New Delhi: Oct 2017: Though Govardhan is a popular festival for the North India, mainly Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, it is now popular in entire India.
Govardhan is a famous festival which comes just next day after the festival of lights, Deepawali. The whole month of 'Kartik' is devoted to Lord Vishnu so Govardhan is also a festival which worships Lord Krishna, one of the avtars of Lord Vishnu.
Bhagavad Puran says that the people of Braj (the adjoining areas between Mathura and Vrindavan) used to worship Indra, the god of rain and storm, as well as the king of all gods during the autumn season, thanking him for the bountiful rains and good harvest. However, Krishna thought that instead of thanking a distant God, they should thank the Mount Govardhan that stood in the middle of the habitation.
Lord Indra, who is considered to be a sentimental god was irked by people praying Govardhan, Indra decided to punish the locals with heavy torrential rain, it then when Krishna lifted the mountain to provide shelter and protection to the people. After much trial and tribulation, Indra accepted that he could not harm the villagers and realised that he had let his ego dictate his actions, thus, conceding defeat.
On this special day, people prepare elaborate vegetarian meals of 56 or 108 different kinds of dishes made with wheat, rice, gram flour. Delicious food using leafy vegetables, milk, pulses, and fruits are also cooked and offered to Lord Krishna on this day. The devotees make a mound of cowdung which represents Govardhan Parvat.