Govardhanagiri is also known by the name Kamalachala, now popularly known as HIMAVAD GOPALASWAMY BETTA, Gundlupet Taluk, Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka State in South India.
In in the Dwapara yuga, the wedding celebration of Girije, the daughter of Himavantha, the king of the snow-clad mountains, was to be held in a grand manner. Brahma, Rudra, all the great sages including Vyasa and Parashara, and the thirty three crore Devatas were excepted to attend the wedding, which was to take place in Kashi, in North India.
Brahma and other Devatas were worried that such an unprecedented congregation of all the celestial powers at Kashi would tilt the balance of Earth and would push the whole of Earth to Patalam (underworld). To prevent this catastrophe, Brahma and others requested the great sage Agastya to go to South India and act as counter-weight. Yielding to the request Brahma and other Devatas, Sage Agastya after collecting holy waters from the various rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and the like in his Kamandala (water carrying vessel of the sages), set out to South India. Before the Sage set off, Devatas made yet another appeal to him.
There was a constant on-going tussle for superiority between the King of Maha Meru Parvata and the Mountain king Vindya, who was a disciple of Sage Agastya. To demonstrate his power, King of Meru had grown to the sky and beyond, thereby hampering the movement of the Sun and the Moon. People in South India where living in pitch darkness, as there were neither risings nor settings of the Sun and the Moon.
Devatas appealed to Sage Agastya to stop this unhealthy tussle between his disciple, King of Vindya, and King of Maha Meru. The beneficent Sage Agastya agreed to intervene and left for South India. On the way, Sage Agastya visited the Vindya Mountains. Seeing his guru, King Vindya offered his respectful obeisance to the great sage by bowing his head. Capturing the opportunity the end the fight, Sage Agastya ordered the King of Vindya to be in the same stance till he returned from South India, and thus stopped further growth of Vindya Parvata.
Agastya then proceeded on his journey and came to the Mountain Sahyadri, from where he prayed to Lord Krishna, seeking assistance for the successful completion of the divine and arduous task of saving the Earth, which was entrusted to him. Lord Krishna pleased with the penance undertaken by Sage Agastya appeared before the sage and granted him a boon.
Sage Agastya requested Lord Krishna to come and settle on the Kanakachala Mount of the Sahyadri Range, along with his spouses, Rukmini and Satyabhama. Lord Krishna granted this wish on the condition that the devotees coming to see him should have proper shelters to stay and all the seven sages should offer worship at the place throughout the year.
Sage Agastya accepted the conditions of Lord Krishna and consecrated the place of worship by installing an idol, made of Blackstone, of Lord Krishna, along with his two wives, Rukmini and Satyabhama, cows and gopikas and his friend Makaranda. The Lord Krishna is seen as resting under a tree Mandhara (also known as Suravanya) in three different postures.
It believed, even today, that all the seven sages (Saptarushies) offer daily worship the Lord Krishna, at the Sri Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, on this snow-capped mountained of southern Govardhanagiri.