desai with 8 bastions. Savadatti fort has a Kadasiddheshwara temple, surrounded by four bastions. Around the Kadasiddheshwara temple in the inner chajja of the prakara there is a row of beautiful carvings of geometrical patterns with over two hundred designs, some painted.
Renuka sagara is a reservoir for the Malaprabha River adjacent to Saundatti, formed by the Navilatirtha Dam. The name Renuka sagar because of the famous Renuka (Yallamma) temple Yallammagudda Saundatti.
The temple of the goddess Yellamma or Sri Renukadevi, is a popular pilgrimage site for Shakti devotees. Every day, hundreds of pilgrims visit the temple with great devotion. The congregation is especially large, crossing the ten lakh mark on two auspicious days Banada Hunnime and Bharathi Hunnime. The century-old temple of Yellamma is situated atop Yellamagudda, amidst picturesque Ramalinga Hills about 5 km from Savadatti. Between Savadatti and the temple is the magnificent fort of Parashghad, dating back to the 10th century.
The Renukasagara, formed by the Navilatirtha Dam touches the low-lying areas of Saundatti. There is a spot called Jogulabhavi here, where there is a temple. Pilgrims take a holy dip here before visiting the Yellamma Hill. This Samādhi is in the area called Ramapur at Saundatti, which is humming with religious activities.
Shirasangi a small village located approximately 25 kilometers from Saundati is very famous for Shri Kalikadevi temple. The temple is known to be very ancient and is believed to be the place where Shringa maharishi worshiped Shri Kalikadevi. Shirasangi is also famous for Shri Tyagveera Lingaraja Desai. Shri Lingaraj was one of the main donors to give land to K.L.E Society.
The town has temples dedicated to Ankeshwara, Puradeshwara, Nagarkere Mallikarjuna, Veerabhadra, Ulvi Basavaeshwara, Mouneshwara, Dyamavva and Venkateshwara, which is the largest.
The Puradeshwara temple in the later Chalukya style is a trikutachala with three ardhamantapas, a common navaranga and two mukhamantapas. Gurlhosur Chidambar temple is also an historical temple. All three garbhagrihas with pierced windows have shivalingas. The shikhara, now damaged, over the central garbhagriha is in Kadambanagara style and the navaranga pillars are lathe-turned. Inside the niches of the navaranga are images of Parvati and Veerabhadra. This temple has been renovated very crudely. On the day of Ugadi, the rising sun's rays fall directly on the main shivalinga. The outer walls have fine sculptures depicting Hindu mythology and there are inclined chajjas all round. The open mukhamantapa, a later addition, is also in the same style with massive pillars.
The Ankeshwara temple in Desaigalli, built by Rattas in 1048 is in the Western Chalukya style and is below the ground level. There are steps descending to the mukhamantapa. In front of the temple, there is an inscription carved into the wall by the builder, Ratta Chief Ankarasa.