Nabarangpur: Maa Pendrani is a well-known folk deity in Umarkot area of Nabarangpur district. The Umarkot “Maa Pendrani” pedestal is now famous and well-known. Umarkot is currently one of the most popular places because of the goddess. The temple is located in the western part of the city. Sunday is the only day when the temple is open. So on that day, many people visit from faraway places to worship. The goddess was first worshipped in an open space, which was later built into a simple wooden chamber. Later, with the help of locals, a new temple was built in 2010 to worship that goddess at a grand opening ceremony.
The origin of Goddess Pendrani can be traced back to mythology and legends. The goddess is worshipped by tribal of South Odisha and the people of the border districts of Chhattisgarh. It has a history of about 400 years. The origin of the goddess Pendrani is found in puranas. The story of her creation became so popular that she became a popular goddess for the region, and such a new culture emerged as the goddess Pendrani Dharma. Although said as a tribal goddess, she remained goddess of both tribal and non-tribal people communities in the social and historical processes of the region. A large temple has been set up for the goddess in town of Umarkot, with her culture being established in thousands of villages in the tribal areas.
According to the centre of mythology, it is about a girl belonging to Gond community or a married woman is worshiped as goddess Pendrani. Pendrani was a married woman with seven brothers. It was then believed that the earthly mother goddess had to sacrifice human beings in order to get a good harvest. Together with her seven brothers, she decided to sacrifice her life to mother Earth to get a good harvest for her husband. Her husband was killed by her seven brothers in a bid to get a better harvest. Pendrani searched hard for her husband and eventually found out that her own brothers had killed her husband to get a good harvest. Suddenly she was surprised to hear that in forest. At the same time, she was killed by a tiger. After her death, her soul took the form of goddess. She has a history of turning from a vengeful goddess to a happy goddess in 400 years. She is now worshiped as a goddess of abundance in western Odisha and eastern Chhattisgarh.
In honor of Pendrani, local celebrate a large festival called Pendrani Yatra in the month of Asadha (ଆଷାଢ଼). A large number of devotees, pilgrims and tourists from Odisha and Chhattisgarh come to Umarkot to take part in even. The local degree college is also named after her, as a tribute to her highest sacrifice.