Govardhan Puja is a beautiful festival to worship Lord Krishna and it is dedicated to the mountain Govardhan near Mathura. This festival is celebrated with great joy and mainly celebrated in the northern parts of India most especially in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar. It is believed that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mount to protect the peoples and Gokul village from the temper of Lord Indra.
The Govardhan Puja festival is also called as Annakut, as the food provided by devotes to form like a mountain. This festival is celebrated after four days from diwali. During that festival people in that mountain perform Annokoot. Annakoot is referred as mountain of food. People who are living in the place prepare different kinds of Bhog to provide lord Krishna. The gods are given a milk bath, and they made to wear new clothes and are decorated with heavy ornaments. After completion of the prayer, different Bhogs are significantly raised as a food hill. Then, that food is distributed to all devotees as ‘Prasad’.
In the Mountain Mathura, devotees perform Govardhana Parikrama walking round the hill Govardhana. Govardhan is a small hill in the Gokul district, where Lord Krishna lived from childhood. The people in that place worshiped the Lord Indra for rainfall, Indra granted them heavy crops and thereby lord Indra was their bread bringer. From his childhood, Lord Krishna lived in the village Gokula, he advise people to stop praying lord Indra. Indra had grown ineffective with his power and Krishna liked to teach him a class.
According to the familiar legend, the Gokul people used to worship Indra for heavy monsoon season. But Krishna told them to stop worshiping lord Indra. This made Lord Indra to get very angry on people and in retaliation he flooded the whole village Gokul. That time, Krishna lifted the Govardhnan Mount to protect the people and their cattle. Hence, Govardhan Puja is celebrated to worship Krishna as a great power and ask his blessings for well-being and prosperity. During that festival people prepare cow dung hillocks and décor them with beautiful flowers and then offer them special offerings and wonderful prayers.
The Govardhan worship is performed by the people of Gokul, Braj region and by people from far of areas who are surrounding the hill, once in a year and worship the Lord Krishna avtar. This is also known as Annakoot, which means food hilltop.
To thank the Lord Krishna, people are celebrating the Govardhan Puja. During the Puja time, people made a prasadam in hill form as a replica of lord Krishna lifting Govardhan Mountain. The people then circumambulate this Govardhan mount while singing in kirtana. After completion of the whole Puja, the prasadam is given to all devotees freely. It is very meaningful and exciting festival, and people often enjoy by participating in this Puja. Also, people believe that those who celebrating this Puja festival never need to fear death by snakebite. The Krishna devotees also enjoying by making several cultural activities like dance, and signing.