More than a year after the death of a decades-old lone crocodile that inhabited the lake at the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple here and used to roam inside its premises, a new one has appeared at the shrine recently.
The development assumes significance, as according to a temple official, there was always a lone crocodile in the lake and the latest one would be the fourth.
"When one crocodile dies another one inevitably appears in the lake and this continues to be an unexplained phenomenon," the temple has said on its website.
The new crocodile was spotted in a cave along the lake on November 8 by some devotees, the temple official said.
After the devotees informed the temple about the presence of the crocodile, the temple officials on Saturday verified its presence.
"It is a young crocodile. We have informed the tantri (head priest) of the temple and he will decide what needs to be done next," the temple official said.
The earlier crocodile, fondly called Babia, was found dead on October 9, 2022.
She was the third crocodile in the lake and was believed to be over 70 years old.
Hundreds of people, including politicians, had turned up for a last glimpse of Babia before being buried.
According to temple officials, Babia was a vegetarian and subsisted on the 'prasadam' made there.
The Mahavishnu temple is located at Ananthapura near Kumbla in the northern Kerala district of Kasaragod. The temple is known as the 'moolasthanam', the original source, of the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple of Thiruvananthapuram, according to its website.
"By tradition, the lake is inhabited by a single crocodile and in the memory of the very aged men the present crocodile happens to be the third one they have seen. When one crocodile dies another one inevitably appears in the lake and this continues to be an unexplained phenomenon," the website stated.
"There is no river or pond nearby where crocodiles exist. The crocodile is friendly and harmless to human beings. Its presence in the lake around the Mahavishnu temple reminds one of the well-known Gajendra Moksha stories in the Bhagavatha Puranam," according to the temple's website.
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