Govardhan Puja - celebration of the lifting of Mount Govardhana by Lord Krishna

Govardhan Puja is celebrated a day after Diwali. Govardan Mountain near Mathura, which was lifted by Shri Krishna to save the people of Braj from heavy rains and flood, is worshipped on the day. In 2014, the date of Govardhan Puja is October 24. Devotees offer different types of food on the day to Lord Krishna and this large amount of food forms a mountain. Therefore the festival is also known as Annakut, a mountain of food. Govardhan Parikrama, circumambulating the hill, is an important event on the day. Today, the Pooja is a major event around world and is popularized by ISKCON.

Legend has it that Indra, the god of rain, was the deity to whom people prayed for a favorable climate and for the protection of their crops and cows. Indra was arrogant and punished the people with flood if the offering were inadequate. Krishna thought Govardhan hill which was stopping the clouds and providing rains should be worshipped and not an arrogant Indra. Krishna asked people to stop worshipping Indra and offer pujas to Govardhan hill.

A furious Indra, created non-stop rain over Braj and flooded the entire region. The downpour continued for days. This was a challenge to Krishna from Indra.

Krishna as usual met the challenge with a smile. Krishna lifted Govardhan hill with his little finger and provided shelter to humans and animals. Govardhan Puja commemorates this divine event.

Thousands of devotees bring offerings to Lord Krishna on the day. The offerings mainly include various types of food.

Govardhan Puja is a major event in Mathura and Vrindavan. Thousands of devotees undertake the Govardhan Parikrama.

In many places around the world, a small replica of Govardhan Mountain is made and worshipped. People also create replicas of Krishna lifting the mountain.