Thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill on the little finger of His left hand and held it up for seven days to protect His kinsfolk and denizens of Vrindavan from the wrath of demigod Indra (the god of rain). In this way He subdued the arrogance of Indra who had become disdainfully proud of his strength and protected the inhabitants of Vrindavan.
As per the legend, Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offering to Indra. He inquired His father, Nanda about the ritual. Nanda told Krishna that it was an age old tradition of serving demigods so that demigods could take care of them. At this, Krishna explained to the villagers of Vrindavan their true 'dharma' and advised them to concentrate only on farming and protecting their cattle. Krishna asked His father to forgo the sacrifice to Indira and worship the Govardhan hill which was responsible for the rain and the growth of grains. Nanda and the other cowherd men got convinced and performed the puja for Govardhan.
While performing puja for Govardhan, the inhabitants of Vrindavan saw Krishna in each Govardhan-shila (stone)
This angered Indra, who then unleashed torrential rains to flood the village. Krishna, in response, lifted Govardhan hill, under which all the animals and people of the region took shelter, safe from Indra's fury. Indra finally accepted defeat, recognised Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and offered his prayers.
In order to stop appeasement-oriented sacrificial worship by His devotees, Krishna wanted to firmly establish exclusive devotional service during His presence in Vrindavana.
This pastime proves Krishna’s unlimited love for His devotees. In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna assures us that if we abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender to Him, He will protect us in all situations.
sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah
(Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.)(Bhagavad-gita 18.66)