Celebrating Govardhan Puja: A Day of Gratitude and Devotion

Celebrating Govardhan Puja: A Day of Gratitude and Devotion

Unveiling the Essence of Govardhan Puja: A Celebration of Gratitude and Faith


  • Govardhan Puja, also known as Annakut Puja, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated with immense fervor and devotion. It holds a special place in the hearts of devotees across India and around the world. This festival primarily commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over Lord Indra and underscores the importance of nature and the environment in Hindu culture. Let's delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Govardhan Puja, exploring its origins, rituals, symbolism, and frequently asked questions.

Origins and Significance:

  • The roots of Govardhan Puja can be traced back to ancient Hindu scriptures, particularly the Bhagavata Purana. According to Hindu mythology, the residents of Vrindavan used to worship Lord Indra, the god of rain and thunder, out of reverence and to seek his blessings for abundant rainfall. However, Lord Krishna, in his childhood avatar, advised the villagers to worship Govardhan Parvat (mountain) instead, emphasizing the importance of nature over ritualistic offerings.
  • Enraged by this defiance, Lord Indra unleashed a deluge upon Vrindavan. In response, Lord Krishna lifted the mighty Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to shelter the villagers and livestock from the torrential rain. This act of divine protection demonstrated Krishna's supremacy over Indra and his reverence for nature. Thus, Govardhan Puja symbolizes the victory of righteousness, humility, and environmental consciousness over arrogance and blind adherence to tradition.

Rituals and Celebrations:

  • Govardhan Puja is observed on the day following Diwali, the festival of lights, which usually falls in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. The festivities commence with the preparation of a large variety of vegetarian dishes, symbolizing the Govardhan Mountain or Annakut (a mountain of food). These offerings, known as 'Annakut,' are arranged in the form of a mountain before the deities in temples and homes.
  • Devotees gather at temples, where priests perform elaborate rituals, including the 'Govardhan Puja' and the 'Annakut Darshan,' during which the mountain of food is offered to the deities amidst chants and hymns. In some regions, miniature models of Govardhan Parvat are crafted using cow dung and decorated with flowers, symbolizing Krishna's divine act of lifting the mountain.
  • Another significant tradition associated with Govardhan Puja is the practice of circumambulating (parikrama) the Govardhan Mountain or its representations. Devotees embark on a pilgrimage to sacred places like Govardhan Hill in Mathura or Govardhan Parvat in Rajasthan, where they perform parikrama as a mark of reverence and seek blessings for prosperity and well-being.

Symbolism and Spiritual Significance:

  • Govardhan Puja embodies profound symbolism and spiritual teachings. The Govardhan Mountain, in its symbolic representation, signifies the abundance of nature and the divine protection it offers to all living beings. Lord Krishna's act of lifting the mountain illustrates the principle of Dharma (righteousness) and the importance of standing up against injustice and arrogance, even in the face of adversity.
  • Moreover, the festival underscores the interconnectedness of humanity with the environment and the need for environmental stewardship. It serves as a reminder to nurture and preserve the natural world, which sustains life on Earth. The offering of a variety of vegetarian dishes reflects the Hindu principle of Ahimsa (non-violence) and reverence for all forms of life.


  • In conclusion, Govardhan Puja is not merely a festival but a profound spiritual journey that celebrates the harmonious relationship between humanity, divinity, and nature. It inspires devotees to cultivate humility, righteousness, and environmental consciousness in their lives, fostering a deeper connection with the world around them. As we celebrate Govardhan Puja, let us emulate the teachings of Lord Krishna and strive to protect and cherish the precious gift of nature bestowed upon us.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the significance of Govardhan Puja?

  • Govardhan Puja commemorates Lord Krishna's victory over Lord Indra and underscores the importance of nature and humility over blind adherence to tradition.

When is Govardhan Puja celebrated?

  • Govardhan Puja is observed on the day following Diwali, usually in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.

When is Govardhan Puja in 2024?

  • Govardhan Puja in 2024 falls on November 2nd.

How is Govardhan Puja celebrated?

  • Devotees prepare a mountain of vegetarian dishes, known as Annakut, offer them to the deities, perform rituals like Govardhan Puja, and engage in parikrama (circumambulation) of Govardhan Parvat.

What is the significance of circumambulating the Govardhan Mountain?

  • Circumambulating the Govardhan Mountain symbolizes reverence for nature, divine protection, and seeking blessings for prosperity and well-being.

Why is vegetarian food offered during Govardhan Puja?

  • Vegetarian food is offered as a mark of Ahimsa (non-violence) and respect for all living beings.

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