KASARAGOD: On Monday, hundreds of people attended the sombre funeral of a crocodile buried at India’s Hindu temple who was thought to be heavenly and had lived for years on a vegetarian diet.
According to Ramachandran Bhat, secretary of the temple, Babia protected the holy Sri Anantha padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala for about 80 years by hiding in the nearby lake.
After allegedly going without food for several days, the famed reptile was discovered lying motionless in the lake early on Monday.The 3,000-year-old Vishnu temple in Kasaragod has been guarded for ages by a lone “divine” crocodile, according to Bhat.
In 1940, the British troops shot and killed the last heavenly crocodile, and soon after, Babia appeared in the lake, according to Bhat. The lake is connected to caves below, but we are unable to determine where it came from, Bhat added.
Since Babia was believed to have never attacked another animal or a person, including kids who were brought to the lake’s edge to touch the lizard for its blessings, it was revered as holy.
Many believed it lived off of “prasadam,” or holy servings of rice and jaggery sanctified and blessed by priestly class, but Bhat claimed he disagreed with this idea “because there are fish in the lake.”
Before being taken through the throng of mourners on a coconut leaf bed laid on a litter and buried on the temple grounds, the scaly corpse was decorated with flowers and blessed.
Reiterating that India had a vegetarian diet, Shobha Karandlaje, the country’s minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare, claimed in a tweet that “the God’s own crocodile” had gained salvation.