Thousands attend Govardhan Puja at ‘gaushala’ in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Billed as the largest ‘gaushala’ in South India with 5,300 rescued cows, Satyan Shivam Sundaram Gau Nivas at Gaganpahad organised a grand Govardhan Puja (‘annakut’) celebrations on Sunday.

Thousands of devotees prepared variety of food items for offerings and participated in the Govardhan Puja celebrations.As part of the celebrations, a ‘bhajan’ featuring Asha Vaishnavi from Ahmedabad was also organised at the ‘gaushala’. Managed by noted philanthropist Dharam Raj Ranka, the ‘gaushala’ employees close to 300 workers and every day 40 tonnes of fodder and 120 tonnes of green grass is fed to 5,300 rescued animals.

“We supply a mix of cow dung and cow urine free of cost to poor farmers as bio-pesticides. The monthly fodder bill runs into few lakh, which we raise from philanthropists. We don’t milk any cow and it is left to calves, which helps in maintaining zero infant mortality rate,” said 80-year-old Ranka.

Ranka said although the literal meaning of ‘annakut’ was mountain of food, it symbolises an offering of food to God and the love and devotion that had gone into preparing it.

Known as a pioneer to introduce the concept of ‘gaushala’ in Hyderabad, Ranka also has set up a huge pigeon house spread over 3,000 square feet of area at a cost of Rs 25 lakh, which has now become a house for 5,000 to 6,000 pigeons.