Govardhan Puja is a festival celebrated on the day after Diwali
all over North India. On this day, Mount Govardhan (near Mathura
) is worshiped. 'Go' stands for cows and 'vardhana' for nourishment. 'Go' also means senses and 'vardhana' means to increase the diversion of mind towards Krishna
There is a legend behind this festival. Lord Krishna insisted people of Brajbhoomi (the land where Krishna was born) not to worship Lord Indra
(the God of rain). In vengeance, Indra brought flood to that area and the people were scared. Krishna reassured them, and held up the Govardhan hill above the village for a week. Govardhan Puja is held to commemorate this myth.
The day is important in temples of Mathura and
Nathdwara. The deities are given milk abhishek and decorated with ornaments of pearl, diamond and other precious stones. Clay images of Govardhan are made by women and Puja is performed. Bhoj (food varieties) is offered. This ceremony is named Annakoot which means a mountain of food.