Govardhan puja is performed on the fourth day of Diwali and 2nd day of Laxmi puja. This ritual was started in Dwapara Yuga, and in the period of Lord Krishna. According to traditional stories, Lord krishna lifted mount Govardhan mountain on this day and hence the day is dedicated to the worshiping the mountain. Govardhan puja is performed as a tribute to Krishna’s heroic feat. In some states of north India, people make cow dung replicas of the famous rounded mass, decorate it with flower petals and offer prayers.
The people living in Mathura, where also Lord Krishna lived, were basically farmers and had a practice of offering yearly puja’s to Lord Indra the god of rain. The worship was a means of thanking for a good harvest produce and all the celebrations happened at mount Govardhan.
One particular year, as usual the residents of Mathura started their journey towards the mountain and Lord Krishna also attended with them.
People were preparing to carry out the puja to please Indra, when Lord Krishna approached them and questioned their belief practice. He told them to worship the fields where they grow their produce and the cattle which are help in planting the crop, instead of Lord Indra. The elders in the community said that it would displease Lord Indra and bring disaster. But, Krishna was persuasive and they yielded to his argument.
The people of Mathura under the guidance of Krishna made all the preparations for worshiping the cattle and the fields, when terror struck. Lord Indra angered by the insult of created a storm which threatened to blow away not only the cattle but also the people. The scared people ran to Krishna for help and he lifted the mountain Govardhan with his little finger. The people and the cattle took shelter under the mountain and were saved from the storm. Humbled by this act, Lord Indra, approached Lord Krishna to apologize.
People of Gokul and Mathura in India, celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm and pleasure. People make round, also known as Parikrama (which starts from the bath in the Manasi Ganga and puja of Manasi Devi, Harideva and Brahma Kunda. There are approximately eleven Silas on the way of Govardhana Parikrama which have their own special significance) of the Govardhan hill and offer Puja.
People make a form of Govardhan Dhari Ji through the heap of cow dung, mountain of food and adorn it with the flowers and worship. The mean of Annakut is, people make variety of Bhog to present to the Lord Krishna. Idols of the God are bathed in the milk and clothed with new clothes as well as jewelry. Then the worship is performed through the traditional prayers, Bhog and aarti.
It is celebrated all over the India by decorating the temples of Lord Krishna and organizing a lot of events and after puja foods are distributed among the people. People get blessings of the Lord Krishna by having prasad and touching their head to the feet of God.