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In Indian mythology, Karkoṭaka (Sanskrit: कर्कोटक) was a Nāga King who lived in a forest near the Nishadha Kingdom. According to myth, he bit Nala at the request of Indra, transforming Nala into a twisted and ugly shape.

Karkoṭaka had deceived Nārada, who cursed him with the inability to move. Karkoṭaka was a friend of Nala and suggested Nala to go to Rituparṇa, king of Ayodhya and stay with him under the alias "Bāhuka".[1]

He is counted among the Eight Nāga Kings in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist sources.[2]

Tibetan Buddhism[edit]

In the Nāga Menaka offering, Karkoṭaka is described as being white in color and situated in the southwest of the great lake visualized by the meditator.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Doug Niles (18 August 2013). Dragons: The Myths, Legends, and Lore. New York: Adams Media. pp. 131–132. ISBN 978-1-4405-6216-7. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  2. ^ Zhang, Yisun (張怡蓀) (1993). Great Tibetan Dictionary (བོད་རྒྱ་ཚིག་མཛོད་ཆེན་མོ།་ 藏漢大辭典). Minorities Publishing House.
  3. ^ Nayak, Meena Arora (2018). Evil in the Mahabharata. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199091836.