Oothukadu Vedanarayana temple - rare Kalinga Narthana idol of Sri Krishna

Sri Krishna dancing on the serpent, Oothukadu temple.twitter.com

Above image:  Rare idol of child Krishna dancing on the serpent Kalinga. Processional idol, Oothukadu village, near Kumbakonam, TN. Vedanarayana temple.

Sri Krishna Oothukadu templeprtraveller.blogspot.com, 

Above image: Kalinga Narthanam on the 5 hooded serpent. Note the divine cows Nandini and Patti.  Vedanarayana temple, Oothukadu, near Kumbakonam.

Location map Kumbakonam city  navagraha.tripod.com

There are many lesser known  Sri Krishna temples in Tamil Nadu such as Naveetha Krishnan Kovil in Thirunelveli city,  the other one of similar name at Veerakeralamputhur(VK Puthur) near Thirunelveli, etc.  The Kalinga Narthana Sri Krishna temple at Oothukadu, a nondescript village  about 14 km from Kumbakonam (on the Kumbakonam-Melattur road),  is an interesting one and is slowly gaining popularity.. 

Kalinga narthanam.  naachiyaarthirumozhi.blogspot.com

Here, God Krishna is worshipped as Kalinga Narthana Perumal. The legend has it  this place was once a dry,  wooded area with no potable water and at the request of  sage Narada, Sri  Krishna  created a pond from a spring to make this area fertile. Hence the name Oothukadu. (in Tamil 'oothu' meaning spring and 'kadu' meaning forest). It was here God Sri Krishna enacted one of his childhood pranks - fighting with a  huge serpent ''Kalinga''   before  sage Narada and the two divine cows Nandini and Patti, daughters of the celestial wish - yielding cow Kamadhenu.  After a brief fight, God subdued the ferocious serpent. 

Krishna -kalinga narthanam, Thanjavur painting.amazon in.

Believed to be a temple of great antiquity about 1000 years old, the main deity (in stone) in the garbagriha is known as  Veda Narayanan flanked on either side by his consorts  Sridevi and Bhudevi. The stone idol is a big one.  An interesting feature is the processional idol - utchavamurthy - Kalinga Narthana Perumal in the Kalinga narthana posture.  This small panchaloka idol 2.5 foot tall that is exquisitely cast is quite captivating and you get lost in its beauty. Artisan would have taken meticulous care to cast this divine idol. Sri Krishna in child form is dancing  with his left foot on the serpent  Kalinga's  hooded head and his right leg in the air while holding the tail of the serpent with his left hand and showing Abhaya Mudra (blessing people who take refuge in him) with his right hand. There is a hairline  gap between Krishna’s foot and the snake’s hoods through which a piece of paper can be passed. The scars caused by  violent whipping of the tail are depicted on Krishna’s ankles. Yet another interesting attribute of this rare idol is the balancing act of the lord on the unsteady serpent's hood  is beautifully portrayed. Tradition has it that  Lord Krishna stays here at Oothukkadu for the prosperity of the people at the request of the sage Narada.

post renovation Sri Kalinga Narthana Perumal Temple, oothukkadu thehindu.com

Built by King Nalakonda Chozhan, this temple's fame  began to spread far and wide in the near-by places  after the arrival of Utchavar idol (several centuries old).  There are stone inscriptions at the bottom on the east side of the main tower (Rajagopuram).

Lalinga Narthana Krishna, Pushkar, Rajasthan.prtraveller.blogspot.com

Venkata Kavi ( Venkatasubbier; 17th to 18th century), who dedicated his entire life to the service of  this temple, composed numerous songs praising the glory of Lord Bala Krishna. His compositions are popular now. When he sang before the deity, Sri Krishna himself would listen to them  with rapt attention. Visualizing the lord on his lap fast asleep, Venkatakavi won't tap 'thalam'/ beat to avoid waking up the divine child.