It is incredible but true that a vegetarian crocodile resides in a cave adjacent to a sacred pond within the temple premises in a village called Ananthapura in Kerala’s Kasargod district.
The mugger is not a surprise visitor at the ancient temple but has been the pond’s official resident guarding the temple for the past 70 years.
The priests at the Sri Ananthapura temple were in for a surprise on Tuesday as Babiya – as the croc is fondly called – stepped out of the pond and entered the temple premises for the first time. Pictures of Babiya in the temple premises are being widely shared on social media platforms.
Meet Bibiya, The vegetarian crocodile that guards a temple in Kerala.This picture was taken when she visited temple early morning..
— Deepashree Gireesh (@Deepash89016327) October 21, 2020
There were rumours suggesting Babiya had entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, but they have been rubbished by temple officials.
However, the gentle vegetarian crocodile entered the temple premises on Tuesday evening, spent some time and went back after the temple’s Chief priest Chandraprakash Nambisan requested it to go back to the temple pond, temple official Chandrasekharan said.
Locals believe that Babiya is a vegetarian crocodile and has been the temple pond’s resident for more than 70 years.
However, no one is sure about how it came to be here and who named it. So far, there hasn’t been any history of wild behaviour and the gentle reptile is even friendly enough to share the pond with the priests who sometimes take a dip in its holy water. The fact remains that Babiya has never attacked anyone.
Even though the temple pond has enough fishes and other aquatic life, Babiya leads a vegetarian diet and consumes the food offered to the deity which consists of cooked rice and jaggery. According to temple officials, Babiya is fed twice a day by the temple priests, at times they even place the rice balls right in its mouth.
However, wildlife experts say that Babiya is from a mugger crocodile which generally survives on fish, reptiles, rodents and the temple offerings consisting of rice, plantains and puffed rice can be its dietary supplements.
The Ananthapura temple is of great significance and is considered to be the moolasthanam (principal seat) of the famous Sri Ananathapadmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvanathapuram.