Feet and Footwear in the Indian Tradition
Among the diverse peoples on the Indian subcontinent, the foot is both the most base and the most revered part of the human body. Traditionally the ritual, symbolic and allegorical significance of footwear has overshadowed its utilitarian and functional value.
During the Divali Festival (Festival of Lights), which marks the end of the Hindu calendar year in October or November, Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity and Good Fortune, is invited to enter the house. Painted footprints of the Goddess are worshipped and honoured with offerings and oil lamps to light her way into the home.
Follow the footprints of Lakshmi; discover how the paduka has resonated through five millennia of history and continues to be an important element of Indian culture to this day.