Bicholim, September 16- By Vishant Vaze Hero stone which was lying beside the Sakhli- Valpoi road at Nagve has disappeared since 16th sept morning .
The stone which went missing is one of the rare hero stones in Goa which are inscribed; few of them bear the inscription in Hale Kannada (old Kannada) and Devanagari scripts and in Kannada, Marathi, Sanskrit languages.
Today morning when environmentalist Sanket naik had gone with his few friends to visit the nagve place to see this Hero stone [virgal]and was surprised to see that the same was missing from the place . He inquired with the villagers regarding the matter .Villagers told that they have seen the hero stone until recently.
When noted environmentalist, Rajendra kerkar came to know about this incident he contacted director of archeology dept Radha bhave and informed regarding the issue.
This hero stone. was originally erected in the memory of a dead hero who sacrificed his life for the protection of the life and property of the society. Though his name is unknown but the brave act of sacrificing the life for well being of the society was reflected through this flat stone slab which was sculpted with battle scene, the scene of funeral pyre in which the dead body of hero is shown along with his wife who is about to jump in to the pyre of his husband as a sati. The topmost portion of this memorial stone has the depiction of sun and moon on the either side, which signifies the belief that the memory of this hero (in whose memory it was erected) will remain unless and until the sun and moos are there in the sky. (“Yavashtchandra Divakarou” ). This concept of memorializing the memories of those who have contributed for the betterment of the society and giving the status of semi divine deities like spirits, Devchar, Khetodev, Mulvir etc is very well expressed through the erection of such memorials.
Such memorials which are generally referred as Virgal in Goa and Maharashtra these are found throughout the world in different forms and varied according to the time and place. Goa has got more than 50 hero stones of this type and out of which few are well known for their unique features such as hunting scenes, naval battles, decapitation of head, self immolation etc.
These are scattered throughout the State. The hero stones give us lot of information about the life of the people, their socio-cultural and religious ideas that prevailed in the society during that era. There are certain hero memorials in Goa which depicts the scene of self immolation and self decapitation of head; both the customs are reflection of extreme devotion and also the most possible highest level of the offering i.e. life. Such customs were prevalent in Goa too. And this can be reconstructed with the proper study of hero stones.
Hero stones are not just the testimonials of heroism but they do convey lots of information about the past life. Unfortunately the vandalism and neglect both are causing the damage to the surviving traces and remnants of the glorious past. Goa has already suffered through the govt supported vandalism during 16th- 17th century under the Portuguese rule so we have a serious duty on our shoulder to preserve and sustain the heritage and atleast the remnants of it for posterity.