Govardhan is located at 27.5°N 77.47°E. It has an average elevation of 179 metres (587 feet).Recently Goverdhan has been made Tahseel in Mathura District by UP government.
Govardhan is famous for the Holy Goverdhan Hill. There are many temples in this town namely Shri Haridev ji Temple,Daan-Ghati Temple and Mukharbind Temple . The town is also famous for its 21 kilometers long Parikrama of the famous Govardhan hill. The parikrama procession is held in very high religious belief. It’s said that Lord Krishna held Govardhan Hill on his little finger to save the town from wrath of the god of rains Indra.
The town also houses Maanasi-Ganga, a close-ended lake. This is another place for the devotees visiting this town. On the banks of this lake, there are quite a few temples, prominent among them the Mukharbind temple. Being close ended, the lake had to cope with widespread pollution. After a cleaning effort by localites, the situation has vastly improved.
One of the most important day in Goverdhan is Guru Poornima (Also called “Mudia Poono”). On this day, Millions of devotees come to Govardhan for parikrama.
Appearance of Govardhana and appellation of “Giriraj”
The appearance of Sri Govardhana in this world and how He acquired the appellation of “Giriraja” is described in the Garga-samhita (Vrndavana-khanda, chapter 2) of Sri Gargacarya in the conversation between Nanda Maharaja and his senior advisor, the gopa Sananda. Sananda spoke to Nanda Maharaja giving reference to the conversation between Pandu and Bhisma.
Desiring to appear in this world to allay the earth’s burden of grave sins committed by the demoniac, Sri Krsna directed Radhika to appear in this world. However, Radharani expressed Her unwillingness to go to a place where Vrndavana, Yamuna and Sri Govardhana were not present. Sri Krsna then sent His own Transcendental Spiritual Realm of Vraja-dhama, an area of 84 krosa or 252 kilometers (1 krosa is equal to 3 kilometers), to descend to India in this world. Vraja-dhama is not a part of the material world consisting of earth, water, fire, air and sky. Govardhana appeared as the son of the mountain Drona in Salmali Island in western India. All the demigods were exceedingly delighted at the appearance of Govardhana and showered down flowers.
All the big mountains such as the Himälayas and Sumeru were happy to hear about Govardhana’s appearance. They came to pay their homage to Govardhana and to worship Him. In their prayers they said, “Since Govardhana is the holy place of pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna in the 29 Transcendental Sweet Realm of Goloka, He is the King of all mountains and the crown of Goloka. He is like an umbrella for Parabrahman Sri Krsna and Vrndavana is within His lap.” Since then, Govardhana has been renowned as “Giriraja.”
Pulastya Muni is one of the seven mind-born sons of Brahma known as the Manasa-Putra. Once upon a time, Pulastya Muni was traveling on pilgrimage and came to Salmali Island. There, he was astonished and charmed to see the extraordinary beauty of Govardhana mountain adorned with a variety of fruit and flower trees, pleasant sitting places, springs, radishes, soft grass, etc. When Pulastya Muni approached Dronacala, he was worshipped by Dronacala. Pulastya Muni said to Drona, “I live in Kashi which has special significance due to the presence of the Ganges and Visvesvara Mahadeva. Sinners go there to get salvation, but my desire is to perform penance there after installing Govardhana”. Although extremely worried due to his affection for the child, Dronacala was fearful of being cursed by Pulastya Muni and directed the child to go to the holy land of Bharata (India) with the Muni. Initially, Govardhana was 64 miles long, 40 miles wide and 16 miles high [The present length of Govardhana is approximately 7 miles]. The question arose as to how the Muni would carry the big mountain Govardhana. Pulastya Muni said that he could easily carry the mountain on the palm of his hand. Govardhana agreed to go with the Muni on the condition that if he put Him anywhere on the ground while going, Govardhana would remain there due to His great weight and would not move. Pulastya Muni accepted the condition and promised to carry the mountain to the destination without putting Him down on the land. The Muni then began to move slowly to his destination while carrying Govardhana on the palm of his right hand. But when the Muni reached Vraja-dhama, Govardhana saw the Yamuna and Vrndavana and remembered the sweet pastimes of Krsna. He wanted to remain there and therefore became very heavy. The Muni became very much distressed and, forgetting his promise, put the mountain down on the land. After finishing his daily evacuation, bath and sandhya-puja (silent recitation of prayers), Pulastya Muni returned to the place and asked Govardhana to sit on the palm of his hand. Govardhana, however, expressed His reluctance at moving. Pulastya Muni tried his best to lift the mountain but was unable to move Him. He became enraged and cursed Govardhana that He would diminish in size everyday according to the measure of one sesame seed.
The present diminished Govardhana is about 7 miles long. As long as Govardhana exists, the current black age of Kali-yuga will not be able to show its paramount power. But after thousands of years when Govardhana and the Yamuna have disappeared, Kali will be vehemently strong and all living beings will be oppressed and tortured to the extreme. The plight of human beings will then be precarious.
About 22 kilometres from Mathura, the town is on the road link between Mathura and Deeg.