Oottukkadu and Kalinga Narttana Temple


Oottukkadu is a small village in the Papanasam Taluk of the Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. It is approximately 7 kilometers from Tirukaruhavoor. This village has two temples - a Vishnu temple (whose presiding deity is Lord Vedanarayana) and a Shiva temple. The Vishnu temple is more famous for the deity of Kalinga narttana Krshna (Krshna dancing on the serpent, Kalinga) and Venkata kavi is said to have received the Lord’s divine grace at this temple and has composed innumerable compositions in praise of this deity. The Lord’s deep influence on Venkata Kavi is clearly evident from the fact that he has referred to this deity of Krshna dancing on the serpent, almost like a secondary signature in numerous compositions.

According to the spiritual history (Sthala Puranam) of the temple, it is believed that Sage Narada witnessed Lord Krshna dance on the serpent, Kalinga, which had earlier been performed in front of the divine cows, Nandini and Patti - children of the holy cow Kamadhenu. Thus, Sage Narada is said to have prayed to Lord Krshna, to bless the devotees in this same posture. The idol of Kalinga Narttana Perumal, is about 2.5 feet tall and is seen dancing with his left foot on the serpent’s head and the right leg suspended in the air.


Lord Krshna holds the tail of the serpent with his left hand and the entire weight of the sculpture rests on this. Venkata kavi revelled in this form of Krshna and describes the minutest details of this Lord through several compostions. The other temple of Lord Shiva and the deities in that temple such as Shanmukha and Soorya has been equally extolled by the composer.