Meet Babiya, who would gladly brush off all those awful qualifications. She is as gentle as a rabbit, survives completely on a vegan diet, and gets along well with all other animals.
Hard to imagine? Kerala’s Kasaragod district, India’s most southern state, visit the Ananthapuram temple.
For those who are unaware, it is common for south Indian temples to have ponds on their grounds. The water body contributes to maintaining a pleasant and dynamic environment while supporting the long-held idea that deities bathe in the ponds.
Typically, these ponds are a tranquil scene of lotus and lilies with a thriving fish population. The lake at the Ananthapuram temple, however, is unique. It is the home of Babiya, an approximately 75-year-old crocodile.
Crocodiles enjoy eating fish among other things. However, Babiya is not known to have indulged her palate with fish in her natural environment. The wild animal gladly accepts a ball of rice and jaggery that the temple priest occasionally mixes with slices of banana. For giving her the “wrong” diet, don’t scowl. I have no issues with the lack of protein! Just an unwavering acceptance of the modest offerings of the temple.
She would allow him to put the rice ball right into her mouth because of their special relationship. The priest occasionally swims in the same water, showing how much he respects Babiya and her composure.
Babiya’s origins are unknown with certainty, however there are many urban legends that surround her existence. Babiya is thought by devotees to be a guard sent by Lord Vishnu to defend the temple.
According to a common myth, in this location in 1945, a British officer killed a crocodile before India became independent. Babiya was also the name of the tragic crocodile. The officer eventually died from a snake bite, as if punished for his wicked deed. To everyone’s shock, another crocodile showed up in the pond a few days later. She has remained there for more than 75 years, and people have continued to refer to her as “Babiya.”
There is also a less captivating mythologically unrelated tale. It implies that Babiya’s forefathers might have been a part of a circus troupe that frequently performed in public settings close to the temple. These circus troops were once well-known in this region of Kerala. Babiya might have been a hatchling that was abandoned.
When Babiya Came Out
Babiya recently made headlines when she emerged from the pond and wandered around the grounds of the temple. The mammoth reportedly complied with the priest’s instruction to go back to her original habitat right away. On social media, images of Babiya creeping up next to the priest were widely shared. The number of visitors to this location would have suddenly increased if not for the Covid limits.
Also Read – Are Horseshoe Crabs Endangered?
The Ananthapuram Lake temple
Ananthapuram Temple, Kerala’s only lake temple, is thought to be the main Padmanabha Swamy temple location. Google “the richest temple in the world” if you’ve never heard of the latter.
At a staggering 22 billion dollars, the treasure of the Padmanabha Swamy temple is estimated! And guess what? The temples include hidden vaults that have not yet been uncovered. Who knows what kind of wonders lie within.
There is a myth regarding the relationship between the two temples:
Famous priest Villvamangalam Swami was performing poojas in the temple in Ananthapuram. To assist the priest with his poojas, Lord Maha Vishnu, the God of life, had assumed the appearance of a little child (rituals). The priest was annoyed when the boy pulled a joke, so he shoved the child aside. The boy exited the temple through a tunnel after becoming upset by the priest’s reprimand. The youngster advised him to visit Ananthan Kadu, which is where the current Padmanabha Swamy temple is situated, if he wished to meet him.
Although it is still there, the tunnel where the youngster is said to have vanished is not open to the public.