Mumbai: A temple built in the middle of a lake in the village of Ananthapura in the Kasaragod district of Kerala is believed to be the moolasthana (or original seat) of Sri Padmanabhaswamy of Thiruvananthapuram.
According to a popular belief, a crocodile named Babia lives in a tank within the temple complex. Interestingly, only one crocodile lives in the lake. If one dies, another one emerges but no one knows how the reptile appears. Moreover, it is also believed that the crocodile has never harmed any of the devotees who have taken bath in the lake.
But only those who are fortunate enough can find the crocodile in the tank.
One of the legends associated with the presence of the reptile in the water tank says that Lord Krishna wanted to test the devotion of a saint named Sree Vilvamangalathu Swami who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Krishna in disguise of a little boy disturbed the saint while he was in the middle of a penance. The saint got miffed with the little boy and pushed him and the former disappeared immediately. This made the saint realise his grave mistake. The crack on the ground through which Krishna disappeared is still believed to be there. A crocodile that appeared then is considered as the guardian of the temple.
During British rule, a soldier had shot the crocodile dead. A few days later, he died of snake-bite. The locals believed that the soldier was cursed by the serpent god. Soon, another crocodile appeared in the tank.
Surprisingly, the reptile does not even eat the fishes in the tank but accepts the offerings made by the devotees.