Dictionaries define akūpāra (akupara) as turtle or tortoise. The king of tortoises (kūrma) who had served as the base of Mandara mountain acting as the churning pole during the Grand Ocean-churning (samudra-manthana), has been referred to as Akūpāra.

In Vanaparva of Mahābhārata (Mahabharata), Mārkaṇḍeya (Markandeya) narrated a tale in which a turtle named Akūpāra dwelling in Lake Indradyumna (Indradyumna Sarovara) is mentioned as one of the oldest living beings on earth.