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Govardhan Hill, Mathura Overview

Govardhan Hill or the Giri Raj is situated at a distance of 22 km from Vrindavan. It has been stated in the Holy Bhagwat Gita that according to Lord Krishna, Govardhan Parvat is not different from him. Therefore, all his worshipers worship the pure rocks of the hill just like they worship his idol. The hill is made up of sandstone and stands 80 ft tall with a circumference of 38 km. Some interesting places one gets to visit the hills including Mansi Ganga, Mukharvind, and Daan Ghati.

History says that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill during his childhood on one finger to save his village of Mathura from fierce rains and thunderstorm. This hill is thereby considered holy and is visited by worshipers on Guru Purnima, Govardhan Puja in devotion by walking 23 km barefoot around the mountain. After Lord Krishna had saved his village, he told everyone to worship the hill which is why Govardhan Puja is a day after Diwali. It is a serene place, and definitely, a must visit!

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Meaning of Govardhan Hill

The name of Govardhan Hill has two interpretations. 'Gau' (Go) is the Hindi word for the holy cow, and 'Vardhan' is the shelter where cows are kept. The cows then give birth in the shed which is covered with grass to eat, water to drink and a place to rest.

On the other hand, 'Go' in Sanskrit means senses and 'Vardhan' means to control which means that it is a place where one can keep their thoughts in control and offer their life for the salvation of Lord Krishna.

Sites at Govardhan Hill

The Govardhan Hill boasts of buildings and other structures from the 17th century. There are no archaeological evidence of remains of greater age as per reports based on 2013. A few remarkable sites at the Govardhan hill are 

Sandstone Monument and Kusum Sarovar Lake: Kusum Sarovar is a historical monument on the holy Govardhan Hill made out of sandstone. This is also the place known for the memorial chhatri of Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal. Kusum Sarovar set beautifully on the Govardhan Hill is also known as Lake of Flowers.

Giriraj Temple: One of the popular temples on Govardhan Hill is the Giriraj Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna who is also known as Giriraj Ji. The temple marks an important Hindu pilgrimage site.

Shri Chaitanya Temple: Another temple in the holy Govardhan Hill is Shri Chaitanya Temple, made of red sandstone and decorated with paintings of Krishna and Radha also counts as a holy site.

Radha Kund Temple: Radha Kund Mandir is placed in Radha Kund, the place where Lord Krishna killed Arista, the bull demon after which he took a bath in the Radha Kund pond for purification. The temple attracts many devotees all year round. It is believed to be the place where Radha and Krishna shared a lot of happy times.

Mansi Ganga Lake: This is known to be the largest lake in the central Govardhan. The myth goes that one who takes a bath in Mansi Ganga is relieved off his sins and attains the purest devotion of Lord Krishna. The circumambulation of Govardhan Hill starts and ends here.

Danghati Temple: A prominent temple on Govardhan Hill is Danghati temple. The names come from the words 'Daan' which means donation and 'ghati' which means Valley. The speciality about this temple is that the deity here is made in the form of a rock dressed up by the priests to resemble Lord Krishna holding Govardhan Parvat on his little finger.

Govardhan Hill Legend

Legends of Govardhan Hill state that Krishna once saved the hill from a flood, interacted with Gods and demons and had dalliance with gopis. There are artworks depicting the hill as a bull and a peacock, Krishna in a cave and hill as a mountain of food Annakut with floods brought on by Indra and with Yamuna River.

It is believed that Indra intimidated humans by either giving them no rain or would flood them if he was no longer satisfied by their worship. Krishna on finding out opposed the performance of sacrificial worship for Indra and emphasized the importance of Karna and doing one's duties. Infuriated by this, Indra invoked clouds and flooded the region with rains lasting for 7 days and nights. In response to this, Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect the animals and people and keep them safe. Indra accepted defeat and left to his heavenly kingdom after offering his prayers.

How To Reach Govardhan Hill

The nearest railway station is Mathura Junction and many auto-rickshaws, as well as buses, are available from there till Govardhan Hill.

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