The legend states that Sakra was greatly offended with the residents of Gokula because he felt that they had not made their offerings to him with dedication. As a result he ordered Samvartaka to punish the cowherds of Gokula. He said that relying upon the protection of Krishna have withheld the usual offerings to them. Sakra asked Samavartaka to distress the cattle with wind and rain so that their subsistence and occupation is at stake.
As a result being commanded by the celestial chief the clouds came down in a fearful storm of rain and wind to destroy the cattle. In a moment the earth, the points of the horizon and the sky were all blended into one by the heavy and incessant showers. Being afraid of the lightning's scourge, the clouds filled the quarters with their muttering and by pouring down uninterrupted torrents. As the clouds poured in water day and night, the earth was filled with darkness, and above below and on every side the world was filled with water. The cattle, pelted by the storm shrank. Some covered their calves with flanks and some saw their young ones being carried away by the flood. As Lord Krishna witnessed the suffering of the cowherds it was easy for him to understand that such suffering had been caused by Indra as he was dissatisfied because his usual offerings suffered because of Lord Krishna. Therefore, the lord decided to help the inhabitants of Gokula.
In order to defend the villagers Lord Krishna decided to uplift the spacious Govardhana Mountain from its snowy base and hold it up as a large umbrella over the cow-pens. Having thus made up his mind, Krishna immediately upheld the Govardhana parvat on his little finger as if in a sport. Then the lord asked the people to see that the Govardhana hill was upheld and they could come inside the mountain which would act as a shade and hence protect them from the incessant rain and storm.
Thereupon, all the people with their cattle, wagons, goods, women, afflicted by the rain, went to the shelter of the mountain which the lord held steadily over their heads; and Krishna, as he supported the mountain, was contemplated with delight and astonishment of the inhabitants of Vraja. As his eyes expanded with joy and wonder, the cowherds and cow-herdesses sang his glories. For seven days and nights did the vast clouds despatched by Indra, pour down showers upon the Gokula of Nanda, to destroy the dwellers, but they were protected by the height of the mountain. And finally being baffled in his purpose, the Indra, the destroyer of Bala, ordered, the clouds to cease. The threats of Indra having been fruitless the sky became clear. All the inhabitants of Gokula came out from the shelter and went back to their respective habitations. Then Lord Krishna surprised the inhabitants of Gokula by restoring the hill Govardaana to its original site.