Legends and Rituals around Govardhan Puja

Diwali brings on celebrations spread over days starting with Dhanteeras and culminating with Bhaidooj. The fourth day in this festivity is known as Govardhan Puja and is celebrated in Northern India. It is also know as Anna-Koot, which literally means 'mountain of food' as people prepare varieties of delicious offering them to Lord Krishna as 'Bhog'.

Story behind the Govardhan Puja

Govardhan is a small mountain hill in Braj, Mathura. It is believed that the Gokul residents used to worship Lord Indra and prayed him for rains but starting praying Mount Govardhan after Lord Krishna told them that it was the Govardhan parvat that was responsible for the rains and not Lord Indra. Lord Indra was furious over the same and as a result Gokul encountered very heavy rains. Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan with his finger and shielded the people of Gokul underneath giving them shelter in the heavy rain.

Rituals on Govardhan Puja

Ever since then on this day, this puja is performed and a custom of erecting cow dung in the shape of hillocks symbolizing the Mount Govardhan, and worship them and worship prayers to Lord Govardhan.

The day is also known as Padwa day and holds specific significance for the Hindu families. On this holy day the wife applies the 'Tilak' on the forehead of her husband, and prays for his long life and in return he gifts her as a token of appreciation.

This is also called at Annakut festival, where food using 56 varied grains and vegetables are used to prepare the Prasad known as Chappan bhog. This marks as a thanksgiving ritual to Mother Nature for providing food and Goddess Annapurna will bestow her blessings.

In many other parts of the country, this day is also celebrated as Vishwakarma day and Vishwakarma Puja is performed. On this day many industrialists worship their tools. This day holds special significance for all industrial houses, artists, craftsmen, and weavers.

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Author

Payal Jain