The auspicious season of Diwali has begun and there is a host of festivities that take place during this 5-day period. It began with Dhanteras and after main Diwali celebrations, Govardhan puja will follow. Govardhan Pooja will fall on October 20 and there will be Bhai Dooj on October 21, which will see the end of Diwali extravaganza. On the occasion of Govardhan, a massive feast of 56 food items is prepared for Lord Krishna. The feast is commonly known as Annakoot and its prepared to please Krishna for his efforts to save the villagers of Vrindavan.

Govardhan Puja ritual
The houses are generally decorated with flower petals, coloured rice and rangoli. The entrance of the house, interior and exterior are lit up with earthen lamps. The most significant ritual is making mounds of cow dung representing Govardhan hill and embellishing it with flowers and colours.

Govardhan Puja timings
Govardhan celebrations will fall on October 20, 2017 and the auspicious time to offer Govardhan puja is as follows:
Govardhan Puja Pratahkal Muhurat = 6:12AM to 8:29AM
Govardhan Puja Sayankal Muhurat = 3:22PM to 17:39PM

Significance of Govardhan
In Hindu mythology, there was a tradition among people of Vrindavan to make annual offerings of food to the god of rain – Lord Indra. The massive amount of delicacies were prepared and offered to please Lord Indra in order to get timely rain and consequently a timely harvest. When Lord Krishna saw the plight of poor farmers and the hardships they had to go through to please Lord Indra, he intervened.

Krishna asked the villagers to stop making the offerings and convinced them to look after themselves and their family. When Indra didn’t get his food, he sent his wrath upon the villagers of Vrindavan with thunderstorms and heavy rains. When days passed and rains didn’t stop, villagers took the matter to Lord Krishna, who lead them to the Govardhan hill. Lord Krishna lifted the entire hill on his little finger and asked the villagers to take shelter under it.

Lord Indra tested Krishna’s resolve by continuing rains for seven days but ultimately bowed to the determination of Krishna and took back his wrath from the village. It was then that the Govardhan Puja came into practice and now it is celebrated in the most parts of North India. Many adherents go to the Govardhan hill in Vrindavan to make their offerings to Lord Krishna.