The significance of Govardhan Pooja or Annakuta Pooja

Do you know the significance of Govardhan Pooja and how do we celebrate it?

significance of the Govardhan Pooja

Govardhan Pooja or Annakuta Pooja is celebrated in most of the northern states of India. This festival marks the defeat of Lord Krishna over Lord Indra. It falls on the next day of Diwali or Deepawali. Since Diwali falls on the Amavasya, the Govardhan Pooja falls on the next day of Amavasya i.e. the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartik or Kartik Masa, according to the Hindu calendar. The Amavasya is the new moon day of every month according to the Hindu calendar.

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Legend behind the celebration and significance of Govardhan Pooja

  • In the Dwapara Yuga, Lord Vishnu’s avatar, Lord Krishna was born in Mathura and spent his entire childhood in Vrindavan. While in Vrindavan he observed that people prayed to Lord Indra, the king of heaven, for rains and prosperity.
  • In the ancient day’s people mostly depended on agriculture and cattle rearing. The rains were important for them to lead a life of peace and prosperity. Lord Krishna pursued people to pray to the mountains and nature, as it played a significant role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.

Govardhan Pooja

  • The Govardhan mountain was situated near them, therefore the people started to worship the mountain instead of Lord Indra, also known as the Rain God. This agitated the Lord Indra. He decided to teach the people of Vrindavan a lesson. He expressed his wrath and disgust by heavy non-stop rainfall and thunderstorm.
  • Everything started to wash off and the village starting drowning due to the intense rainfall. Lord Krishna knew that the only way to save the people and cattle of Vrindavan was to seek shelter at a dry place at a higher altitude.
  • Lord Krishna along with the people of Vrindavan then started to pray Mount Govardhan and sought his help. After taking permission from the mountain, Lord Krishna gently lifted the mountain. He took care that the flora and fauna flourished on the mountain is not disturbed.
  • He lifted the mountain on his little finger which is symbolic of his great power and strength.
  • After he lifted the mountain, the people of Vrindavan sought refuge under the mountain. Sooner Lord Indra realized his vanity. He acknowledged that Nature is equally important and plays a significant role in carrying out life on earth.
  • He also realized the strength of Lord Vishnu’s avatar Shri Krishna and withdrew the rains and thunderstorm.

significance of the Govardhan Pooja

  • Everyone contributed whatever edible things they had brought with them and offered the cooked food to the Govardhan parvat for saving their lives.
  • Since that day onwards people started to worship Govardhan Parvat or mount Govardhan, on the next day of Diwali every year.
  • The worship includes making a heap of cow dung or other grains. Then offer other sweets and light a lamp or Diya, which is a native method of offering prayers by the Hindus. Govardhan Pooja is also known as Annakuta Pooja or Bali Pratipada. The cow is also worshipped on this day as it is considered a sacred animal according to the Hindu Dharma.
  • At some of the temples, a grand ceremony is held including bathing Lord Krishna idols with milk and offering him flowers and other holy objects. A feast is also organized to celebrate the victory of Krishna and seek his blessings.
  • Chappan-bhog, meaning 56 dishes, is also offered to Lord Krishna.
  • On this day also begins the Gujarati New year while some people celebrate it as Vishwakarma day where they worship their tools, machinery and other instruments.

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