It’s the sacred hill, the one Lord Krishna lifted to protect the villagers of Mathura from the wrath of Indra. And every year, its worshipped a day after Diwali but pilgrims walk the 23-kilometre circle the year through

Govardhan parikrama begins at Manasi Ganga, Mathura;

Govardhan pooja was just another ritualistic festival until my brother and I decided to experience the much-revered parikrama. A colleague would talk about it often, saying he walked around the hill almost every fortnight with friends and barefoot. One day, tired of hearing this tale in every conversation, I took up the challenge of trying this long parikrama barefoot. As it was spring bordering on summer, a day walk was out of the question. So night it was going to be, both of us are used to walking about 10 km a day in the local park and we thought with a little bit of stretching and rest, we could manage the 23 kilometres in about six hours. How wrong we were going to be proved, was only a day away for this is a walk of faith, not a trek.

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