Introduction

Govardhan or Goverdhan is a key pilgrimage centre in India and a municipal town; a nagar panchayat ; seat of a MLA Member of legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh; a Tehsil, in Mathura district in the India in state of Uttar Pradesh.

Govardhan is famous for the Holy Goverdhan Hill. There are many temples in this town namely Shri Haridev ji Temple, Daan-Ghati Temple and Mukharbind Temple . The town is also famous for its 21 kilometers long Parikrama of the famous Govardhan hill. The parikrama procession is held in very high religious belief. It’s said that Lord Krishna held Govardhan Hill on his little finger to save the town from wrath of the god of rains Indra.

The town also houses Maanasi-Ganga, a close-ended lake. This is another place for the devotees visiting this town. On the banks of this lake, there are quite a few temples, prominent among them the Mukharbind temple. Being close ended, the lake had to cope with widespread pollution. After a cleaning effort by localites, the situation has vastly improved.

One of the most important day in Goverdhan is Guru Poornima (Also called “Mudia Poono”). On this day, Millions of devotees come to Govardhan for parikrama.

About 22 kilometres from Mathura, the town is on the road link between Mathura and Deeg.

GOVARDHAN HILL PARIKRAMA

Govardhan hill which has great religious significance in view of its association with Lord Krishna, presently at its highest point is just 25-metre (82 ft) high and is a wide hill near Mathura Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a narrow sandstone hill known as Giriraj which is about 8 kilometres (5 mi) in length.After Krishna protected the inhabitants of Vraj Vridavan from the wrath of Indra, he counseled them to worshipGovardhana hill and they did by way of a Puja (worship) and a Parikrama (circumambulation) around the hill.Thus, a festival in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, by Krishna came into vogue as ‘Govardhan Puja’ when Mount Govardhan is worshipped, the day after Deepawali (festival of lights) is celebrated. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook 56 (or 108) different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food to God) to Krishna. This ceremony is called ‘ankut’ or ‘annakuta’ which means a mountain of food. Various types of food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads – are offered to the Deity and then distributed as ‘prasada’ to devotees. Thousands of devotees bring offerings for Giriraj. Followed by this pooja, the devotees perform the Govardhana Parikrama.

Govardana Parikrama [circumambulation — going 21 kilometres (13 mi) around the hill] is a sacred ritual performed by many believers as spiritual purification. There is no time limit for performing this Parikrama, but for those who perform the dandavata (full prostration) Parikrama, an arduous form which may take weeks and sometimes even months to complete. Dandavata Parikrama is performed by standing in one spot, offering obeisances like a stick (danda) by lying flat on the ground and then continuing, contiguously, till the entire route is covered. It is also said that some sadhus (Hindu holy men) perform 108 obeisances in one spot before moving to the next. This can take a number of months to complete.

This ritual of Parikrama is considered to be even better if is it done with milk. A clay pot filled with milk, with a hole at the bottom, is carried by the devotees in one hand and a pot filled with dhoop (incense smoke) in another. An escort continuously fills up the pot with milk till the parikrama is completed. Parikrama is also done with candy being handed out to children, en route.The divine tree ‘Kalpavriksha’ planted by GreenMan Vijaypal Baghel at each Kunda of this parikrma route, not only Kalpavriksha, he is planting with dedication much more others traditional & medicinal flora’s species around holy Govardhan hill likely ‘Tridev Vriksha’, paras peepal, Rudraksha, Kadmba, pakad, vat vriksha etc who have spiritual and religious values to make Green Parikrma. Parikrama of Govardhana hill starts at the Manasi-Ganga Kund (lake) and then after having darsan of Lord Harideva, from Radha-kunda village, where the Vrindavan road meets the parikrama path. After parikrama of 21  kilometres, covering important tanks, shilas and shrines such as Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda, Dan Ghati, Mukharavinda, Rinamochana Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara and Punchari, it ends at Mansi Ganga Kund only