Kalinga Narthana Perumal, Oothukadu, Thanjavur
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Veda Narayana Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||9.15 to 12.15 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Oothukadu||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (14 km)||Thanjavur (28 km)|
|Thiruvarur (45 km)||Ariyalur (47 km)|
Oothukadu is located about 15km from Kumbakonam, on the way to Tirukkarukavur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
The moolavar at this temple is Veda Narayana Perumal, but the temple is more popular for Krishna as Kalinga Narthanar.
Kamadhenu, along with her children Nandini and Patti, was living in mullai vanam (Tirukarukavur) and used to take other cows along with her to graze. She would collect flowers and undertake puja to Lord Siva. Similarly, Patti did the same at Patteeswaram. The place where all the cows assembled was Avoor (aa in Tamil means cow), and where they went for grazing was called go-iruntha-kudi (Govindakudi). However, Kamadhenu liked and stayed only at Oothukadu (originally Thenuvasapuram / Moochukadu). All of these places are located fairly close together.
A staunch Siva devotee, Kamdhenu was mesmerized by the story she heard from Narada, about Krishna dancing on Kaliya’s head and taming him. She became a devotee of Krishna as well, and prayed hoping to see the Lord. Krishna then appeared and danced for the benefit of Kamadhenu on the head of Kalinga, at Oothukadu.
In later days, a Chola king was told about the history of the place, and built a temple for Perumal here.
The specialty of this temple is the panchaloha murti of Krishna dancing on the head of Kaliya, approx. 30 inches tall, which was discovered in the temple’s tank. Krishna is represented as a young boy, dancing on Kailya, the many-hooded snake. Krishna’s left leg does not touch the head of Kalinga – there is a very fine gap; and His right leg is in air. Krishna’s right hand holds the tail of the snake, which is the only connection between the two figures, and provides balance to the entire idol. There are indications of scars on Krishna’s leg, resulting from the battle with Kalinga. This idol has come to define the identity of the place.
Up until a few years back, the temple priest would demonstrate the gap between Krishna’s foot and Kalinga’s head, but passing a thin piece of cloth or paper between them. Lately, they have stopped doing this, possibly due to restrictions by the authorities. The picture on the right is an indication of what to expect on this idol (courtesy: PRTraveller/Prabhu S).
This place is considered equal to Gokulam, and is referred to as Then Gokulam. It is also a parikara stahalam for Rahu dosham, Ketu dosham and Sarpa dosham. The temple is also a prarthana sthalam for those in arts – specifically music and dance.
Oothukadu is the birthplace of Venkata Kavi, popularly known as Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer, one of the pioneering composers of Carnatic music. It considered that Venkata Subbaiyer was an avataram of Narada, and that Krishna performed for him at this place.
Other information for your visit
Kumbakonam is a temple town, and there are a number of temples in and around Kumbakonam. Please visit the pages on Kumbakonam, Near: Kumbakonam, and Near 25: Kumbakonam, for more information on these.
Kumbakonam and its outskirts (including Swamimalai) have several accommodation options for all budgets, including some resorts.