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Govardhan Hill Mathura Address: Aanyor, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, 281502, India
Govardhan Hill, also known as the Giri Raj, is located 22 kilometres from Vrindavan. According to Lord Krishna, Govardhan Parvat (hill) is not distinct from him, as mentioned in the Holy Bhagavad Gita. As a result, all of his worshippers worship the clean rocks of the hill in the same way they adore his idol. The hill is built of sandstone and rises 80 feet tall with a perimeter of 38 kilometres.
History of Govardhan Hill Mathura
According to legend, Lord Krishna raised the Govardhan Hill with one finger as a kid to save his hometown, Mathura, from heavy rains and thunderstorms. As a result, this hill is sacred to all Krishna devotees. First, devotees visit the hill on Guru Purnima and perform the Govardhan Puja post-Diwali. Then, they walk 23 kilometres barefoot around the mountain in a 'parikrama to pay their obeisance.'
#Trivia- After Lord Krishna protected the village, he instructed everyone to worship the hill, and that's why Govardhan Puja is celebrated after Diwali.
Location of Govardhan Hill Mathura
The Govardhan hill is located at Aanyor, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
How did Govardhan Hill Get Its Name?
There are two ways to interpret Govardhan Hill's name. The Hindi term for the sacred cow is 'Gau' (Go), and the shelter where cows stay is 'Vardhan.'
In contrast, 'Go' in Sanskrit means senses, and 'Vardhan' means to control, indicating that it is a spot where one can keep their thoughts under control and devote their life in the admiration of Lord Krishna.
Image Gallery of Govardhan Hill Mathura
Structures at the Govardhan Hill
The Govardhan Hill has homes and construction dating back to the 17th century. However, according to 2013 sources, there is no archaeological evidence of older remnants.
Sandstone Monument and Kusum Sarovar Lake
Sandstone Monument and Kusum Sarovar Lake are two notable sights on Govardhan Hill.
Sandstone monument is a historical monument built of sandstone atop the sacred Govardhan Hill. The Jatt ruler, Maharaja Surajmal's chhatri, stands tall here.
The historical structure, complete with cenotaphs, was built in honour of Jawahar Singh's father, Maharaja Surajmal, in 1764. The main tomb, which lies in the centre, is 57 square feet and stands on a finely decorated pedestal.
Two other ancient constructions stand on both sides of his tomb. These tombs are of Maharaja Surajmal’s two queens, Kishori and Hansiya. In addition, a 460-foot-long terrace supports the whole building. Finally, the pavilion acts as a roof to protect both ends of the structure.
Kusum Sarovar, atop Govardhan Hill, is also known as the Lake of Flowers. It is because the sweet-smelling flowers, such as Champa, bel, Kusum, chameli, etc., once bloomed in all its glory right here.
#Trivia: As per folklore, Muni Ashtavakra performed deep penance on the banks of the Sarovar to get a glimpse of Radha-Krishna.
The Kusum Sarovar is open every day of the year between 6 AM and 6 PM.
The Giriraj Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, also known as Giriraj Ji, is one of the most prominent temples on Govardhan Hill. The temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage site.
Shri Chaitanya Temple
Another sacred place on Govardhan Hill is Shri Chaitanya Temple, built of red sandstone and adorned with murals of Krishna and Radha.
Radha Kund Mandir
Radha Kund Mandir, at Radha Kund, is where Lord Krishna slew Arista, the bull demon, and then took a bath in the Radha Kund pond to purify himself. As a result, the temple receives a large number of worshippers every year. As per legend, Radha and Krishna spent a considerable amount of time here.
The story we heard as kids…
After fighting a demon disguised as a bull, Radha instructed Lord Krishna to cleanse himself by bathing in every sacred river in the universe. It led to the birth of this fascinating tourist destination on Govardhan hill. Hearing this, Lord Krishna laughed and struck his heel on the earth, creating a big pond, called Shyama Kund, at this spot. All the river goddesses emerged in front of Krishna and filled his pond with water, thus helping Krishna cleanse himself.
Radha and her sakhis (friends) were displeased by Lord Krishna's ability to make the kund, and they resolved to dig another kund even more beautiful than Krishna's. The kund, which is now known as Radha Kund, stands adjacent to the Shyama Kund. Krishna persuaded Radha to take water from his kund; however, Radharani declined the offer and wanted to fetch the water from Mansi-Ganga. Since the journey from Mansi-Ganga was far and challenging, she and her friends took water from Shyama kund.
After this, Krishna took a bath in Radha Kund and proclaimed that whoever bathed here would attain Radha's love for him. Radha took a dip in Shyama Kund and declared that whoever bathed here would achieve Krishna's love for her.
Radha Kund is open all year, and devotees can come anytime between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
#Trivia- Despite the popularity of the Radha Krishna romantic story, there is no mention of Radha in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, or Harivansham, which is about Lord Krishna's life. However, there is a mention of Radha in Bhagavata, in Vishnu Purana.
Mansi Ganga Lake
It is the largest lake in central Govardhan. According to legend, anybody who bathes in Mansi Ganga gets cleansed of their sins. Thus, the circumambulation of Govardhan Hill begins and concludes here.
