!! tatrapi devasambhutyam vair jasyabhavat sutah!!
!! ajito nama bhagavan amsena jagatah patih !!
!! payodhim yena nirmathya suranam sadhita sudha !!
!! bhramamano mbhasi dhrtah Kurma-rupena mandarah !!
Lord Kurma is the second incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In this form, His lower half of the body takes the form of tortoise, i.e. kurma, the upper remains as human body. Lord Kurma has four hands; the upper two holds conch-shell and wheel (sudarshan chakra) while the lower two are in the gesture of providing protection and giving boon. Sometimes, He is shown holding lotus and mace in the lower two arms while the upper ones holding wheel and conch-shell.
Kurma, the tortoise was used to support the mount Mandara in the churning of milk-ocean (samudra - manthan) by the Devatas and the Asuras. Hence, God Kurma epitomizes that the god sustains the mother earth on His back.
There is only one temple in the world dedicated to Lord Kurma, i.e. Sri Kurmanatha temple, Srikurman, Andhra Pradesh.
Kurma Jayanti is celebrated on vaishakh purnima to commemorate the timely intervention of Lord Vishnu in the war between good and evil.