To represent the Govardhan parvat, a heap of grains, is worshiped by decorating it with flowers and garlands. This is called Annakut, meaning heap of grains. After the worship, the grain is looted as part of the festival tradition.
Go or gau means cow and vardhan means growth and nourishment. Cow is believed to be the most sacred animal in the Hindu tradition. People in some part of India, especially in Haryana, make small hillocks of cow dung to represent the Govardhan Mountain which is then decorated and worshiped by moving in circles around it.
In the rural parts of India, along with the worship of the effigy of the Govardhan Parvat, farmers as well as the cattle owners offer gratitude towards their fields, cattle and the tools of their trade by worshiping them. They decorate their cattle with colors, flowers, garlands, beads, bells and other decorations. It is believed that this worship brings better crops and thus prosperity and happiness in their lives.
Another community ritual that is followed is preparing of Annakut at temples and homes a meal with Baajre ki khichdi, Kadhi and Mixed vegetables. People offer ingredients like wheat flour, rice, baajra, sugar, vegetables, besan, etc. at the temples. Ladies of the neighbourhood join in preparing the Annakut, which is then distributed at Prasad after the Puja. People gather at temples or join their extended families at a relative home to worship Govardhan parvat (made out of cow dung). Men, women and children take rounds of the constructed Govardhan parvat, and sing, Govardhan Mahu tuhi bada, tujhse bada na koi. You are the greatest of all, nobody is greater than you!
There is a lesser known yet deeper spiritual meaning behind the word Govardhan. According to it, go means our five senses and vardhan means the diversion of these senses from the worldly desires towards Lord Krishna.