Govardhan Puja-Annakut Mahotsav-New Year Day-Govandhan Puja Celebration and Rituals-Legends

Govardhan Puja-Annakut Mahtsav


Govardhan Puja or Annakut Mahotsav is held a day after the  Diwali in the month of Kartik on  Gujarati New year day.According to the Hindu calendar it falls on the first lunar day called as 'Ekam' of the Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight of moon) in the month of Kartik. It forms an integral part of Diwali celebrations. Govardhan Puja commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over Indra.On this day in many houses and temples , Annakoot puja is performed by preparing Chappan Bhog which contains fifty six varieties of food items which are offered to God. 


Govardhan Puja is performed with great zeal and enthusiasm and in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In this pooja, there is a tradition of building cow dung hillocks, which symbolize the Mount Govardhan, the mountain which was once lifted by Lord Krishna. After making such hillocks people decorate them with flowers and then worship them. They move in a circle all round the cow dung hillocks and offer prayers to Lord Govardhan.
The preparation of 'Annakoot' is an integral part of the Govardhan Puja. The word 'Annakoot' means ‘mountain of food’. 

Govardhan Puja-Annakut Mahtsav Celebration


Govardhan Puja

In some Indian states, Govardhan Puja is celebrated by making the hillocks of cow-dung which represents the Mount Govardhan. Then people decorate the hillocks by flowers and worship them. Devotees make rounds around the hillocks and pray to Lord Govardhan to save their life as always. At some places, it is celebrated as a part of the Diwali such as the Padva or Bali Pratipada to commemorate the King Bali. And at some places, it is enjoyed as a Gujarati New Year because the Vikram Samvat begins at this day.


Annakut



The fourth day of diwali celebrations is also observed as Annakut, which literally means 'mountain of food'. On this auspicious day the people prepare fifty-six or one hundred and eight different varieties of delicious dishes to offer Lord Krishna as 'Bhog'. In the temples, specifically in Mathura and Nathdwara, the deities are given milk bath, dressed in new shining attires and decorated with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones and metals. Then they are worshipped, offered prayers and bhajans and also offered delicious sweets, fruits and eatables that are ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain before the idols.

Govardhan Puja Legends



The festival symbolises the importance and worship of nature in our lives. Govardhan Parbat is said to have saved its inhabitants from incessant rains.According to Vishnu Puran, the people of Gokul used to worship Lord Indra and celebrated a festival in his honour as he was considered to be the provider of rains. Once, Lord Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to Indra and worship mountains and cattle as they were the actual source of rains and cultivators of field, respectively. Lord Indra, in a rage, sent a deluge to submerge Gokul.
It is then, that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Parbat on his little finger, to provide shelter for the people of Gokul.Govardhan Puja is known as ‘Padva’ or ‘Bali Pratipada’ in Maharashtra, as it commemorates King Bali who is believed to come out of Pataal Lok to rule over his kingdom in Bhu Lok every year on this day.

Annakut Mahotsav Pictures







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