One of the fastest selling items at the ongoing Magh Mela in Prayagraj this year, is the ‘khadau’ (wooden slipper).
While it is normal for saints and seers to wear the ‘khadau’ since they avoid wearing leather slippers or shoes for obvious reasons, this year, a large number of devotees, particularly the youth, can be seen wearing the ‘khadau’.
Prem Srivastava, 23, a student from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh who is visiting the Magh Mela for the first time, flaunts his ‘khadau’ said, “I bought a pair of ‘khadau’ out of curiosity because so many people were wearing it. It has been four days since I am wearing it and I can already feel the difference. I feel more at peace with myself and physically too, I feel better and my shoulder pain has gone.”
His friend, Saumendra, explained, “While saints and seers wear ‘khadau’ because it is made of wood and not leather, I feel it is beneficial for everyone because it works on the principle of acupressure and relieves pain in the body.”
The khadau is also believed to be helpful in lowering blood sugar levels. Both the friends agree that wearing the ‘khadau’ is initially cumbersome but it takes a few days get used to it. Most ‘kalpvasis’, who stay on the banks of the river for one month and practice compete austerity, also prefer to wear ‘khadau’.
Chanda Rani, an octogenarian from Sitamarhi in Bihar, said that she wears ‘khadau’ during her ‘kalpvas’ because leather is not considered auspicious. “Besides, the ‘khadau’ does not slip on sand and mud,” she added.
Seeing the growing popularity of the wooden footwear, a large number of stalls selling ‘khadau’ have come up in the Magh Mela township and their sales are outstripping the sales of even the religious memorabilia in the Mela.
“Earlier, I could manage to sell two to three pairs of ‘khadau’ in a day but this time, I am selling about half a dozen pairs every day,” said Kamlesh, a ‘khadau’ seller. The ‘khadau’ costs about Rs 300 per pair and prices go up to Rs 900 per pair, depending on the quality of wood.
‘Khadau’ is made from the wood of various trees, especially Vijaysar, Dhak and Sheesham and prices go up depending on the weight of the footwear.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)
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