According to a popularly recounted legend in Goa, once there lived a rich man by the name of Mahadar. Mahadar was known for being very kind and never returned the needy empty handed. Often people took advantage of him and took money from him. Puram, a man from the same village was one such person, who kept on asking for more and more money, till Mahadar had nothing left to give him. Mahadar sold off his house to make sure he could help all who asked for money.

Soon Mahadar and his wife were on the streets. When Mahadar’s wife fell sick, none who had availed of his help were willing to help him. Mahadar’s wife died on the streets. However, Mahadar did not lose faith and even in his dire situation, he would try to help in whatever way he could.

God appeared in Mahadar’s dream and asked him, if he wanted all his wealth back, but Mahadar refused the help and instead asked God to bless all who had hurt him. Pleased with Mahadar’s reply, God asked Mahadar to ask for a boon. Mahadar asked for a small place to stand from where he could pray for mankind in general. God decided to test Mahadar and gave him a small rock to stand on, except that the rock was hot. Mahadar stood on that rock for many years on one leg, till pleased by his devotion, God took him to heaven.

Pleased by Mahadar’s devotion, it was ordained that whoever passed by the rock and prayed at the footprint left by Mahadar, would be blessed. Today, the footprint is a popular tourist attraction and a popular wish-seeking spot for the devout.

Story collected by: Utkarsh Patel

Source: Local guides

Location: Goa

Photo credit: Utkarsh Patel