Govardhan Puja, also known as the Annakut festival, is a popular Hindu festival in which devotees offer chappan bhog (56 vegetarian food itmes) to Lord Krishna as a mark of gratitude. For Vaishnavas, this is one of the important festivals. It commemorates one of the incidents mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to provide the villagers of Vrindavan shelter from heavy rains. The Govardhan festival occurs on the first lunar day of bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik, which is the next day of Diwali), the festival of lights, and also the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar.
One of the most significant incidents, described in the Bhagavata Purana involves Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan, a low hill situated in the middle of Braj, to provide the villagers of Vrindavan shelter from heavy rains. As per the Bhagavata Purana, the cowherds living near Govardhan would celebrate the autumn season by paying respect to Indra Dev, the God of rain and storm. But, Lord Krishna found the practice to be too harsh for the innocent villagers and advised the people to worship the blessed Govardhan Hill instead, the soil of which nurtured their living and supported their work as well. Indra Dev got angered by seeing the villagers’ devotion diverted away from him. He decided to initiate thunderstorms and heavy rains in the city. But Lord Krishna rescued the villagers by lifting the Govardhan mount on His little finger. After seeing the people of Gokul being unaffected by the continuous storms, Indra accepted defeat and stopped the storms.
Govardhan Puja Vidhi
After this incidence, women of Vrindavan prepared 56 dishes for Lord Krishna. It is believed that the Lord took eight meals in a day. As he had stood there for seven days without any food, the women decided to make up for it with a Chappan bhog (a meal consisting of 56 items). Till date, several Hindu families create an image of Giriraj Govardhan (the mountain) from cow dung, adorning it with miniature cow figures as well as grass as twigs, representing trees and greenery, to perform Govardhan Puja. Unboiled milk, homemade sweets, etc. are offered to the hill. Lakshmi Katha is recited and devotees apply roli and akshat (uncooked rice) to the Govardhan hill.
Govardhan has since become an important pilgrimage site in Braj for Lord Krishna’s devotees of Krishna. On the day of Annakut, devotees do Parikrama of the hill (circling) and offer food to the mountain. This is also one of the oldest rituals in Braj. Besides, devotees also take rocks from the Govardhan and worship it just like Shri Krishna.
Govardhan Puja Shubh Muhurat
The timings for this year’s Govardhan Puja celebrations are as follows:
Govardhan Puja Sayankala Muhurat – 03:26 PM to 05:40 PM
Duration – 02 Hours 14 Mins
Dyuta Krida on Monday, October 28, 2019
Pratipada Tithi Begins – 09:08 AM on Oct 28, 2019
Pratipada Tithi Ends – 06:13 AM on Oct 29, 2019
Govardhan Puja Images on India Content
The India Content website has a good stock of Govardhan Puja images. The photos are available in three sizes—small, medium and large.You can purchase various other content images from the https://www.indiacontent.in