A giant crocodile entered the premises of Sri Ananthapura temple in north Kerala’s Kasaragod on Tuesday. The surprise visitor is a ‘vegetarian’ croc named Babiya who has been living in the temple’s pond for year’s. The priests said that this was Babiya’s first entry into the temple .Photos of Babiya inside the temple’s premises are being widely circulated on social media.
“Some reports suggest Babiya entered the sanctum sanctorum but it is not correct. However, it came to the temple premises on Tuesday evening and spent some time there and went back after chief priest Chandraprakash Nambisan asked it go to its permanent habitat– the temple pond,” temple official Chandrasekharan told HT.
The gentle crocodile is believed to be a vegetarian. No one in the temple knows how Babiya came to the temple pond and who named it. It is believed that the reptile has been living in the temple pond for over 70 years and has no history of wild behaviour.
Babiya feeds on temple prasad which is offered after the worship of the deity. It comes out out of the pond when the priest calls it.
“The priest feeds Babiya twice a day. At times he puts the rice ball right into its mouth. The priest has a unique chemistry with Babiya. The temple pond has enough fishes and we believe it never attacks or consumes them. It is a fully vegetarian crocodile keeping with the tradition of the ancient temple,” another employee of the temple said.
As per the wildlife experts, Babiya is a mugger crocodile. Temple offerings can be its food supplement. In the wild, they prey on fish, rodents and reptiles and at times bigger catch.
Ananthapura Temple is built in the middle of a lake in the village of Ananthapura. It is the only lake temple in Kerala and is believed to be the original seat (Moolasthanam) of Ananthapadmanabha Swami (Padmanabhaswamy temple) Thiruvananthapuram. Legend has it that this is the original site where Ananthapadmanabha settled down. Devotees believe that Babiya is the guardian appointed by God to safeguard the temple.
Source: In Shorts