Significance and rituals of Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja is observed on the fourth day of Diwali. Also known as the Annakut puja, it is celebrated to remember the victory of Lord Krishna over Indra. According to legends, Lord Krishna defeated the Lord of heaven, Lord Indra on this auspicious day.

Lord Krishna advised the people of Vrindavan to worship Nature instead of Lord Indra, as nature is the key nurturer. He taught that the Govardhan Mountain brings rain to the earth and not Indra.

An angry Indra started to create havoc. It is believed that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his finger to save the lives of people from arrogant Indra who was not showing any mercy.

Ever since, Annakut pooja is performed with the immense passion and eagerness by devotees in various parts of the country.

Devotees offer Chhappan Bhog or fifty-six different types of food to Lord Krishna. The deities are bathed in milk and dressed in shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones.

In the temples, devotees offer sweets which are raised in the form of a mountain before the deities as Bhog. Later they take Prasad from the Mountain of Food.

Hillocks of cow-dung representing the Mount Govardhan Mountain are also made in some Indian states. People then decorate with flowers and worship them.