Govardhan is located at 27.5°N 77.47°E. It has an average elevation of 179 meters (587 feet). Govardhan is located about 150 kilometres from Delhi, where the airport is located. A railway station is located at Mathura, where taxis can be hired to reach the town,which is about 23 kilometres away. There are also tourist buses and a single line electric train for the journey from Mathura.
Importance of Parikrama
Each year Hindus and other people make a pilgrimage to Govardhan, and its sacred Govardhan Hill, from other places in India and other places in the world to offer their obeisance to Krishna and Radha, key figures in Indian epics. One of these, celebrated at the Govardhan Puja, is of the lifting of Govardhan Hill (Giriraj Parvat) to protect the villagers from the flood caused by the Lord of thunder and rain, Indra. One of the most important day in Goverdhan is Guru Poornima (also called "Mudia Poono"). Following the festival of lights, or Diwali, the previous day, devotees come to Govardhan for parikrama. Sites on the hill include Kusum Sarovar, Haridev Temple, and other temples like Daan-Ghati Temple and Mukharbind Temple. The town is also famous for its 21 kilometers long Parikrama of the famous Govardhan Hill.
Starting Point And Time
Govardhan Temple is the starting point of Govardhan Parikrama.Govardhana Hill has a Parikrama of about fourteen miles (23 km.) and can take five to six hours to complete if one walks at a brisk pace. People from all over India visit Vraja in order to perform Govardhana Parikrama. On auspicious occasions like Guru Purnima, Purusottamamasa or Govardhana-puja, over half a million people go around the sacred hill.
Govardana Parikrama is a sacred ritual performed by many believers as spiritual purification. There is no time limit for performing this Parikrama, but for those who perform the dandavata (full prostration) Parikrama, an arduous form which may take weeks and sometimes even months to complete. Dandavata Parikrama is performed by standing in one spot, offering obeisances like a stick (danda) by lying flat on the ground and then continuing, contiguously, till the entire route is covered.
Parikrama with Milk
This ritual of Parikrama is considered to be even better if is it done with milk. A clay pot filled with milk, with a hole at the bottom, is carried by the devotees in one hand and a pot filled with dhoop (incense smoke) in another. An escort continuously fills up the pot with milk till the parikrama is completed. Parikrama is also done with candy being handed out to children, en-route. Parikrama of Govardhana hill starts at the Manasi-Ganga Kund (lake) and then after having darsan of Lord Harideva, from Radha-kunda village, where the Vrindavan road meets the parikrama path. After parikrama of 21 kilometres, covering important tanks, shilas and shrines such as Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda, Dan Ghati, Mukharavinda, Rinamochana Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara and Punchari, it ends at Mansi Ganga Kund only.