On this day the inhabitants of Vrindavan (Sri Krishna’s abode on earth) would usually hold a harvest festival in honor and gratitude of King Indra, the demigod who provides the rains necessary for harvest.
One day, however, Lord Krishna wanted to teach Indra a lesson. He convinced the inhabitants of Vrindavan to honor the Govardhan Hill instead, whose fertile soil provided the grass upon which the cows and bulls grazed, and to honor the cows who provided the milk and ploughed their land. Indra became furious and retaliated with terrible thunderstorms and torrential rains!
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, calmly lifted Govardhan Hill with the little finger of His left hand for seven days and held it up like a giant umbrella, giving shelter to the inhabitants of Vrindavan against the terrible and deadly storm and rain caused by Indra. Indra then realized the futility of his actions, offered prayers of surrender to Sri Krishna. Lord Krishna demonstrated that He is Deva Deva, the Lord of everyone, including the demigods, and that any purpose for which they might be worshipped could easily be served by worshipping Him, being the Cause of all causes!
Aniyor Village in Govardhan is the place where Govardhan was worshipped by the inhabitants of Vraja, headed by Nanda Maharaja
This village received its name during the annakuta festival when all the inhabitants of Vrindavan headed by
Nanda Maharaja worshiped Govardhan Hill. The word ‘anna’ means ‘rice’ as well as other grains, and in this particular case, refers to rice-based vegetable preparations, as well as other grain-based foodstuffs like puris, paratas, halava, laddus, jallebis, ksira and also many varieties of sweets and cakes. Krishna then exhibited His mystic powers and assumed a gigantic form as the personified Govardhan Hill named Giriraj Maharaj, the ‘King of all Mountains’, and after sitting down on the ground, He ate the many thousands of offerings prepared by them. While eating this wonderful annakuta feast, Giriraja Maharaja was enjoying the food so much that He kept snapping His fingers and happily saying, “Aniyor! Aniyor! ” Or in other words, “Bring more! Bring more!”
The inhabitants of Vrindavan were very happy that Giriraj Maharaj had Himself appeared before them just to accept their offerings, and they continued cooking and kept bringing more and more food until Giriraj Maharaj was fully satisfied. After Giriraj Maharaj disappeared from the scene, Krishna led all the Vrajavasis and their cows on parikrama around Govardhan Hill.
Thousands of years later, on the same day, Srila Madhavendra Puri established a temple for the self-manifested Gopala Deity on top of Govardhan Hill.
To celebrate this festival, devotees build a replica of Govardhan Hill, made of sweets, fruits and opulent foods. Lord Krishna, as the lifter of Govardhan Hill, and the Hill, as His incarnation are both worshipped. The cows and bulls who are so dear to Him are also honored on this day, this is called Go-Puja, worship of Mother cow. Diwali Festival is also celebrated.
After the festival, the Hill made out of sanctified food (prasadam), is distributed to everyone. All Vaisnava Temple’s, (specifically in India) observe this festival, and a prasadam feast is offered to the people.
We are very sorry to mention that due to the Corona situation, and the subsequent Government regulations in Belgium, the Temple here in Antwerp is closed, so this year no festival in the Temple itself.