Dancing on serpent hood
Kalinganardhanar of Oothukkadu.
OOTHUKKADU IS a small village in Papanasam taluk of Thanjavur district, about 7 km from Thirukarugavoor, where the famous shrine of Goddess Garbha Rakshambigai is located.
The main deity of Oothukkadu village is, of course, Lord Veda Narayanar flanked by goddesses Sridevi and Bhudevi on either side. The temple gained popularity after the discovery of the panchaloka idol of Kalinga Narthana Perumal from the temple tank.
It is believed that sage Naradha witnessed the Kalinga Narthanam that Lord Krishna performed in front of the divine cows Nandini and Patti, children of Kamadhenu.
Sage Naradha prayed to Krishna to remain in the village in the dance posture and bless the devotees.
The idol of Sri Kalinga Narthana Perumal in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is about 2.5 ft high. Lord Krishna, portrayed as a five-year old boy, is seen dancing with His left foot on the serpent's head and his right leg in the air.
The sight of the Lord holding the tail of the serpent with His left hand and showing Abhaya Mudra with His right hand is indeed a feast for the eyes. It is so intricately sculpted that one can insert a thin piece of paper between the Lord's left leg and the head of the serpent.
The beauty is that the weight of the Lord's body rests on the left hand that holds the serpent's tail, says the temple Bhattacharya.
Mahakavi Venkatasa Subbhayyar, popularly known as Venkata Kavi, who lived in the 17th century AD has composed a number of melodious songs in praise of this deity.
"Thaye Yasodha," Ali Payudhe Kanna," Paal Vadiyum Mugam" and ``Aadadhu Asangadhu Va Kanna" are a few of them.
It is believed that Lord Krishna appeared in person and danced to these melodies.
The shrine has gained fame as a "Parihara Sthalam" for "Raghu Dosham" and "Sarpa Dosham."
The shrine is also visited by devotees who pray for quick settlement of marriage alliances and birth of offspring.
The temple timings are from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Special puja is performed every month on the day of Rohini, birth star of Lord Krishna.
This year, there is a proposal to have a music festival during Gokulashtami in memory of poet Venkatakavi.
"Uriyadi Utsav" is also being planned on September 4, 5 and 6. Details can be obtained by calling 04374-268549.
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