Taming of Kaliya Nag is one of the innumerable exploits of Lord Krishna. Kaliya Nag was a vociferous serpent who has terrorised the people in nearby regions. Interestingly why the Serpent chose his abode at Vrindavan is also good to know.
Why Kaliya chose Vrindavan
The proper home of Kaliya was Ramanaka Dwipa, but he had been driven away from there by fear of Garuda, the foe of all serpents. Garuda had been cursed by a yogi dwelling at Vrindavan so that he could not come to Vrindavan without meeting his death. Therefore he chose Vrindavan as his residence, knowing it was the only place where Garuda could not come.
The serpent poisoned everything in the surrounding of Yamuna River. Vapours and bubbles in the river killed even birds that flew over the region.
How Shri Krishna tamed Kaliya
Once Krishna and herdboys were playing ball, and while playing Krishna climbed up the Kadamba tree and hung over the river bank, the ball fell into the river and Krishna jumped after it. Kaliya rose up with his hundred and ten hoods vomiting poison and wrapped himself around Krishna’s body. Then Krishna started his leela. He became so huge that the serpent had to release him. So Krishna saved himself from every attack, and when he saw the Brij folk were so much afraid he suddenly sprang into serpent’s head and assumed the weight of the whole universe, and danced on the naga’s heads, beating time with his feet.
Krishna overpowered the powerful serpent and emerged from the river dancing atop the middle head of Kaliya. The dancing left the mark of Krishna’s feet on the head of serpent. Serpent’s wife begged for mercy to Sri Krishna.
Sri Krishna spared the life of Nag and commanded them to leave Yamuna and to seek refuge in the ocean.
He was also assured that Garuda would not attack him on seeing the mark’s of Sri Krishna’s feet on his head.