Thiruvananthapuram: A vegetarian crocodile that had endeared itself to generations of temple-goers in Kerala’s Kasaragod district has died at the age of 75. Fondly named ‘Babiya’, she reportedly survived on temple offerings and never harmed devotees, making for herself a home in a pond on the premises of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple. No records show how she arrived there but she departs as a legend.
Writing after her demise, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje tweeted, “Babiya, the god’s own crocodile of Sri Ananthapura 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”.
While Babiya’s arrival at the temple pond remains a mystery because no other river or water body connects to it in the vicinity, she became a regular figure at the premises, even wandering up to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in 2020 when the pandemic restricted access to crowds.
Her ‘abstaining’ from meat and gentle nature elevated her to ‘divine’ status among devotees.