for Sindh Today (India) on Oct. 24, 2009
Mathura, Oct.18 (ANI): Hundreds of religious-minded people from different parts of the country arrived in Mathura town of Uttar Pradesh on the occasion of annual Govardhan Puja which was celebrated here on Sunday.
Celebrated on the following day of Diwali, the festival of lights, Govardhan Puja holds its own significance among Hindus.
The festival is celebrated to worship Lord Krishna and commemorate the occasion of his lifting the Govardhan mountain on his little finger as mentioned in Hindu epics.
On this day, the devotees offer food to Krishna and also pray to him. There is a tradition of building cow dung or stone hillock that symbolise the Govardhan mountain which is then decorated with flowers and worshipped by the people. The people also move in a circle around the hillock and offer prayers.
‘Every year these Annakut (Goverdhan) prayers are held and this day is of immense importance,’ said Vedant Narayan Goswami, a priest.
Foreigners and followers of Lord Krishna also arrived here to witness this spectacular and colourful festival.
‘It’s very nice to be here and this is my first time to Giriraj. I had heard so many great things about Giriraj but had never been here, so it’s good to see,’ said a Lord Krishna devotee from abroad.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna dissuaded the people of Gokul from worshipping the rain god, Lord Indra at the end of every monsoon season.
This angered Indra, who brought about a rainstorm to frighten the people but, Lord Krishna lifted the whole of Govardhan mountain (in Mathura) for seven days, and saved the people from the wrath of Indra.
Humbled, Indra became a follower of Krishna. It is believed that Lord Krishna spent his childhood in Brij and the region dotted with temples dedicated to perhaps the most appealing Hindu deity worldwide, is considered sacred by Krishna devotees.