The Legend of the Big Foot in ancestral Goa

The Big Foot
The Big Foot
Saint Meerabai on a single laterite rock
Saint Meerabai on a single laterite rock
Place your hand and ask for a wish!
Place your hand and ask for a wish!

At the Southern end of Goa is ancestral Goa, in Loutolim a twenty minute drive from Margao. The Big Foot museum is modelled as an ancestral village recreating old Goa, its tradition and its culture.  It is an open air museum-cum-parkland spread over 9 acres depicting the culture and tradition of rural Goa from approximately 200 years ago. The life of old Goa is portrayed in the form of life size statues and structures. It is believed that the avatar of Lord Vishnu created the land of Goa by shooting an arrow from the Sahyadri mountains into the Arabian Sea. Other than the recreated model village of Old Goa and its spice garden, the main crowd pullers are the Big Foot and the laterite rock carving of Mirabai.

The Big foot is in reality a foot print impression of a large foot on solid rock. Legend has it that there was a wealthy man called Mahadar who always assisted the poor. Greedy neighbours took advantage of his good will and fleeced him of all his possessions. Destitute after the death of his wife, he made do with what he got and prayed fervently. The heavenly forces seeing this good faith asked him if he wished to punish all those who had dealt unjustly with him. Mahadar was not revengeful, he asked the heavenly force to give him just a small place where he could stand and pray for mankind. To test his integrity further, he was offered a hot rock where he stood on one foot and prayed. Seeing his devotion the higher forces took Him to heaven leaving his foot print behind with a boon“ Anyone praying with a pure heart, will be blessed with luck”.  Outside the Big Foot cave are numerous paper clippings of Thanks and disbelief of how wishes have come true.It is said that faith and a pure heart play a big role in fruition of good wishes. The opening at the mouth of the Big Foot cave is said to invite truth and those who speak lies will have their limbs bitten off.
India’s Longest Laterite Sculpture is in the form of Sain Meerabai. The woman saint Meerabai is strumming on her tambori, an Indian string instrument. The stone carving measuring 14 meters by 5 meters was chiseled in Greco - Roman style from a vast expanse of laterite stone by Maendra Jocelino Araujo Alvares in just 30 days.
The Sculpture is largely influenced by the Gandara school of art. The laterite carving exhibits feminine attributes of the woman saint with a kumkum on the forehead, the armlet, the flat bangles also called, pattli on the wrists of Meerabai and the anklets around her ankles. A lotus and the sun on the string instrument, tambori, add to the mysticism of Saint Mirabai. This work has been cited In the Limca Book of Records as the longest laterite sculpture in India.

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