Shri Govardhan Parvat is considered to be one of the most sacred places on earth.
Originally Giriraj manifested on Golok from Shree Krishn’s chest or Heart as divine love, which in the form of a light fell on the ground and began to grow into a massive parvat, blessed by Thakurjee and Shree Radha Themselves.
(Details on Shree Govardhan birth can be read in the birth chapter)
It is connected with several Shree Radha Krishn Leelas; and till today parikrama of this holy dham is very important event to all those visiting Vraj.
Giriraj Govardhan splendour
Giriraj Govardhan is situated roughly about 14 miles west of Mathura. It is on the east of Anyor village, in the west of Gantholi.
On Shri Govardhan is the ancient ShreeNathji mandir established by Shri Vallabhacharya; just below is the town known as Jatipura. This part is the known as Mukharvind of the sacred parvat; where ShreeNathji is worshipped. On the other side is the village Anyor.
ShreeNathji mandir on Girirajji
ShreeNathji Chavi darshan in the mandir on Shri Govardhan; The original Vigrah (Murti) is at Nathdwara
Mukharvind of the sacred parvat; where ShreeNathji is worshipped
Shri Govardhan was 3 km in height 5000 years ago so that its shadow reached Mathura which is around 15-20 km away; this in today’s time period has diminished to a mere 25m; 80 ft in highest point.
Shri Govardhan on the Radha Kund side where it is disappearing in the earth
Girirajji is already gone deep in the patal(earth) at many places
(This is due to the curse placed by Pulastya rishi.. story is detailed later in the birth chapter..)
There are three Shikhars of Shri Girrirajji
Giriraj Govardhan has three shikhars:
1) Adi Shikhar- Spread from Radha\Shyam Kund to Daanghati; During Krishnavtaar, Shree Krishn performed leela on Adi Shikhar.
2) Madhya Shikhar - Spread from Shri Govardhan to Surabhi Kund; on which ShreeNathji played with His Gwal Bal and Vrajvasi
3) Brahma Shikhar - Spread from Surbhi Kund to Apsara Kund; where Shree Krishn will perform His Leela in the end.
Govardhan Parvat is considered to be similar to Shree Krishn Himself, as in the famous sacred leela we see that Bhagwan Krishn Himself had taken the manifest Form of Giriraj Govardhan and accepted the offerings from Vrajvasis.
Girirajji is considered to be Bhagwan Krishn Himself.
Giriraj Govardhan has four forms: a cow; lion; cow herder; white snake.
From the original divine Vraj only three things are left which have retained their original sacredness: Shri Yamunaji, Govardhan Parvat and the Ruj of Vraj!
Shri Yamunaji at Kesi Ghat, Vrindavan
A beautiful view of Shri Govardhan from the sthal of ShreeNathji Appearance
Few spots like this has maintained the purity of the sacred Ruj
The stones of this sacred Parvat are known as ‘Shilas’; no bhakt carries any shila from here; as a monument as it is considered very sacred and divine.
In fact one has to bow down and ask for forgiveness if you have climbed on it for darshans.
Parikrama of Girirajji
Shree Krishn Chander (as mentioned in the Garg Samhita), also did this parikrama.
Shri Vallabhacharya, Shri Gusainji have also done the parikrama.
Bhakts do this parikrama in different ways: Walking on foot; Walking with a pitcher of milk, with the milk flowing very slowly through the vessel; Dandvat parikrama is the most tough, where the bhakts do a complete dandvat all through the parikrama. This is difficult as it may take nearly 10-15 days for completing. Tougher then this is the Dandwat parikrama where the bhakt does sakshat dandvat on one spot 51 times or 108 times before moving to the next step. This takes a long long time to complete.
Parikrama by foot
Dandwati parikrama of 21 kms
Sadhu doing the 108 dandwati parikrama
A couple dandwati parikrama; dandwat done alternately by husband and wife
Daan Ghati area where bhakts do a dandwat before starting the parikrama
Parikrama with milk
The parikrama begins after a dandvat to Girirajji and Mahaprabhuji. Many bhakts like doing this parikrama bare foot.
The parikrama maarg is also divided in three different ways.
There is the Panch kos (15 kms), this route goes from Govardhan village to Anyor village and skips Radha Kund in the parikrama.
Saat kos (21 kms), this begins from the Mukharvind at Jatipura goes to Govardhan
village-Mansi Ganga-Udhav Kund-Radha Kund-Anyor village-Govind Kund-Puchri
village-Surbhi Kund completing at the Mukharvind.
Nau kos (27 kms) parikrama. In the nau kos parikrama Chandra Sarovar is added after crossing Govardhan village. This parikrama begins from near Mansi Ganga which is on the waist of Shri Govardhan
According to the Shastr rules, parikrama should be done bare foot and not on vehicles as people do these days.
The start and end point should be the same and should be worshiped properly during start and ending of the 22 kilometre long parikrama. Mansi Ganga, Radha Kund and Shyam Kund are located on the parikrama road of Govardhan. One needs to encircle them as well, as they are the integral part of the sacred Govardhan parikrama.
Devotees can also take a holy dip in kunds and river, using the facilities provided at respective places but not wash their dirty clothes in Radha Kund, Shyam Kund or Mansi Ganga as they are sacred and forms of Thakurjee leela.
Radha Kund\Shyam Kund, North end of the Giriraj
View of Girirajji sunk in the ground at Mansi Ganga
श्री गिरिराज जी की सम्पूर्ण परिक्रमा सात कोस (21 किमी) की है। कोई भी भक्त अपनी सुविधा अनुसार गोवर्धन परिक्रमा को दो भागो में विभाजित कर दो दिन में लगाते है। इन दोनों परिक्रमा को छोटी व बड़ी परिक्रमा के नाम से जाना जाता है।
परिक्रमा के मध्य में गोवर्धन गाँव पड़ता है। इसके उत्तर दिशा मे राधाकुण्ड गाँव एवं दक्षिण दिशा में पुछारी गाँव स्थित है। गोवर्धन दानघाटी से आन्यौर, पुछरी, जतिपुरा होते हुए पुनः गोवर्धन आने की परिक्रमा बड़ी परिक्रमा कहलाती है।
जो की चार कोस (12 किमी) की होती है। गोवर्धन से उद्धव कुण्ड होते हुए। राधाकुण्ड फिर यहाँ से पुनः वापस गोवर्धन आने वाली परिक्रमा, छोटी परिक्रमा कहलाती है। यह परिक्रमा 3 कोस (6 किमी) में सम्पन्न होती है।
परिक्रमा भक्त लोग अपनी इच्छा अनुसार देते है।
इनमें से सम्पूण परिक्रमा (सात कोस) एक ही दिन में समाप्त करना अच्छा है।
सात कोसी गिरिराज परिक्रमा में बहुत सी छोटी-छोटी परिक्रमाये है, जैसे मानसी गंगा, राधा कुण्ड, गोविन्द कुण्ड आदि।
An ariel view of bhakts doing parikrama towards the Punchri side of Shri Govardhan
Jai Giriraj Govardhan
Jai ShreeNathji Prabhu