After the parikrama of Radha-kunda, the Vraja Mandala Parikrama next performs the parikrama of Govardhana Hill. In the Adi-varaha Purana it says, “If one performs parikrama of Govardhana Hill, he will never have to take birth in this world again.” The Mathura Mahatmya says. “By circumambulating Govardhana Hill after taking darshana of Lord Harideva, one will achieve the same result as performing an ashvamedha or rajasuya sacrifice.” There is a very famous verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam spoken by Shrimati Radharani to the gopis of Vraja. “Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows, and cowherd boyfriends, with all kinds of necessities, like water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.” Another verse from the Shrimad
Bhagavatam says. “Krishna then assumed an unprecedented huge form to instill faith in the cowherd men, declaring ‘I am Govardhana Mountain!’ He ate the abundant offerings. Together with the people of Vraja, the Lord bowed down to Govardhana Hill, thus in effect offering obeisance’s to Himself. Then He said, “Just see how this hill has
appeared in person and be towed mercy upon us”. Thus the Shrimad Bhagavatam reveals that Govardhana Hill is both a manifestation of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna and simultaneously a great devotee of the Lord.
In the Vedic scriptures, Govardhana Hill is figuratively described as appearing in the form of a peacock with its head tucked in to its side as if it were resting. It’s beautiful face is Kusuma-sarovara, its two eyes are Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda, its mouth is Mukharavinda, its neck is Manasi-ganga, its ears are Gwala-pokhara, and its long tail starts at Balarama-sthali, and its tail-end is at Punchari.
The Appearance of Govardhana Hill
There are a number of stories about the appearance of Govardhana Hill mentioned in the various Puranas. In the Garga Samhita it says that Govardhana Hill formally appeared in the land of Salmali-dwipa, and upon seeing the beauty of the hill, the great sage Pulastya Muni requested Govardhana’s father to allow him to take Govardhana to his ashram near Kashi, where there were no hills at all, so that the sage could sit on the hill and perform his meditation. Although Govardhana’s father was reluctant to part with his son, not wanting his father to be cursed by the sage, Govardhana agreed to go with the sage on one condition, that if the sage put him down at any place, Govardhana would remain there and go no further. The great saga Pulastya readily agreed to the proposal and by dint of his mystic powers, he suddenly assumed a gigantic form, and after picking-up Govardhana Hill in one hand, headed towards Kashi. During his journey, while passing through the area of Vraja Mandala, by the will of providence the sage suddenly felt the need to relieve himself. Unmindful of his promise, he placed Govardhana Hill on the ground and went to pass urine. When he returned, he tried to pick up Govardhana Hill but the hill was far too heavy for him to lift and he became extremely angry, thinking he had been tricked. Pulastya Muni then pronounced a curse on Govardhana that he would gradually sink into the ground by the depth of a mustard seed every day, until he had completely disappeared. It is a proven geological fact that Govardhana Hill is slowly sinking beneath the earth
and by the end of Kali-yuga, the scriptures say that sacred hill will have completely disappeared. At the present time, after five thousand years of the Kali-yuga has passed, Govardhana Hill is approximately eight kilometers long, thirty meters wide, and just twentyfive meters at its highest point.
-Adapted from Vraja Mandala Parikrama by Sri Rajasekhara Dasa Brahmachari.