Villagers believe that these foot prints belong to the Lord Ram and Lord Lakshman.
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
The first recorded story of foot print dates back to 1811. the well-known explorer and trader David Thompson was crossing the Rockies towards the mouth of the Columbia river when, at the site of modern Jasper, Alberta, he and his companion came upon a foot print fourteen inches by eight inches, with four toes and claw marks. Thompson thought it was probably a grizzly bear, but his companion insisted that it could not have been a bear because bears have five toes.
Two pair of Human foot prints which I encountered some 40 kms west of Ranchi city of Jharkhand State of India is little different with other common foot prints found in other parts of the world. Toes are absent. The foot prints seem to be imprinted in the granite rocks by the earlier habitants of the area. Villagers believe that these foot prints belong to the Lord Ram and Lord Lakshman. Both stayed here for few days on their way to Pampapur (now Palkot in Jharkhand) for search of Ram’s wife Sita.
There is a description of PAMPAPUR located on RISHIMUKH PARVAT in RAMAYANA. Villagers believe that the ancient PAMPAPUR is today’s PALKOT. This fact is proven by a number of places of Ramayana era in its neighborhood such as ANJAN, where Lord HANUMAN born, RAMREKHA DHAM that is the place where Lord Ram and Sita spent some times in their exile, UMRA where the hill is similar to KISKINDHA etc. PAMPASAR, a pond spread in about 1000 Sq.ft, is considered as a place of mother PUMPABHAWANI and a hidden way door to some place. It is a holy pond situated on the upper part of PAMPAPUR Mountain.
Foot prints found are eleven inches by five inches and ten inches by four and half inches. It resembles to the foot wearing sandals made of wood.
The Romans were accustomed to carve pairs of footprints on a stone with the inscription pro itu et reditu, "for the journey and return". They used them for protective rites on leaving for a journey and for thanksgiving for a safe return, when the traveler would place his feet in the footprints to mark the beginning or end of the undertaking. This same story is told of King Maelgwn of Gwynedd in North Wales, who placed his feet in carved footprints to ensure his safe return from a pilgrimage to Rome.
It is believed that one of the earliest examples of footwear worn on the Indian subcontinent is a sandal of wood, datable to circa 200 BC. During the 3rd and 4th Centuries in the Buddhist period, it was quite common to wear strapped sandals, and Indian kings wore sandals ornamented with precious jewels. Jaina literature shows that leather was used for the making of shoes, which protected the toes from getting injured. In Indian culture, the foot is regarded as an object of veneration. Worship is offered and obeisance paid to elders, religious heads and idols with the ceremonial washing of the feet.
As these foot prints are in the granite rocks, one thing is sure that it is not natural but it is carved on the rocks. Geologically it has been proved that during consolidation of granite rocks there was no developed life on the Earth. For the formation of natural foot prints on the rocks it is essential that rocks should be soft or in muddy stage.
It's official: the oldest human footprints ever found are 345,000 years old, give or take 6000. Known as the "devils' trails", they have been preserved in volcanic ash atop the Roccamonfina volcano in Italy.
Other peculiar structure on the rocks resembles to a butterfly or some other flying birds or object. It is carved just below the foot prints. I am not able to correlate the relationship between the two.
These footprints are under threat as rocks of these areas are being mined for building purpose. Till today rock containing these structures is being protected by villagers. Similar carved structures have been reported from the different parts of the Jharkhand state which still needs attention from the Jharkhand Government.
We live in a highly advanced, technical world, but there are nevertheless a great many mysteries all around us. Ancient places and mysterious beings, sunken worlds and cultures, landscapes imbued with symbolism, unexplained apparitions, and unbelievable finds from ancient times- all of these remain mysteries for humankind, despite intense investigations.