A year after death of the revered Babiya, another crocodile surfaces in Kerala temple lake

November 13, 2023 03:11 pm | Updated 06:30 pm IST - KASARAGOD

The crocodile which appeared on the lake at the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple in Kasaragod.

The crocodile which appeared on the lake at the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple in Kasaragod. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Devotees at the Ananthapura Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple in Kasaragod district of Kerala were surprised when a new crocodile appeared in the temple’s lake, a year after the passing of the revered crocodile ‘Babiya’, believed to be a ‘reincarnated deity’.

Babiya had gained popularity for its “divine connections”. It died on October 9, 2022.

The crocodile spotted on the temple lake | Video Credit: Special Arrangement

Uday Kumar Gatti, the chairman of the temple, has confirmed the presence of the new crocodile after a family from Mavungal at Kanhangad reported its sighting last Wednesday (November 8, 2023). The family initially faced criticism on social media after they posted pictures of the reptile. However, after revisiting the temple on November 11, 2023, the family’s claims have been verified, he told The Hindu.

This marks the third crocodile to make an appearance at the temple lake.

Legend has it that in 1945, a British soldier shot a crocodile at the temple lake, and shortly afterwards, Babiya emerged in it. To substantiate the recent sighting, the temple committee sent photos to a crocodile expert in Chennai, confirming that the new crocodile belongs to the same species as Babiya, said Mr. Gatti.

He said that it appears smaller in size. Though temple authorities have not yet started to feed the crocodile, the departments concerned, including the Forest department, have been informed about the reptile’s sighting. A committee meeting will be convened to discuss the “implications” of the crocodile’s presence in the waters, he said.

Babiya, the late crocodile, had been an attraction for devotees from Kerala and Karnataka who considered it ‘a divine entity.’ Pilgrims used to visit the temple to witness the daily rituals when Babiya was known to consume the offerings for the deity. Babiya was buried on October 10, 2022, with a commemorative event held 41 days after its demise.

Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple in Kasaragod.

Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple in Kasaragod. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The unexpected appearance of the crocodile has sparked discussions among the temple committee members and devotees, reviving the ‘spiritual connection’ many felt with the late Babiya, adding another mysterious twist to the temple’s history.

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