75-year-old ‘vegetarian’ crocodile who lived near temple in Kerala’s Kasaragod dies

New Delhi: The Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple officials paid last respects to a ‘vegetarian’ 75-year-old crocodile named ‘Babia’ on Monday who they considered to be ‘divine’. The crocodile who lived in the lake near the temple used to roam around the temple premises – an unusual practice but temple officials claimed he was “harmless.” The carcass was found floating on the lake around 11:30 pm on Sunday night.

The crocodile was one of the main attractions at the temple and people would flock from all over the nation to see the reptile. It is popularly believed that the crocodile had ‘divine’ connections and its job was to protect the deity at the temple. As per reports, the temple officials would feed Babia balls of rice and jaggery which was the ‘prasadam’.


Many BJP leaders took to Twitter to share special posts for the now-dead crocodile. Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje said she hoped that the “God’s own crocodile”, which lived at the temple for over 70 years, attains ‘sadgati’ or salvation.

“Babiya, the god’s own crocodile of Sri Anantapura Lake temple has reached Vishnu Padam. The divine crocodile lived in the temple’s lake for over 70 years by eating the rice & jaggery prasadam of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy & guarded the temple. May she attain Sadgati, Om Shanti!,” she tweeted.

BJP state president K Surendran also paid tribute to the crocodile in a Facebook post. “Babiya has left. For decades, was a constant presence at the Kumbla Ananthapuram Mahavishnu temple. Millions of devotees sought its darshan, considering it as the image of God. Pranamam,” he said.

There is no concrete information on the crocodile’s origins or how it was named – Babia. However, temple officials claim to have lived in harmony with the crocodile. Babia’s story often leaves people surprised as crocodiles are known for their predatory instincts.

The official website of the temple states, “By tradition, the lake is inhabited by a single crocodile and in the memory of the very aged men the present crocodile happens to be the third one they have seen. When one crocodile dies another one inevitably appears in the lake and this continues to be an unexplained phenomenon.”

“There is no river or pond nearby where crocodiles exist. The crocodile is friendly and harmless to human beings. Its presence in the lake around the Mahavishnu temple reminds one of the well-known Gajendra Moksha stories in the Bhagavatha Puranam,” it further said.

The carcass was removed from the lake and put on public display as hundreds of people, including politicians, turned up on Monday for a last glimpse of the crocodile.

(With PTI inputs)

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