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Govardan Hill, also called Mount Govardhana, Giri Raj or Royal Hill, is a sacred Hindu site in Mathura district, about 20 kilometres from Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.
The holy Bhagavad Gita considers the Govardan Hill as a form of Lord Krishna, thus prompting his worshipers to respect the sandstone rocks of the hill that is 80 feet tall with a circumference of 38 km, just like they venerate his idol.
Govardan Hill is considered a sacred site because many legends associated with Lord Krishna and his brother Balarama are believed to have happened here. Supposedly the brothers spent a lot of time in the forest, ponds, caves and the grasslands where their cows fed and these are depicted in scenes of Krishna's adventures and raas dances with Radha.
Govardan puja, celebrated a day after Diwali, is the day Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain and has a mythological story associated with it.
The Govardan Hill has a parikrama of about 23 kms and can take five to six hours to complete if one walks at a brisk pace around it. On auspicious days over half a million people go around the sacred hill with devotion and reverence.
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