Footwear have visited usage in ancient India as basic need as well as luxurious item. There are found a great numbers of written and physical evidences, which prove that history of footwear goes in order to centuries old Vedic period. Let's cast a glance your history of shoes and sandals along with interesting facts.
Written evidences for the origin of footwear in India
Footwear find mention in plenty of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scriptures thereby testify that had been being worn by Indians since an erstwhile era.
* In ancient Indian texts Rigveda, Yajurveda Samhita, Atharvaveda, Brahmans and Panini Grammer, footwear has been mentioned with Sanskrit term ' Upanah' or 'Upanat'. These footwear (sandals and shoes) were made from grass, wood and leather.
* As per great epic Ramayana, Bharata rerurned from Chitrakuta carrying the Rama's paduka (toe-knob sandal or khadau) and ruled the Ayodhya after placing the paduka on a throne in Nandigram, as Rama's proxy. Ravana also holds an umbrella and wears shoes while assuming the associated with ascetic for Sita's abduction.
* According to Mahabharata,once Jamadagni got enraged seeing her wife Renuka exhausted in scorching sun and started sending arrows against Sun god. Then Sun god presented him a pair of sandals and an umbrella to drive back the heat from below and up above. In this great epic, shoes (upnate) and sandal or toe knob sandal (paduka or padu) are clearly separated. It also mentions that footwear stealer is born with regard to 'Otikyata' (a lizard)
* In Shrimad Bhagwat Puran, Lord Vamana is mentioned wearing umbrella and shoes. Lord Krishna never wore shoes while herding the cattle.
* Much like Brahma Vaivarta Purana, you must not wear the shoes already worn by others.
* According to Garud purana, sandals and umbrella end up being gifted on 'Sraddha' daytime. Shoes stealer is born from sheeps' wombs.
* Specialists Vasstue shastra, footwear ought to placed in south-west direction of hall and never in room in your home.
* While leaving the princely life in 5th century BC, Lord Buddha is mentioned in scriptures having stripped away from his new sandals.
* n Mahavagga, a portion of Buddhist scripture Vinaya Pitaka (5th century BCE ), sandals made of fancy materials were forbidden for monks and nuns. It mentions 4 involving shoes, for example Putabaddha (covering ankle), Tittirapttika (shape like partridge wings and adorned with horns of ram or goat), Padigunthima (full boot) and Tulapunnika (padded with cotton wool). Sandals with separate point like scorpion's sting and adorned with peacock feather were largely demanded but were forbidden for Buddhist monks.
* Banabhatta, the court-poet of emperor Harsh Vardhan has mentioned in his book Harshacharita (7th century) footwear.
* Mahavyutpatti (800-815 CE), which contains the Sanskrit and Tibetan terms for understanding Buddhist texts has mentioned the footwear as Padavestanika, Pula, Manda-pulah etc.
* n Jain scripture Brihat Kalpa Sutra Bhasya the guidelines for the attires and footwear of monks and nuns pick up.
* Abhidhan Cintamani of Hemchandracharya (11th century) footwear are classified in several categories including Upanat (shoes), Paduka (sandals), Padarakasana and lots of others.
* Paduka Sahasram' of Swami Vedantha Desika (1269 AD-1370 AD) contains the 1000 verses on the padukas of Lord Vishnu, whose statue is enshrined in Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Tamil Nadu).
Physical evidences of the footwear in India
Following sculptures, coins and paintings also throw the light upon the centuries old history of footwear in India:
* The particular archeological excavation in Chandraketugarh (West Bengal), footwear of 200 BC with raised heel and floral motifs are observed. Further, a terracotta sculpture (1st century) also wears a V shape sandal or chappal.
* Buddhist statues (3rd & 4th century) of Gandhara are portrayed wearing strapped sandals * Numismatics have found the coins of Kushan period (130BC to 185AD) and Gupta period (320 to 550 AD), which feature kings wearing full boots.
* Ajanta cave paintings (4th to 5th century) also portray the people wearing stockings along with full warm boots.
* n some early Sanchi sculptures (3rd to12th century BCE) foreigners are depicted wearing boots. * Amongst all Hindu deities, only Sun god is portrayed wearing the fashion footwear. Modhera Sun temple ( 11th century CE) of Gujarat shows him wearing a belt and long shoes. The granite Sun statue of Dakshinaarka Sun Temple (13th century) of Gaya depicts him wearing a jacket, waist girdle and high boots.
* Bronze statue Chola period (11th to 2th century AD) also depicts the Bharat holding Ram's paduka over his go to. Pahari Miniature painting of (17th century) shows Bharat worshiping Ram's paduka.
Interesting facts about the footwear
Below mentioned are some interesting facts about the footwear in Indian during modern era:
* Paduka of Lord Rama are worshiped now also in Ram Paduka temples located in Rameshwaram (Tamilnadu), Ramtek (Maharashtra) and other places.
* In Chencherimali Temple of South India, devotees carry leather sandals in honor of Lord Subrahmanya (Kartikeya, Murugan), as he is believed to put leather clogs. His wife Valli is worshiped in form of sandal pairs in Marudhamalai, Chennilais, Palani and Sivanmalai (Tamil Naidu).
* In Vithoba festival, pilgrims move to Pandharpur temple (Maharashtra) carrying the Padukas of saints Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar in the silver palanquin.
* In dian oleograph of Ravi Varma (19th century) shows Rama's padukas and sword placed on the throne.
* Mahatma Gandhiji learnt the art of handcrafting shoes in South Africa and developed a pair of shoes in African jail. While leaving the Africa, he presented shoes to president General Smutts, who was cruel towards Indians. Smutts kept it for 24 years and returned it to Gandhi on latter's 60th birthday. Gandhi also set up a tannery in Sabarmati Ashram (Ahmedabad) and made simple chappal a symbol of India's self-sufficiency during 20th century independence movements.