Danghati Temple is a famous temple on Govardhan Hill. The name comes from 'Daan' (donation) and 'ghati' (valley). The deity at this temple is built in rock and decorated by the priests to resemble Lord Krishna holding Govardhan Parvat on his little finger.
Paintings show the hill as a bull and a peacock, Krishna in a cave, and the hill as a food 'Annakut' with floods caused by Indra and the Yamuna River.
#Trivia: Legend goes, Lord Indra was unhappy with people praying to Lord Krishna and not praying for rain. In his arrogance, he sent heavy rains and floods and thus made it difficult for the people to survive the weather. Upon learning of sacrifice worship for Indra, Krishna called upon him to show him the significance of Karna and carrying out ones' responsibilities without expecting anything in return. He reminded him it was his duty to protect his people and take care of them.
Entry Fee and Timings of Govardhan Hill Mathura
There is no entry fee to visit the Govardhan hill, and it is open to the public from 7 AM to 7 PM.
Best time to visit Govardhan Hill
The best time to visit Govardhan is from October to March. The weather is excellent during this season, with temperatures ranging from mild to cold, making for a pleasant day trip.
Things to do at Govardhan Hill Mathura
Several devotees gather around the hill on the auspicious dates of Guru Purnima and Govardhan Puja. The full parikrama is roughly 23 kilometres long and takes about 5-6 hours to complete.
It begins in Manasi-Ganga Kund, goes via Radha Kund Village, right around the hill while performing pilgrimage to Lord Harideva. Devotees visit several holy places on the way to this highly sacred pilgrimage in Uttar Pradesh, including Radha Kund, Shyama Kund, Daan Ghati Mandir, Mukharvind, Kusuma Sarovar, Ramochana, and Puchari. However, there is no set time restriction for finishing the parikrama.
With ardent devotion and love for the Lord, devotees undertake different types of parikrama around the Govardhan hill.
Walking parikrama: People walk clockwise with the hill on their right and end the parikrama at the same point.
Doodh parikrama: You hold a pot of milk with a tiny hole below the pot and continuously offer milk as you complete the parikrama.
Sohni Seva parikrama: Devotees complete this parikrama with a broom. They continuously sweep the sides of the hill to complete the circumambulation.
Dandvat parikrama: Devotees complete the parikrama by moving with their whole body against the ground. It is the most challenging way to achieve the parikrama, and people take around ten days to complete it.
Couple Dandvat parikrama: Couples undertake this parikrama to mark their togetherness. They seek the blessings of Radha-Krishna.
108 Dandvat parikrama: The toughest one yet; sadhus undertake this parikrama with 108 stones with them and perform the Dandvat 108 times in one spot. It may take more than a year before they complete even one parikrama.
Such is the devotion to Lord Krishna by all his devotees.
If you intend to do the parikrama, it is best to begin early in the morning (unless it is a Dandavat parikrama) so that you may finish before dark.
The tomb at the Kusum lake is lavishly decorated with magnificent murals showing Radha and Lord Krishna's paintings inside. In addition, it houses a copy of Lord Krishna and Radha's lotus feet. Thus, Kusum Sarovar, as a whole, is one of Uttar Pradesh's tourist attractions that perfectly combines beauty, history, and tranquillity in one location.
Devotees carry out Govardhan Puja by constructing a statue of Lord Krishna, clutching the sacred hillock of Govardhan out of fresh cow dung. Depending on whether it is a community or solo worship, the figure is large or small. Devotees further embellish Krishna's cow dung structure with tasty dried rice, colourful powder, and jewellery, among other things.
The festival begins with traditional Vedic practises of prayer to Krishna. Then, devotees bring flowers, incense, and other ritual materials while parikrama around the cow dung figure clockwise. A minimum of 56 delicacies, also known as "Chappan Bhog," is cooked from scratch as a token of devotion.
Local markets in small towns are full of beautiful surprises. From prayer beads to local brass idols of Radha-Krishna, oil lanterns, beautiful paintings, and many other beautiful souvenirs are available at shops around Govardhan hill and the local Mathura market.
Restaurants near Govardhan Hill
Ninety-Nine Restaurant and Sheel Gopal restaurant are some excellent places to eat in Govardhan hill. You can also stop by the famous Bhagwan Singh's mithai shop, which sells mouth-watering ghee kachoris for approx. Rs.18 each.
How to reach Govardhan hill
Govardhan is a charming town in Uttar Pradesh that is easily accessible by all modes of transportation. It is around 50 mins (25 kms) from Mathura and 50 mins (25 kms) from Vrindavan.
By Road: Govardhan is easily accessible by road. Several state tourism and transport buses ply to and from Mathura and Vrindavan every day. You can also hire a private cab from top car rental companies in Mathura-Vrindavan to reach it.
By Train: Govardhan's nearest railway station is Mathura. It is well-connected to important North Indian towns such as Delhi, Lucknow, and Kanpur. You may take a cab from Mathura railway station to Govardhan.
By Air: Govardhan does not have an airport; the nearest domestic airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. It is the closest airport, with connections to major Indian and International cities. You may take a taxi from Delhi to Govardhan.
Govardhan hill is a place rich in mythology and legacy, and the essence of Lord Krishna is everywhere. This auspicious place attracts tourists and pilgrims because it provides the ideal combination of spirituality and a gorgeous landscape. It is a must-visit place in Mathura.
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