Govardhan Puja

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Govardhan Puja, also called Annakut (meaning a heap of grain)[clarification needed], is celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra. It is the fourth day of Dipavali (Diwali), the Hindu festival of lights.

The day is celebrated on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha (Bright fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartika.

According to legends, Lord Krishna taught people to worship the Supreme Controller of nature, God, specifically Govardhan, as Govardhan is a manifestation of Krishna, and to stop worshiping the God of Rains, Lord Indra. For Annakut a mountain of food is decorated symbolizing Govardhan mountain said to be lifted by Lord Krishna to save the people from the wrath of Lord Indra, the demigod in charge of rain. This pooja is performed with great zeal and enthusiasm and in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In Haryana, 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.In Haryana Govardhan Puja forms an important part of the celebrations of Diwali. In Maharashtra it is celebrated as Padva or BaliPratipada. The day commemorates King Bali. Men present gifts to their wives on this day. In Haryana, Gujarat, it is celebrated as New Year, as Vikram Samvat starts on this day. Govardhan puja is when Lord Krishna stopped the people of Vrindavan dham worshipping Lord Indra because Indra had become too proud of himself so Lord Krishna completely stopped it and told the inhabitants of Vrindavana to worship Govardhan Hill. This worship has carried on from 5000 years ago to the 21st Century. And