Kasargod: Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple at Ananthapura in Kasargod suddently hit headlines after images of Babiya, the friendly crocodile living in the temple pond went viral.
Many claimed that the crocodile, which lives in a cave near the temple pond has entered the temple's 'sanctum sanctorum' for the first time in the history of the temple.
However, the people connected to the temple have a dfferent story to narrate.
Temple priest MM Mahalingeshwara Bhat, speaking to newskarnataka.com said that Babiya comes near the 'Namaskara Mantapa' of the temple every night, sleeps there and then retuns to her cave near the pond as the dawn breaks in.
"It is common to see her near Namaskara Mantapa. A new staff was employed at the temple recently. When he came to the temple at 5.30 am, he was shocked to see Babiya there. He clicked a few pictures and uploaded it. First of all, Babiya has not entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. There is a small passages, little far way from the sanctum sanctorum. That is where Babiya usually sleeps. There is nothing new about Babiya appearing near the Namaskara Mantapa," Bhat said.
The temple, which is thronged by devotees in large numbers is located in Kumbla in Kasargod, located 45 km from Mangaluru.
The temple is also famous because of presence of the vegetarian and friendly crocodile- Babiya, who appears in the temple pond every noon to relish the food offered to God-Naivedyam.
Babiya lives in a cave adjacent to the pond and on hearing her name, she would swim across to relish her meals at noon.
The locals say that Babiya, who has been living there for over 70 years does not eat the fish in the pond and in fact waits for the temple priests to serve the 'Naivedya' from the temple, which comprises of rice and jaggery.
Even with Babiya floating on the temple pond, the priests fearlessly step into the water and take a dip. Due to this, she has been considered as a friendly croc.
The belief is that only one crocodile lives in the temple pond at a time.
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